Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.
The Greek word for offence is “Skandalon”, meaning, a trap or snare that is baited. To be entrapped by it causes one to stumble, hence, a stumbling block on the path forward. We are to beware of giving or taking offence, it is a doorway into our lives used by the devil to hinder us. Offence destroys Christian unity thereby undermining the effectiveness of body of Christ!
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing—Life forevermore.
A way to check if you are offended is to see if you are planning revenge or plotting to get your own back on someone. Even if it’s just a fantasy that you never plan to carry out, if you are thinking of punishing someone, it is very likely that you are carrying offence against them in your heart!
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Offence is not a fruit of love, read 1 Corinthians 13:1-8. We are called to love one another so that all men should know that we are disciples of Jesus!
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
A heart that is unable to forgive is operating out of offence, not love. Not being able to forgive, shows a lack of understanding of how much we have been forgiven of in Christ. When you have a revelation of how much you have been forgiven, you will in turn be quick to forgive and have much love for others.
Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
Offence is a trap and a snare, it gets between you and your fellow believers and it will negatively affect your relationship with God.
Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Read the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35.
To forgive is to give up any rights to revenge or compensation. It’s to say that God is the perfect judge and He will deal with the offender in a right and just way. It’s trusting God to look after our best interests and to heal and restore us.
Steps to overcoming offence
- Recognise that you are offended – Ask God to search your heart and reveal offence to you.
- Focus on what Jesus did for you – understand how much He has forgiven you – focus on the love of God.
- Choose to forgive the person that offended you – this is an act of your will, not a feeling – choose to act in love.
- When the devil reminds you of the offence, don’t get angry and offended again, declare that you have forgiven the person and refuse to entertain any other thoughts on the matter.