Have you ever taken offence?
Maybe about something someone said or did that you didn’t like?
Maybe you hardened yourself and became angry toward them…?
Ever stewed it over in your brain, turning it round,
and around and around and around,
Until it expands a little,
Distorts itself slightly,
And makes itself at home in your thinking?
Has it ever kept you awake at night?
Granted you a little more bitterness than you once had?
I know I have!
I’ve sure taken offence…
And not just once either.
(I know, so surprising right?! 😉 )
Sometimes I’ve taken offence at the littlest things, said or done unintentionally
that I have perceived to be said/done against me.
Sometimes with “justification”, against intentional wrongs people have done towards me.
It’s hard not to at times like those especially isn’t it?
When you have ‘good reason’…
Yes, oh so hard not to harden your heart
It doesn’t really matter which one of the above caused the offence though;
Even if the wrong was done intentionally, it still doesn’t make taking offence right.
Or in any way good for us.
Last term my church did a study in our study groups called “The bait of Satan” by John Bevere.
It’s a bit of a sharp title isn’t it.
I know – I must admit that the title took me back a bit at first, and didn’t immediately make itself obvious about what it was about. So I was very sceptical that it would be for me…
So if that’s also you then allow me to share with you what it’s about;
Because it turned out that it couldn’t be more relevant to me!
The series is all about taking offence.
The offence itself being “the bait of Satan”.
John Bevere goes on to explain that offence is a trap
Offence pulls us away from other people
Saps our love for them
Thereby sapping our love for God.
Because God is love.
But despite whether you believe in God or not, I’m sure that you will be able to agree with me that
Nothing good (or holy) can come from an offence!
I needed that little reminder again tonight.
I’m not going to lie – it is a lesson I need to learn over
Because I write this to you at 3.30 am after lying here stewing in bed for the last hour,
Churning over an offence.
Playing it around and around in my angry little head
And making it bigger than it really was…
Letting it stop me from oh so precious sleep!
Then I prayed and instantly it lifted.
God directed me straight to a verse in the Bible which set me free from my churning
and humbled me immediately.
And then he also made me realise that I had taken offence!
I had fallen into the trap,
The trap of which nothing good can come!
So I felt compelled to share this with you today.
Not the short, light, airy post I had planned for today – I guess I will have to reschedule that now until next week. (the suspense will kill you I’m sure 😉 );
But I felt that this message, despite it’s heaviness, could not be more relevant to the new year;
Since it is the start of a fresh chapter in the book of lives and all;
The chance to move forward renewed and unabated.
(Or should that be una’baited’. – Yes, I’m going to be that corny 😉 )
So I ask you this;
Are you also holding onto an offence?
Because if so then please, do me a favour and don’t let it eat you alive like mine almost did.
The only person that will suffer will be you.
My prayer to you in this New Year is that you can be set free from past offence,
That you can make peace with your ‘offenders’ and
That you are able to start the year off with a pure, clean heart.
Then I have no doubt that 2012 will be your year!
Happy New Year Everyone 🙂
(And sorry that it was a little heavy today – but I felt that it needed to be said today of all days…)
PS you can watch all of the videos of “The bait of Satan” free on you tube if you would like to. They are well worth watching!