YEAR OF UNLIMITED GREATNESS
STUDY 13: MANAGING OFFENCE TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER (II)
TEXT: Luke 17: 1 – 4.
Offences are like arrows targeted at the one that takes offence. It kills, destroys and steals from the heart. They are so perilous that Paul warned us to take heed in order not to become instrumental to offences (Rom 6: 13).
There are two possible ways one can be involved in offences: it is either by giving offence or by taking it. Christians are neither to give offence nor take it. The word of God has provided us with ways out of it.
Give No Offence –Lev 19: 14.
Concerning this Paul writes (in II Cor. 6: 3), “Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed.” To give offence means to be an instrument of stumbling block to others. As Christians, we need to be very careful about what people see us do lest we become a stumbling block to others especially the weak (I Cor. 8: 9, 12; Rom 14: 15, 21).
- Christian parents are to be careful not to expose the children to unnecessary temptation/stumbling block –Eph 6: 4
- Christian leaders (or church workers) are to watch their ways (lifestyles) because of the people we are to lead (Act 20: 28).
Take No Offence –Lev 19: 16 – 18; Luke 17: 3 – 4.
Taking no offence is what is expected of us when we are offended. This does not mean that we cannot be hurt, but that we should control it, because when you take offence, you hold people down in your heart and you are not moving yourself. (Eph 4: 26, 31; Jam 1: 19; Psalm 37: 8). Below are some biblical ways of turning off Offence whenever it comes:
- Love for the word of God. This speaks volume of living by the word of God –Psalm 119: 165
- Forgiveness: rather than nursing our grievance or gossiping it around, the Bible admonishes us to express our grievances to the people concerned and resolve it in the spirit of love and forgiveness –Matthew 18: 15 – 17.
- Deal Ruthlessly with All Tendencies to Take Offence: cut off any habits, relationships, hobbies or any association that could give opportunity for offence –no matter how important they are to us –Matt 5: 29.
- Perseverance: the words of Jesus concerning forgiving ‘seven times in a day’ is not meant to condone habitual sin but to maintain the attitude that is always ready to forgive (Luke 17: 4)
Question: In what ways are we expected to handle offence?