Have you been offended? How to Deal With Offenses

“Oh, Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”   Psalm 34:3

dealing with offenseHave you noticed the increase in the opportunities to be offended?  Even after 25 years of marriage to my husband, I sometimes get offended by what he says.  As a wife, I may know he doesn’t mean something the way I took it, but I still feel a huge pull to be offended.

I believe in the day we are living, the days prior to the return of the Lord, there will be a greater pull than ever before to be offended.  Jesus taught us in Mathew 18:7 that offenses will surely come.  In Mathew 24, when the disciples asked Jesus what the signs of His return would be, He said in verse 10, “And then shall many be offended…”

So we should not be surprised when we feel the pull to be offended. The question is: how fast do you move past an offense?  Jesus made it possible for us to be able to move past offenses very quickly.

I must constantly remind myself that we are in “the time,” the days before Jesus returns.  Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, that there would be a great falling away in these days.  I believe the falling away is due to being offended. If your love waxes cold according to Mathew 24, you will fall away.

I know when I am offended, I must quickly forgive.  Forgiveness is the only answer!  It is the way of escape! The quicker I forgive, the quicker I come back into my right mind.  When I am offended my soul is in control.  When I forgive, my spirit rises up above my soul and takes back over.

I have learned that when I am offended everything is distorted and even my emotions become out of control. When I am offended at a person I will see them in a distorted way, bigger than they really are.  I will become overly focused on them. They become the center of attention and all I talk about for days.  Every conversation even goes back somehow to what offended me.

The more we put our focus on those who offended us, the more magnified they become.  This could cause our heart to wax cold and may lead us to sin against God.  He is the only one we are to magnify.  When we focus on others and what they did to offend us, we make them bigger than God.

 Oh, Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. (Psalm 34:3)

So right now press the minimize button and minimize the person who has offended you.  Bring them down to the right size and forgive them.  Remember, if it were not for the grace of God you might have done the very same thing.

Are You Able to Connect?

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

Connecting with people is sometimes very difficult to do. I t is heartbreaking when we can’t seem to connect with those who are closest to us.  If you have been hurt in a relationship, you may be guarding your heart and fearful of being hurt again.  It is very hard and even impossible to connect when you can’t lay your guard down and open your heart.

If you find it hard to connect with others, you may have a wounded heart that needs to be healed.  Trust God to heal your wounded, betrayed and broken heart.  Healing comes by faith.

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. James 5:15.

The prayer of faith shall heal the sick and heal the heart.  Pray this simple prayer right now.  By faith begin receiving your healing.

Father God, It is hard for me to connect to others. I have been hurt and I want to be healed. I ask you to heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds.

In Jesus name,  Amen

Strategic Rapid Fire

“Perfect love casts out all fear” 1 John 4:18
The greatest weapon we have against the enemy is love.  He sets up camp in people who are fearful of rejection and convinces them that they are not loved. 1 John 4:18 says perfect love will cast out all fear.  From this verse we can gain wisdom of how God intends for the enemy to be defeated.  It is through love that fear is cast out and it is through love that his access points are closed.
So how do you know when the enemy has someone in your family convinced that they are not loved?  It will be very obvious by their words and actions.  You will know it because they will criticize and even crush you with their words, and will do things that seem to be deliberate rejection.  Stand firm; you must remind yourself it is not the person, but the enemy working through them. Pull out the strongest ammo, get ready, aim and rapid fire love towards them.
What I mean by rapid fire is to show them love in various ways all within a few hours of each other.  Like a phone call in the early morning, an encouraging text at lunch, then, invite them for dinner in the evening accompanied by a thoughtful gift.  At dinner find ways to affirm their gifts and abilities and encourage them to use their gifts in creative ways.  After several days of very strategic rapid fire the enemy will be overcome and the family member you thought you had lost will be won.

Something Needs to Change?

“Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts and see if there is any wicked way within me…” Psalms 139:23-24

When we pray this prayer it is usually when we know something needs to change at the heart level.  No real change occurs outside of trust and relationship, for these are two of the most important functions of the heart.  In a relationship with another, you must be willing to change and trust that God will work in the other person by showing them what needs to change.

The rules that govern the heart are established early in life. Like hinges and locks on a door need to be changed because they get rusty and affect how the door opens and closes, the rules that open and close the doors of the heart need to be looked at and changed so the door of the heart can open freely again.

Is there someone who you have shut out by closing the door of your heart?  Is the Lord pressing upon you to change your attitude by opening the door and fellowshipping with them again?  Or, is there someone in your life who you will crack the door open just enough to say, “What do you want?” It may be the time to open the door and say, “I am sorry I was wrong for locking you out of my life, please come over and let’s talk things out.” Change is possible when your turn to God and ask Him to create within you a pure and clean heart, removing all the rust of resentment so the door of your heart will open to those you love.

“Search me Lord, and know my heart,”

Are We Hurting Our Children?

“Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet… and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse”  (Malachi 4:5-6).

kids are watching us

A model is a smaller version of an item.  A model car is a smaller version of a real car.

Our children are models, a smaller version of us.  They are like mirrors that we can look into and see ourselves.  We demonstrate certain behaviors in front of our children and they act out what they have learned.  Therefore, our children typically become like us.  If we are not careful in how we live our lives, that can be a very painful reality.

Certainly, most parents work hard to raise their children in a way that will honor God.  We certainly hope their lives are filled with joy and happiness, and that as they grow older they will find meaning and purpose in the Lord.

As we are raising and giving discipline to our children, we expect them to listen.  We want them to do what we say.

They may follow our instructions, but unfortunately, they may also do as we do.  They watch us and follow our example.  If there is inconsistencies between our instructions and our actions they will be confused.  Are you showing the example of Christ?

Read Malachi 4:5-6 again.  Look at your children, and then look at who you have modeled your life after.  Ask the Lord for help to make a change.

“Like a sparrow in her flying and a swallow in her wandering, so the curse without a cause cannot come” (Proverbs 26:2).

For a closer look at living in the image of Christ (and raising children) you might find our teaching on Burden Bearing to be interesting.