Step Towards Transformation
Offence is Like That Spiritual Hangnail That Keeps Us From Really Loving People.
Ok I’m Really Trying To Not Even Talking About Unforgiveness And I Want To Talk What I Think Precedes It.
Well I Think That Offense Is Like A Spiritual Hangnail. I Hope If You Know What It Feels Like To Have A Hangnail. It’s Like You’re Okay But Then When You Touch It- It’s Like Painful. You Just Wonder How Something That Little Can Hurt That Bad.
I Think It’s Like Having A Hangnail In Your Spirit Whether It’s Just There’s -This Little Irritation, There This Little Thing That’s Just Bugging You And You Just Keep Thinking As No Big Deal .
But You Know It’s The Little Foxes That Spoil The Vine And God Does Not Want Us To Be Offended.
You Know There Are People Who Love God. They Believe In God. They Go To Church But They are Little Angry Because God Didn’t Answer Their Prayer. Their Life Didn’t Turn Out The Way They Thought It Should. They Are Little Disappointed With God.
You Know There’s No Reason At All To Be Ever Disappointed With God Because God Is Perfect And Everything He Does Is Right.
When We Don’t Pay Any Attention To These Offences -These Little Hangnails, Then They Actually Become Bigger Problems In Our Life And
Why? Because We Don’t Deal With The Little Stuff.
How Many Of You Agree That Sometimes We Just Don’t Deal With Because We Think It’s No Big Deal
Well You Say, Bro Melwyn,”HeOffended Me. It’s Not My Fault That I’m Offended, He Offended Me.”
But You Know Every One Of Us Have To Take Responsibility For Our Own Lives. It’s My Responsibility Before God To Receive His Grace To Not Be Offended.
I Have To Be Responsible Not To Take That Offence. What We Do Is We Blame- How We Feel And Say I Don’t Need To Change, You Need To Change, You Need To Always Make Me Feel Good.Then I Won’t Ever Get Mad.
Illustration Of Jesus: Did You Notice, That No Matter What People Didn’t Bother Jesus At All. I Mean They Could Reject Him . Never Bothered Him You Know Why.
One Simple Reason- He Knew Where He Came From. He Knew Who He Was And He Knew Where He Was Going. And When Every Person On The Planet Can Learn this One Thing Then The Devil’s Party Is Over.
That Is The Most Important Thing That You Can Ever Know.
Your Value Should Not Be Determined By How Somebody Else Has Treated You.
Offence Affects Our Prayers
Note: If You’re Going To Complain About Something ,Don’t Bother To Pray. Because God Is Not In Charge Of The Complaint Department. He Answers Prayers Not Complaints.
The Bible Says Be Anxious For Nothing But In All Things By Prayer And Supplication With Thanksgiving.
We Need To Get Some Thank You Power Back In Our Lives
How All This Anger And Offence Affects Our Prayers
If You Have Any Little Spiritual Hangnails Remove Them. Let It Drop. Leave It. Let It Go
Against Anyone-The Garage Person, The Grocery Store , Your Boss, Your Coworker, Your Neighbour or Somebody In Your Family.
Let Me Put It Plain-If We Want Verse 22 23 24 And 25 To Work, We Got To Do 26 .
Champions Refuse To Be Offended. They Will Not Live In Offfence.
Illustration Of David:
David was a Little Shepherd Boy Who Became King. He Had Many Opportunities To Be Offended Starting With The Fact That When Samuel Was Sent To Jesse’s House To Anoint A New King- Seven Brothers Passed Before Him. The Prophet Said None Of These Are Right -Don’t You Have Any Other Children. Jesse Answered, “There’s David But He Is Just A Shepherd Boy and He’s Out In The Field.”
They Didn’t Even Bother To Bring David In To Be Considered.
Just Imagine How Offended We Get When We Are Not Even Considered. When Nobody Even Considers Us. Nobody Considers Our Feelings, Nobody Considered That They Weren’t Inviting Us. Nobody Included Us, Nobody Cared How We Felt.
From The Very Beginning, Before He Ever Even Received The Anointing, He Got A Test.
When The Prophet Anointed Him He Did It Right In Front Of The Seven Brothers.
God Doesn’t See Like Man Sees God Sees The Heart.
Why Didn’t God Just Go Do It Quietly So Why Didn’t The Prophet Just Get David And Take Him Somewhere Privately Annointing Him And Say Hey Someday You’re Going To Be King. No, He Did It In Front Of The Seven Brothers. Oh My, I Bet They Were Boiling thinking Who Does He Think He Is. And That Was Proven A Little Bit Later When in First Samuel Chapter 17, David Wanted To Go See The Battle With Goliath Because He Could Not Figure Out, Why None Of These Soldiers Were Offering To Fight Goliath. He Didn’t Get It Because He Knew That God Would Fight With Him. He Knew That The Reason Why He Was Anointed To Be King Was Because He Knew God. He Knew Who He Was. He Knew He Can Trust GOD And You Know Why He Knew God Because He Had Been Away From The People And Out In The Field By Himself With The Sheep Long Enough To Get To Know God Really Well.
Don’t Ever Complain When You’re Lonely. Take It As A Time To Get To Know God.
David Wanted To Go See The Battle And He Was Talking About The Oldest Son Eliab And Eliab Said
What Was He Trying To Do? He Was Trying To Diminish David. He Didn’t Want Him To Think That He Had Any WORTH Or VALUE Because He Didn’t Want Him To Go And Do Anything That Might Seem To Be Important.
Don’t Let Anybody Diminish You Don’t Let Anybody Minimize You Or Make You Feel Little
Don’t Let People Minimize You And Make You Feel Little Because You’re Not Doing Something The World Thinks Is Big Because God Doesn’t See The Way The World Sees.
You Know The Only Thing That God Cares About- Are You Doing The Part That God Has Asked You To Do. If You’re Doing The Part That God Has Asked You To Do Then You Are Equal To Anybody Else.
David Was Just Out Doing What God Wanted Him To Do And Behold He Was Picked To Be King.
If You’re Just Doing The Part That God Wants You To Do, You Never Know When God May Come And Pick You For Something Greater.
Verse 28 Eliab Said “And With Whom Have You Left Those Few Sheep”
You Know What That Tells Me He Was Used To That. He Was Used To Those Brothers Ragging On Him All The Time And Giving Him A Hard Time.You Know Sometimes Older Siblings Resent The Baby Because The Baby Has A Tendency To Get Petted A Little Bit.
Verse 29, David Replies “What Have I Done Now” And Then I Love This. The Very Next Verse Says
Champions Refuse To Take Offense. David Refused To Take Offense. He Got Tested. He Got Tested Again.
You Think You’re Going To Do Something For God And Never Get Tested.
A Lot Of The Situations That You Get In And That You Think Are So Demonic, Actually It Is God Who Has Planted You Right In The Middle Of That Situation. Just To See If You’ve Got What It Takes To Go To The Next Level.
Champions Refuse To Be Offended. They Will Not Take Offense.
God Doesn’t Want Us Offering Him Or Trying To Give Him Our Acts Of Service Or Anything Else If We’re Going To Come With Offence In Our Hearts.
Now Let’s Talk A Minute About Covering Offenses
Love Covers A Multitude Of Sins
To Cover Means To Conceal, To Clothe, To Hide Or To Keep A Secret.
Illustration Of Noah:
Noah After The Arc Docked And They Were Able To Get Out Of The Arc, They Planted Some Vineyards And He Drank Too Much Wine And Got Drunk And Was Laying Naked In His Tent.
Now His Nakedness Just Represents His Wrongdoing. So One Son Uncovered It By Telling It And Two Sons Went In And Covered Him.
Now If You Go Ahead And Read This- The One Son Who Told It And Uncovered It And Gossiped It To Other People Got A Curse Put On Him. The Two Sons That Covered Their Father Were Both Individually Blessed By Their Father.
We Can Receive A Blessing From God Just If We Are Willing To Not Tell The Bad Things That We See Other People Do But Pray For Them, Zip Our Lip And Cover Their Offense.
Note: We Just Get The Biggest Kick Out Of Telling Weaknesses Of Others. Don’t We?
Jesus Is Telling People How To Deal With People Who Have Offended You Or If There’s Something Between You And Them That Needs To Be Settled And He Says If Your Brother Wrongs You, Go And Show Him His Fault Between You And Him Privately.
Most Of The Time Most People Go Tell Somebody Else. They Never Get Around To Going To The Brother But They Tell All Kinds Of Other People.
Love Covers A Multitude Of Sins…Love Is Not Touchy, Love Is Not Horrible, Love Is Not Resentful.
Make Two Fists Right Now, Please. Squeeze Your Fists As Hard As You Can. Tighter. Tighter. Don’t Let Go Until I Tell You To. Just Hold It There For A While. Are You Getting Tired? Hold It. Hold It. Hold It. Just A Little Tighter. Okay, Now Let Go.
First Did You Notice The Pain In Your Fingers When You Finally Let Go? The Fists Were Causing You Pain, But It Also Hurt To STOP Making The Fists. When We Carry A Anger, The Anger Squeezes Us To Death, But The Longer We Carry That Anger We Also Find That It’s More And More Painful To Let Go Of It.
Second, Did You Notice That At Every Second It Took More And More Strength To Keep Squeezing? You Had To Focus More Energy And Attention On It Every Second In Order To Keep It Up. Carrying A Anger Will Consume More And More Of Your Life And Energy And Leave Less Left Over For Everything Else.
Third, Some Of You May Even Have Noticed A Certain Numbness From Blood Not Circulating Well Through The Fingers. Carrying A Anger Can Produce An Insensitivity To The Person You Are Mad At, But Also To God And To Others Around You, As More And More Of Your Energy Is Used Up In The Nursing Of That Anger.
Do You See How This Kind Of Life – The Anger-Keeping Life, Is Simply At Odds With The Expansive, Whole, Free Life God Has Designed For You? You Can’t Simultaneously Keep Those Fists Closed And Receive Anything Else. There’s No Room For Anything Else, And If You Nurse A Anger, There Is No Room Left In Your Heart For Love, Especially For Love Like God’s, That Promises To Come In And Break Down All That Hatred And Dismantle Those Offences And Bring What We Sometimes Want The Least When We Are Carrying A Anger – Forgiveness And Freedom
Champions Refuse To Be Offended
You Know It’s Really Important That We Learn To Recognize And Resist The Temptation To Be Offended, If We Want To Have God’s Peace Joy And Power In Our Lives
There’s So Many Different Ways That We Get Offended
A Young Man Shared This And I Thought You Know He Has No Idea Really That This Is Even Harming Him Or Could Even Be A Problem. And He Was Just Showing Me How He’d Taken His Car In For Some Repairs And The Place Where He Took It Gave Him A Big Bill And He Thought That Was High And So He Took It Somewhere Else And They Ended Up Fixing The Car For One Third The Price.
So He He Has To Drive By This First Place That He Went About Four Times A Day Going To Work, Going Home, Going To Lunch, Coming Back And He Said I Am So Aggravated By Them. He Said I Have Just Shut Them Out Of My Life And When I Drive By There Now It’s Like I Don’t Even See Him.
I Thought What Good Does That Do. That’s Not Going To Put Them Out Of Business. They’re Not Going To Move.
You Know The Only One That Hurts Is You Because Every Time You Drive By There -Your Little Spiritual Hangnail Hurts You. We Don’t Even Realize What It Is.
Offence Is A Stumbling Stone Is Something That We Trip Over And It Causes Us To Fall When We Should Be Making Progress.
Matthew Chapter 24 Is A Sign About End Times And One Of The Signs Of End Times It Says Is- Many Will Be Offended.
Stumble And Fall Away
Now Let Me Explain What That Means Stumble And Fall Away. The Word Offence Actually Means To Cause To Stumble.
Well I’ve Got A Nice Big Rock Up Here So We Can Realize This Now You Know If I’m Walking Along And I’m Not Paying Any Attention And Then I Stumble. If You Fall Down Hurt Yourself Bad Enough It Can Keep You From Going Any Further.
Stumbling Stone- One Word That’s Translated Offense Says A Little Stone
You Know We Think Little Things Don’t Matter But You Know What I Believe If We Don’t Learn How To Be Faithful In Little Things We Will Never Ever Ever Be Made Ruler Over Greater Things
So I Wanted You To Pay Attention To This Teaching.
We Get You Growing In God. You’re Here In The Word. You’re Going To Church.Everything Is Great. Then Suddenly You Get Mad At Somebody. You Get Angry At The Preacher. You Get Offended Because You Weren’t Asked To Be On The Worship Team. Now All Of A Sudden You Can’t Grow Anymore. You Can’t Go Anymore Because You’re Sitting Off All Mad. Somewhere And You Know What- It Didn’t Change A Thing. The Only Thing That Changed Was With You.
When Are We Ever Going To Get Smart Enough To Stop Doing Things That Don’t Do Any Good?
In The Last Days Many Will Be Offended. So We Need To Understand That Now There Is A Greater Attack From The Enemy Of Offense Than At Any Other Time In History.
Let Me Tell You What If The Devil Can Keep Us All Mad And Then He’s Going To Have His Way Because In Verse 12 Of That Same Chapter It Says People’s Love Will Grow Cold.
Why? Because Many Are Offended.
Offence Is A Little Thing.
Just Some Little Something Happens That Bugs You And Then Another Little Something Happens And Then Another Little Something Happens And We Think All These Little Things Don’t Make Any Difference. And So We Go To Church We Have All These Little Things.It’s Causing Our Love To Grow Cold
Offenses Are Like The First Little Teeny Tiny Hangnail And If We Keep Them
You Know The Best Time To Take Care Of Any Problem Is When It’s A Little Problem.
Don’t Give The Devil Time To Let Anything That’s Going To Hurt You Take Root In Your Life
Many People Today In Our Society Amazingly Are Offended At God
Remember Offense Is A Stumbling Stone. It’s Something That We Trip Over And It Causes Us To Fall.
Illustration Of A Tree :
Something I Heard Today Made Me Think, It Really Resonated. I Don’t Think I Ran Across It By Coincidence But It Made Me Think About My Life And The People Currently In It.
People In Our Life Are Like Parts Of A Tree; Leaves, Branches, And Roots. I Begin To Reflect On My Current Friendships, The Ones Hanging In Balance, And Ones I Haven’t Really Spoken To In A Long While. I Thought About All The People In My Life Over The Past Two Years. Ones Who Stayed, Ones Who Left And Their Overall Purpose In My Life.
Some People Are Like Leaves On A Tree. When The Wind Blows, They’re Over There… Wind Blow That Way They Over Here… They’re Unstable. When The Seasons Change They Wither And Die, They’re Gone. That’s Alright. Most People Are Like That, They’re Not There To Do Anything But Take From The Tree And Give Shade Every Now And Then. That’s All They Can Do.
People Who Are Like Leaves On A Tree, Leave. They Were Only Meant To Be In Our Life Temporarily And For A Season. Leaves, Like Most Friendships, Are Beautiful In The Beginning, But Often Take More Than They’re Willing To Give And Only Offer Temporary Relief And Support. They Were Never Meant To Be Permanent Because Once Seasons Change, They Will “Blow Away”, They Leave.
When I Think About My Own Life, I Think About The People Who Were Leaves And How Many Times Over The Past 10 Years I Was Left. I Try Not To Be Resentful Or Have Regret, But Every Friendship In My Life Ended Because They Were Only Meant To Be Temporary. They Helped Me Grow As A Person, Provided Support Only They Could Give, And When They Fulfilled Their Purpose, They Left.
Some People Are Like A Branch On That Tree. You Have To Be Careful With Those Branches Too, Cause They’ll Fool You. They’ll Make You Think They’re A Good Friend And They’re Real Strong But The Minute You Step Out There On Them, They’ll Break And Leave You High And Dry.
People Who Are Like Branches Are The Ones Who Tell You, “You Can Depend On Me, I’ll Always Be There For You,” Are The Same Ones When Conflict Arises Or There Is An Issue, They Will Find Any Reason To Back Off Or Leave. Friendships That Are Like Branches Are Easily Broken Because The Person Leaving Decides The Friendship Isn’t Worth Any More Effort.
Truth Be Told, I’ve Been A Branch And Most People Who Have Come In And Out Of My Life Were Branches Too. I Can Openly Admit I Have Found Reasons To Leave When There Was Disagreement Or An Issue. Not Because The Person Did Anything Wrong But For Me It’s Better To Avoid Conflict Than Confront It. I Encourage Honesty But Not For The Sake Of Trying To Be Right Or Force My Opinion Or Belief On Someone Else. It’s Not Very Loving, It’s Not Very Christ-Like. I’ve Also Found Reasons To Leave Because Their Purpose In My Life Was Fulfilled. I Wasn’t Gaining Anything By Keeping Them And I Wasn’t Losing Anything By Leaving. How Can We Keep Others’ In Our Life Who Aren’t Contributing To Our Overall Spiritual, Emotional, And Mental Health? Honestly, We Shouldn’t Because Much Like Branches Of A Tree With No Leaves, They’re Only Taking Up Space.
But If You Find 2 Or 3 People In Your Life That’s Like The Roots At The Bottom Of That Tree You Are Blessed. Those Are The Kind Of People That Aren’t Going Nowhere. They Aren’t Worried About Being Seen, Nobody Has To Know That They Know You, They Don’t Have To Know What They’re Doing For You But If Those Roots Weren’t There, That Tree Couldn’t Live.
People Who Are Like Roots Of A Tree Are Permanent. Friendships Who Go Through Everything, Hell And Back, And Still Stand Strong Are Friends Worth Keeping. They’re Friendships Worth Fighting For.
A Tree Could Have Many, Many Branches But It Only Takes A Few Roots Down At The Bottom To Make Sure That Tree Gets Everything It Needs. When You Get Some Roots, Hold On To Them But The Rest Of It… Just Let It Go.
The Question That Settles In My Heart About This Is, How Can We Be Loving Towards Others, And Yet Find Any Reason At All To Distance Ourselves Or Leave? From An Outside Pair Of Lens, It’s Not Loving At All But From Our Inner Well Being This Decision Is Best. It’s Not A Grey Area, It’s A Matter Of Our Hearts. I’ve Found Reasons To Stay In Others’ Life Who Have Done Nothing In My Life But Take Up Space And/Or Found Reasons To Leave. Why? Because That’s What Love Does. I’ve Found Reasons To Leave Others When They Weren’t Contributing To My Overall Spiritual, Emotional, And Mental Health. Why? Because It Was Best For Everyone Involved.
We Should Always Honor Others Above Ourselves But God Never Promised Anything On This Side Of Heaven Permanent. There Are A Few People Who Will Be There Regardless Of Season Or Circumstance. Those Are Ones Who We Should Never Take For Granted.
I’m Not A Good Friend And Some Days I’m Not A Good Person. I’ve Been All Three – A Leaf, Branch, And Root. I’m All Three Now – A Leaf, Branch, And Root. But, There’s One Root In My Life Who Humbles Me Daily To Be A Better Friend And Person And That Root Is Christ.
Father, some of us here today have been the recipients of your amazing grace and love and forgiveness. Help us forgive our debtors as you have forgiven us our debts. Do not allow us to have peace in our hearts while there is offence, bitterness, malice, anger, or unforgiveness in them but make our hearts restless until we have been reconciled to the one with whom we are angry. Help disbelievers and seekers here this morning realize the fullness of life you have for them and be willing to make forgiveness a part of their journey so that they can be more open to what you have for them.
I realize that oftentimes true spiritual forgiveness is a supernatural act that only You can bring about in our hearts. So I approach you as God over all things – all powerful – a good God who desires good things for us. Please create in us the desire, the willingness, and the ability to forgive. In the coming seconds, bring to our minds a picture of the face of the person or people we need to forgive, then give us a heart of obedience.
[pause to let people think]
God, I know I need to forgive the person I have seen in my mind’s eye this morning. I know you have said that unless we forgive our fellow human beings we will not be in a position to receive your forgiveness of us, and how desperately we all need that. Holy Spirit, free me from the bitterness I have held in my heart for so long. I release my death-grip on this person in my life and place them in Your hands. I ask that you would bless this person and help them experience your love the way you have allowed me to experience it. I know you love them as much as you love me, and I have no right to hate those you love. As I grant forgiveness to this person, I pray you would forgive me for having harbored offence and bitterness toward him/her all this time. I receive your forgiveness and your love for me, as I extend my love and forgiveness to this person in my life. Create in me a clean heart and a clean conscience, that I will be able to honestly say there is no one in this world toward whom I harbor ill will and offence.
If you need to, make some calls this week. Have some conversations. Aspire to love the way Jesus loved. Stop making excuses for carrying an offence or a grudge– lay it down so you can pick up all that God has for you. And trust me, you’ll need both hands free for that.