Yielding to Offense

"The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble" (Mark 4:14-17).

The word translated stumble is the same word that means become offended. How do people who hear the Word stumble or fall away? They become offended.

"And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, 'Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?' And they were offended at Him" (Mark 6:2-3).

The people in Nazareth became offended at Jesus. The Scripture says that He could do no mighty works there because of their unbelief. And they had unbelief because they had become offended. They weren't going to believe anything He said because He offended them.

"Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:26-27).

We give place to the devil when we allow offenses to come in. You are not going to have to look for an opportunity to take offense. Jesus said, "Offenses will come" (Matthew 18:7). The offense is going to look for you and the offense will find you. However, the decision is yours. Will you accept it? Will you receive it? Will you bring the offense into yourself?

You don't need to blame the person who sent the offense your way. The vast majority of people who offend you don't deliberately try to. They may have major conflicts in their own lives that they can't handle. They don't know what to do, so they take it out on you. Don't live your life believing that everyone is out to get you, because if you do, you play right into the devil's hand.

The Results of Yielding to Offense

1. Offenses will steal the Word of God from your heart. (Mark 4)
2. Offenses will block the power and the anointing of God. (Matthew 13)
3. Offenses will affect your quality of life.
4. Offenses will affect your mental stability.
5. Offenses will destroy your personal relationships.
6. Offenses will affect your health. Some die early because of hatred in their hearts.

So, what do you do? Decide you are going to let go of the offenses you have been harboring. You must do it. The person who has been offended and hurt is the one who has to make the decision. Whether or not the offender repents is irrelevant. Ask God for His grace to empower you to do what seems impossible. Let go of the offense and forgive. Freedom is waiting for you. You can do it!

To learn more about the dangers of yielding to offenses,
check out Dr. Ollison's book, Breaking the Cycle of Offense.