Originally published Wednesday, 01 December 2021.
Why Your Offense Matters?
I started this article on offense a few months ago, and it has sat on my computer since that time. I was so proud of myself that I had accomplished such vast spiritual maturity that I could write on this topic in the past tense versus the present. I would likely have a hard time even remembering when someone may have offended me in the past (pause while I pat myself on the back). Much to my dismay, it took about thirty seconds to begin writing incident after incident where someone had offended me and even less time for my blood to boil about how dare they do or say such things to me!
The reality of it is many of us deal with offense on a regular basis, but we simply just do not go around saying that we are offended. As Christians, we wrap it in cute little Christianese of pretense and pretend that we are far too mature for such things. We put on our pretty Christian mask and pretend we have forgiven the offender and the offense when we have not. We become super spiritual and say we are extending grace when we do not. To be honest, we secretly walk away from far too many conversations hurt and offended by what the other person just said. The secret offenses, bitterness, and anger that we carry are often at the forefront of our conversations. We are offended because we have been hurt, broken, scarred, or disappointed. We are bitter because the individual did not care that they hurt us; our feelings were of no importance.
We must understand and realize exactly what is going on. Our hurt, offense, bitterness, and unforgiveness does absolutely nothing to their lives. It does not hurt your ex-mother-in-law, ex-husband, or your ex-boyfriend to be angry and offended with them. It does not hurt your pastor, mother, co-worker, or the cashier at the grocery store. In fact, they probably have forgotten whatever act they committed, said, or even why they offend you.
Our offense is a lure Satan uses to keep us bound spiritually. We are so focused on the business of the offense rather than our Father's business. When we are offended and do not immediately release it to the Lord, we carry it close to us, nurse it, and give it a room in our hearts so we can revisit it at our leisure.
What did Christ die for? He died for our salvation and the joyful opportunity of spending eternity with Him. Wait! He did not stop there. He died for our freedom. He said on the cross, "It is finished." What was finished? Everything! The battle is over. He won the victory. We are not striving to earn the victory or pretending to be good enough to receive God’s marvelous grace. It is already ours when we accept His Son, Jesus Christ. He paid for our freedom from our past, forgiveness from our sins, and in return, He has given us abundant life. Jesus did not come for us to just suffer through each day with no hope, bound in bitterness and offended by our Christian brothers and sisters. He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.
Satan is a master manipulator and will try to convince us that the cashier at the grocery store meant to hurt our feelings, our co-worker crafted a plot against us just to anger us, or that our mother-in-law has had it out for us from the beginning. He will camp out in our minds, reminding us over and over how horrible the offense was and how we should never, ever consider the possibility of letting it go. I find it amazing that we sometimes cannot remember where we parked our car after a fifteen-minute grocery shopping trip, but we can remember fifteen years ago the exact conversation where someone offended us! Deception and manipulation at their best!
Why does your offense matter anyway? It matters because our ability to forgive demonstrates to others the type of hope that only Christ offers. Your offense, bitterness, and unforgiveness only hold you hostage. It has a distinctive odor; it is what you wake up smelling like in the morning and the aroma you give off to others as they pass you by. It does not depict the true picture of who Christ is in our lives, and that is a life and death situation.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Ephesians 4:31
You may be thinking, “You have no idea what I've been through!” You would be absolutely correct. I do not, but God does. His grace is sufficient for our failures and for those times when others fail us. Christ's payment on the cross was enough to mend our hearts, the anger, and offense that may be looming there. There is great freedom when we simply lay it down.
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Kyle Broad
Jennifer Maggio is a national voice for single mothers and hurting women. Her personal story has been featured in hundreds of media venues including The New York Times, Daystar Television, The 700 Club, and many others. She is CEO/Founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries, a national nonprofit that works with churches to develop single mom’s programs and currently serves more than 1,500 churches.
The Life of a Single Mom has served 406,000 single mothers over the last decade and counting. Maggio is an author of several books, including The Church and the Single Mom. For more information, visit www.jennifermaggio.com.
Jennifer Maggio is a mom to three, wife to Jeff, and founder of the national nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is author to four books, including The Church and the Single Mom. She was named one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in America by Dr. John Maxwell in 2017 and 2015 and has appeared in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, Family Talk Radio with Dr. James Dobson, Joni and Friends, and many others.