Caryn recently came across a post from John Bevere that really stopped her in her tracks regarding the topic of offense. Here’s what it said:
“The word offense is the Greek word “skandalon”, which is the trigger of a hunter’s trap that holds the bait. When we take the bait of offense, we trigger the enemy’s trap and become captive. Knowingly or unknowingly. When we’re hurt, we build walls to protect ourselves from pain. But these walls will always end up hurting us. They become mental and emotional strongholds that separate you from God and others—and they open doors for the enemy to forge a chain of pain in your life. Unforgiveness harms you more than it does the person who hurt you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean approval. It’s a conscious decision to forgive the person who wronged you. “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3:13)”
One of Satan’s most deceptive tactics is something all Christians have encountered: offense. While offense itself is not deadly, if we allow it to grow in our hearts, it can produce much fruit like anger, outrage, jealousy, resentment, strife, bitterness, etc.
Now one thing that is helpful to note is that being hurt and being offended are two very different things. And we rarely take the time to sort through them, which leads us to feel all kinds of issues in our relationships.
Emotional hurt is something we experience because something wrong has been done to us. Think: lies, gossip or broken promises. And if we’re going to be honest here, we would also admit there have been times when we have hurt people.
Offense is not the result of something done to us; it’s something we choose. This can be our reaction to snarky emails, something we discovered we didn’t like about a person/situation, or even something stirring jealousy in us.
Hurt happens to us. Being offended is a choice made by us. Hurt requires healing. Offense requires an objective opinion.
But may we remember today, God is the God of the hurt heart and the offended heart. He’s here to help us sort through both.