7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
- 1 a obsolete : an act of stumbling b archaic : a cause or occasion of sin :
- 2 : something that outrages the moral or physical senses
- 3 a : the act of attacking : assault b : the means or method of attacking or of attempting to score c : the offensive team or members of a team playing offensive positions d : scoring ability
- 4 a : the act of displeasing or affronting b : the state of being insulted or morally outraged <takes offense at the slightest criticism>
- 5 a : a breach of a moral or social code : sin, misdeed b : an infraction of law; especially : misdemeanor
Whether intentional or unintentional, offenses do just as the definitions describe, they are a snare, a trap and stumbling block to a person’s progress – an attack. In sports, war or any competition, in context of the biblical and contemporary definition, I define OFFENSE as…AN AGGRESSIVE ATTACK IN PURSUIT OF A GOAL.
OFFENSES are the devil’s offense. He uses them to make you stumble, distracted, weaker, off-course and provoke you to respond negatively with your emotions.
We must be careful even when we have a right to be offended. Even when someone intentionally tries to offend you…even when you have a right to be upset, you must be careful that it doesn’t make you lose focus. Offenses are either make you retaliate (defense) or quit. They either make you give up or seek revenge, both of which God has commanded that we don’t do.
We are not to give up (2 Chronicles 15:7, Isaiah 41:10, Galatians 6:9, Joshua 1:9).
We are not to seek revenge (Romans 12:19, 1 Peter 3:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:15, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 2 Corinthians 13:11).
Offenses all too often provoke a negative emotional response: anger, rage, sadness, stress, jealousy, envy, confusion, disgust discouragement, shame, fear, discontent etc…etc…etc…
These negative emotions usually lead to negative moods, attitudes and behavior.
So, even when they offend or insult your integrity, family, friends, intentions, faith, religion, accomplishments, education, team, profession, heritage, neighborhood, history, background, church, beliefs, leaders….whatever. Stop and think of the many various ways you’ve been offended throughout your life. How did you react?
Think of how, even political campaigns, which should display integrity result to offending….sometimes the OFFENSE is to OFFEND.
Think of how in sports it’s common to TRASH talk….the OFFENSE is to OFFEND.
Think of how many times coaches insult or degrade athletes in an effort to get them to do better…the OFFENSE is to OFFEND.
Think of how many times law enforcement officers resort to ‘getting on their level’ in language and behavior to get through…the OFFENSE is to OFFEND.
Think of how Satan comes to STEAL, KILL and DESTROY (John 10:10) . How he goes around as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8)…his OFFENSE is to OFFEND.
Even Jesus offended the Pharisees by His sharp rebukes (Matthew 15:12, Matthew 23). Jesus’ intent however was Holy. The Pharisees were offended because their hearts were dark and Jesus’ light offended them. Jesus was offending the devil. We must be careful when we find ourselves offended at the truth…offended at light. When the right thing offends us, that should lead to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-12).
Just as Jesus said, offenses are sure to come. Don’t let them make you trip, fall, stumble, throw you off course, make you lose focus or quit. Don’t let them provoke you to a negative response or bad moods, attitudes and behavior.
Let us make sure that we are not maliciously offending others…
And, if we do offend, let us make sure we’re not doing so maliciously
Jesus offended the Pharisees.
The fault comes where it comes from in the heart