"He that loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him take offense." (I John 2:10)
The fast and easy answer to getting out of offense or preventing yourself from being offended, is to love the one who presents you the opportunity to be offended. How do you do that? That's the subject today.
#1 - Take one emotional step backwards
In Matthew 19: 16-30, Jesus was approached by a man known through the ages as 'the rich young ruler'. The end of that conversation was an invitation for the man to become a disciple, if he would sell all.
As you know, the man "went away sorrowful for he had great possessions." This was THE perfect opportunity for Jesus to be offended. Offense is described as anything that arouses prejudice or becomes a hindrance. Can you imagine! The Lord Himself invites the man to follow Him, but he walks away because he loved his wealth more than he loved God.
Was Jesus angry? Didn't the young man know who was inviting him? Didn't he know what eternal glory awaited? Yet Jesus did not exhibit any anger, nor frustration, nor appear the slightest bit peeved when the man walked away. He didn't go after him either.
And that's a key point. Jesus realized it was that man's decision, it was his story. Jesus didn't agree with his decision, but that was his decision. Jesus did not let the emotions of what was right and wrong cloud His love. He expressed His love for the man by extending an invitation to do right.
Where we get into trouble is when we try to inject what we think is right, or what we think a person should do, or how they hurt our feelings or are doing things wrong - into their lives whether they want our opinion, advice, plan, or not. Then we get hurt when they make us mad. And we are angry because they won't do what we think is right for them to do.
Jesus wanted the man to follow Him, but He did not force upon him anything more than an invitation. Love extends an invitation to do right, but doesn't take offense when the invitation is refused.
#2 - Be reflective
"Then said Jesus to His disciples: "Truly I tell you, it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven."
If Jesus had taken offense the passage could read: "I tell you, I am really hurt by him walking away. He would have been perfect. Does he know how hard I'm working to make a place for him? Doesn't he know what I've gone through? Doesn't he know what he owes me? I am the Lord!"
If you are interested in reading more:
Fair use for educational and discussion purposes ~
“You will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver, And her feathers with yellow gold.” — Psalm 68:13
“O that I had wings like a dove then I would fly away and be at rest.”