Temptations are common to man. One of the most common is being tempted to be offended.
I Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will…also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Offend: to have our feelings hurt, to feel slighted or insulted, failure to show regard to someone’s thoughts or feelings. We all have to deal with hurt feelings the Bible way, or we’ll get an attitude. The focus is all on “me” if we get offended. Jesus was only offended once, by the devil. Jesus said he was going to be killed and Peter said it wouldn’t be so. Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but …of men” (Matthew 16:21-23). Peter was not offended by what Jesus said as we see there wasn’t any break in their relationship. We can’t take things personally or we’ll be offended. Some were offended because they didn’t think Jesus was qualified.
Matthew 13:54-58 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?…And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Jesus couldn’t help them because they were offended. If we want to hang onto an offense, Jesus won’t be able to help us. A grudge, wrong attitude, or bitterness will cause us to sin. We can’t be proud, self-seeking, or thinking evil if we are not going to be offended. We have to not be easily provoked but to be humble.
I Corinthians 13:4-5 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
When people come against you, sometimes it isn’t because you have problem. People may have problems and we need to pray for them and for God to give us grace. Jesus said to love our enemies and pray for those who treat us bad. Getting offended is not acceptable, but taking it patiently is. If we react like the one who comes against us, we have no testimony. We have to take things patiently and show a good attitude. If we’re reviled, we need to commit it to God as Jesus did – not revile back. Jesus didn’t threaten but committed things to God. We have to get our focus off ourselves to not be offended.
I Peter 2:19-23 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
Paul said he exercised himself to be void of offense to God and men. He had total forgiveness and didn’t get attitudes.
Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
We have to forgive from our heart when offenses happen. We have to forgive everything that is done to us. Sometimes we may offend someone without realizing. If someone says we offended them, we should be humble and say we’re sorry.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
When people get troubled by many cares, they’ll be more easily offended. Martha had many cares was offended that Mary didn’t care to help her. Mary was there when Martha complained to Jesus. She didn’t defend herself, but Jesus did.
Luke 10:38-42…Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving…said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus…said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Mary was criticized for doing what she thought was right. People complained she was wasting money. What we do for God is not wasted. We’re not doing it to be noticed or for others but for God. Mary didn’t defend herself but Jesus did.
Mark 14:3-9…in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake…and poured it on his head. And…some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and…given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying… Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this…shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
David was offended by the way Nabal spoke to his men. Nabal was churlish (rough, stubborn, rude, bad-mannered, hateful). David had revenge in his heart to get even with Nabal and was ready to kill him with all those associated with him.
I Samuel 25:2-13 And there was a man…whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings…David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep. And David sent out ten young men, and David said…Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name: And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house…I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel. Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour …give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David. And when David’s young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words…Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, Who is David? …Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be? So David’s young men…told him all those sayings. And David said…Gird ye on every man his sword…David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men…
Abigail came to David and bowed in humility. She gave advice for David to let God revenge him. David took her advice. We need to mind God if he lays it on our heart to try to defuse a situation where someone is trying to take revenge on another. To defuse a situation we have to have a humble attitude and be willing to take wrong like Abigail did.
I Samuel 25:22-33…And when Abigail saw David…said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be…Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal…thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. …now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought…let it even be given unto the young men…I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days…And it shall come to pass, when the Lord shall have…shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel; That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or…hath avenged himself…then remember thine handmaid. And David said…Blessed be the Lord…which sent thee…And blessed be thy advice…hast kept me…from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself…
David learned to let God handle situations and not take revenge. God took care of Nabal and he died. David didn’t have an attitude against Saul. He wouldn’t let his men kill Saul but knew God would take care of the situation. If we always have a complaint or sarcasm when someone’s name is mentioned, it shows we have an attitude. We must have forgiveness and let God take care of things if we’re offended. We’ll get an attitude and end up sinning if we don’t give it to God.
I Samuel 26:5-11…David beheld…Saul lay sleeping within the trench…said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him…David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?…the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed…
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)