Nowadays it seems like everybody is offended at someone else. And offended people can also get very loud and accusatory! So how should you respond to someone who’s been offended?
Welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me … Come on in and have a seat with me and I’ll try not to offend you. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
Some people get offended by what they think you believe. Others get offended by clothes you wear, places you will or will not go, or even the people you are willing to befriend.
You and I are never going to get through life without someone being offended by something we do. Facebook just told me that I’ve offended their Community Standards and has de-platformed my page. Temporarily, I hope.
Seriously, if people were offended by Jesus Christ (the perfect and sinless Son of God) — you and I are not going to fare any better. SOMEONE will be offended by SOMETHING you and I do. So the questions that raises are simple ones. How do we deal with people whom we have offended? How do we deal with people who are offending us?
Let’s first deal with the issue of others offending us.
We are to be “mission driven” in our relationships. The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 4 to “Conduct yourself with wisdom toward outsiders making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace seasoned, as it were, with salt so that you may know how you should respond to each person”
The first focus is on ME. I am to “conduct myself.” The only person I can control is me. My mouth, my actions, my thoughts.
And I don’t get to be offended. My Lord has instructed me that I am to forgive offenses, not hold onto them. He makes it plain in the only COMMANDMENT that He ever gave us.
He said, “I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.” Christ’s only commandment to us is that we love one another the way He loved us—deliberately, intentionally, sacrificially, and with a determination to forgive and re-engage.
Today’s verse says YOU MUST FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER AS THE LORD HAS FORGIVEN YOU.
He says that I MUST FORGIVE. I’m not offered the choice, not if HE is the Lord.
So dealing with relationship issues begins in my head and heart. I must conduct myself with wisdom if I am to accomplish the mission delivered to me.
My mission is to win the lost to Christ, to disciple them in His word, and to help them become effective ambassadors for the King. Their mission will be exactly the same. That mission will guide my actions and words, so that I can make the most of every opportunity.
Grace is the key to opening doors, strengthening relationships and winning hearts to Christ. Grace is what won you to Jesus, if you’ve given your life to Him. Not legal demands nor a list of rules; but grace extended and forgiveness offered. New life, not new rules.
As for others being offended by us, there is a simple solution.
Though the message of the cross will be an offense to many, we as the messengers cannot be offensive. Expect the message of the cross to offend people. The cross tells them they are not good enough, and can never become good enough on their own merit. Some people will not react well to that message, even though they know better than anyone how truly imperfect and sinful they are.
We must be prepared to face persecution, anger, resentment and a host of other reactions when we preach the message of the cross. Yet as we do, we must make every effort to make certain WE are not the offense.
May you find grace and wisdom today in your dealings with others.
But let your light shine.