Bible answers to Your Questions by our Minister
In James 3:2, the Bible tells us that "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body."
Many things offend. And they hurt. Some cut deep. While they offend, we should not take offense.
It is so easy to justify by saying, "Lord, I give up my time for your work... and this is how your people are treating me?? I am so discouraged, I am thinking of quitting."
Alas, too many of us fall into this trap of the devil. This is the same voice as the one that asked Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. So many good Christian workers have given up participating in the church’s activities and offering service because of this - you know who they are. Even preachers who should know better do the same.
For me, to do the Lord’s work is blessing enough. I came into the ministry without the promise of the next month’s pay, without CPF for more than a decade... and I’d gladly do it again just to have the privilege of working in partnership with God.
All these years, the going has been hard (it is never be easy swimming against the tide) but I am blessed with wonderful people who uphold my hands. Often people will be sly, offensive or downright mean. It is not easy to be a doormat. If I took offense every time this happens, guess how long I could take it? Not very long, like most others. I would keep writing off people who offended me until I had no one to work with!
So in doing the Lord’s work, the key is found in Acts 5:41 in the example of the apostles that "They therefore departed from the presence of the council,
rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name."
Just do the Lord’s work in partnership with God. Forget offenses like we should forget praises (in the spirit of "Father forgive them for they know not what they do"). Take it to the Lord in prayer, and go away doing better and treating this person better than before. When we do not take offense, giving the other brother in question the benefit of doubt and continue to serve the Lord and love the brotherhood:
a) We will keep serving the Lord no matter what
b) God will be working with us in partnership and will renew us
c) Others who intentionally or unintentionally try to offend us will still be working with us, and by our good conduct we may win them to serve the Lord more lovingly.
Let us continue serving the Lord without taking or giving offense and never give up on Him, the church or one another.