Don’t Let Offense Steal Your Future

There is a spirit of offense that is growing more and more prevalent in the world. It results in marriages ending due to “irreconcilable differences,” friendships breaking down and relationships being destroyed. It leads to church splits, petty lawsuits, domestic violence and even murder.

We can’t be ignorant of Satan’s tactics and fall for his tricks. I believe offense is Satan’s number one weapon against Christians. Offense is defined as something that “outrages the moral, emotional or physical senses; the state of being insulted or morally outraged.”

Recently I was watching the news coverage of a tragic situation that unfolded in my home city of Jacksonville, Florida. Two children got into an argument over who won a basketball game. Instead of just disagreeing and walking away, one child pulled out a gun and shot the other child in the head. How in the world could something like that happen between two kids? The reason we’re seeing this more and more is because there is a spirit of offense that has grabbed hold of this world and it is spreading like wildfire.

We have all been offended, and we know of others who have been. However, I need to warn you that offense is not just some innocent little thing that we can choose to hang on to until we feel like letting go of it. Offense is a serious issue, a weapon designed by the enemy to rob you of God’s best and to steal the future God has destined for your life.

Offense causes a person to shut down on God’s way of handling their problem and urges them to construct walls of safety, which eventually becomes walls of imprisonment—these walls are built of pride, with a gate that only opens to those who agree with the offended person.

When you’ve been offended by someone, do you want to hear what the Bible says about forgiveness? No! Offense’s job is to get you to not want to listen to God’s way of rectifying the situation. Furthermore, if you get offended with the person and don’t talk to or deal with them anymore, you have now created a pathway of safety to protect yourself from getting hurt again—although what you meant as protection unknowingly becomes a wall of imprisonment. You are now held captive and you can’t get to what God wants you to have.

The spirit of offense chokes off ordinary conversation that you should be able to have with people because now you’re viewing every word they speak through the eyes of your hurt. It chokes off your ability to give people the benefit of the doubt. It suffocates forgiveness and tolerance. It denies human imperfection. It demands that a simple, loving person be mechanical and precise while trying to express sincerity. It assumes the worst. It ignores obvious intentions and digs around for something ugly and sinister. It allows common, everyday words to be misconstrued.

Offense is quite possibly the most vicious problem in our society today. It nourishes an attitude of dissatisfaction with life, especially among those who choose to carry it around like a badge of honor that reads, “I’m indignant and rightfully so!” Most offended people would rather place the blame on someone else—anyone else—than accept responsibility and acknowledge that it is their choice to be offended.

The good news is that you can prevent the enemy from using offense to steal your future with these six keys to overcome offense.

1. Admit that you are offended when you are offended.

Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is able to expose, sift, analyze and judge the very thoughts and purposes of the heart—it exposes us for what we really are.

We can tell other people that something didn’t bother us, but the Word of God has a way of getting down to the truth of the matter. When God begins to show us where we really are in the Word, we are then faced with a choice to either get honest with ourselves and go ahead and allow God’s Word to fix us, or live in denial and refuse. Too many people end up offended and won’t acknowledge it. They know that offense is not something they should harbor in their heart, so they don’t want to admit that they’re violating God’s Word. However, once a person chooses to live in denial, there’s nothing anyone can do for them, including Jesus.

2. Refuse to let pride tell you how you should react.

“ By pride comes nothing but strife ” Proverbs 13:10 NKJV

Therefore, if strife comes as a result of pride, we must conclude that when a person gets over into offense and won’t let it go, pride has grabbed hold of the person.

Have you ever heard a person say things like “I have more experience than they have. How did they get the job?” Or, “I’m older than they are and I know more than they do. Who are they to correct me?” This is pride. When we start to believe that we are due certain benefits simply because we have had certain experiences or we have academic degrees or a title in front of our name, offense finds a door to come in.

3. Make a quality decision to forgive the person or persons who have offended you.

The Amplified Bible says, “For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

All of us need forgiveness, even after we have given our lives to Christ. Jesus is letting us know that if we are going to be partakers of God’s forgiveness, we also have to be dispensers of it. That means we’re going to have to let go of the resentment, the bitterness and the hurt—even if the person purposefully did us wrong. Regardless of their intentions, we must forgive and commend them to God. We don’t do so expecting God to heap punishment upon them, but with the same heart of love that Jesus had on the cross when He asked God to forgive His offenders.

When you decide to forgive someone, you are using your faith to no longer hold them accountable. Don’t expect anything from them as restitution for what they did. Simply decide to restore them back to a place in your heart where you can love them and pray for them just like you would for anybody else.

4. Pray for the person who offended you.

Jesus said, “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you” (Luke 6:27-28).

When people come and tell you that someone is saying negative things about you, human nature is to become upset. When others are saying all kinds of evil things about you, Jesus tells us to bless them, to say some good things about them and to pray for them. It’s hard to stay offended with somebody when you are saying nice things about them.

Jesus goes on to tell us that if we only love or do nice things for those who love us and do nice things for us, we’re no better than those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus. Instead, we should love our enemies and do good to others without expecting anything in return. Our reward will be great and everyone will be able to see that we are children of God because we have shown His character through our conduct (see Luke 6:30-36).

5. Remind yourself of the miracle that awaits you beyond the offense.

That’s how the Canaanite woman got the healing she needed for her daughter. When Jesus said that it wasn’t right for Him to take His anointing that was intended to be used for the children of Israel and give it to those who were not one of God’s chosen people, this woman kept her focus on the fact that the answer to her daughter’s problem was right there before her. If she could only get Jesus to agree to make her daughter well, everything would be all right. So that became her anchor, which kept her from becoming offended at Jesus’ statement, and gave her the strength to ask for just a morsel of His power to make her daughter well.

That’s true for you, as well. You need to understand that on the other side of your offense is a miracle waiting for you. You can stay offended, or you can grab a hold of the rope and climb your way over that wall of offense and claim what’s yours!

6. Identify the character lessons that you need to learn.

The Amplified Bible says, “Therefore I always exercise and discipline myself [mortifying my body, deadening my carnal affections, bodily appetites, and worldly desires, endeavoring in all respects] to have a clear (unshaken, blameless) conscience, void of offense toward God and toward men” (Acts 24:16).

After you’ve owned up to it and refused to let pride tell you how you should react; after you’ve made a quality decision to forgive and have prayed for the person who offended you; once you’ve reminded yourself of the miracle that’s awaiting you on the other side of that offense; then your next step is to identify the character lessons that you need to learn about yourself.

Even when you were completely mistreated, there are still some lessons the Lord will teach you if you are open to it. Perhaps He’ll tell you, “Yes, they did you wrong, but the way you reacted is not the way I want you to respond.” If we learn the lesson this time, then God can help us so the next time offense comes—and you can be sure it’s coming back again—you will be ready. You’ll pass the test without much effort, and you’ll be so proud of yourself!

Why don’t you just take a moment right now and genuinely search your heart and ask the Lord to show you if there’s an individual that you’ve been offended with. Maybe it’s an organization or your job that you’ve been offended with. Maybe it’s your spouse or your parents or your pastor. Has someone come to mind, someone that you’ve been offended with or been tempted to be offended with?

If the Lord is speaking to you about someone, I urge you to purpose in your heart that you’re not going to let another day go by with offense brewing and turning into bitterness in your heart. Ask God to stir your heart with compassion and genuine love, so that you can see the good in humanity that He does, and ask Him to give you the strength to overcome offense by walking in total forgiveness toward all those who have sinned against you.

This article is written by Bishop George L. Davis

Bishop George L. Davis is an anointed leader and teacher of God’s Word. His commitment to serving God and proclaiming the life-changing message of victory through Christ is bearing fruit in faraway countries and local communities in America.

Today, Bishop Davis and his wife, April pastor Impact Church in Jacksonville, FL and oversee nine other ministries across the east coast of the United States and in Peru. God continues to extend Bishop Davis’ reach by use of media and literature. His most recent and successful book is “Passing the Tests of Life”. George Davis travels extensively as a much sought after guest speaker and a frequent guest on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.