1 Thessalonians 2:3
For our appeal to you was from a place of union, a place of seamless oneness where distance or any definition of distraction of subtle hidden agendas were eliminated! (Mirror Bible)
Are you walking in offense?
Are there times when you are offended because someone said something to you or responded in a way you were not expecting? If they are your fellow laborer in Christ, you must know them, by the Spirit, and you have to stop and think about them, in the Spirit. Remember, it could be you who has offended someone.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. (NIV)
What prompted the response or the statement? How long have you known them (one is often not offended by a stranger)? Did the statement seem odd or out of place for them? Maybe they were trying to speak words for exhortation so you would embrace the gospel in a deeper way. Maybe they were not trying to force you to their side or judge you. Maybe they just wanted you to evaluate what you were doing or saying; wanting you to make sure it was holy and pure. The first step you take should be to evaluate your own heart.
Titus 1:15 Listen: to those who are pure, all things are pure. But to those who are tainted, stained, and unbelieving, nothing is pure because their minds and their consciences are polluted. (The Voice)
Having a pure heart does not negate your discernment. Maybe they missed it and said something hurtful. If this is a person God has shown you to love Him and live according to His good will and pleasure; take into consideration their heart. If not, remind yourself you are salt and light. How you react to any statement or in any situation has everything to do with who you are and nothing to do with who they are.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. 32 But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love. (The Passion Translation)
It does not matter whether you believe they were trying to hurt or deceive you or not. You have to come to a place where you can render the same grace and mercy to others God gives to you. These encounters help you define your occupational specialty. This is next level warfare. Ask the Father to thicken your skin and strengthen your heart.
Please agree with me as I pray:
Father, in the name of Jesus I thank You for compelling me to stop walking in offense. Your word says offenses will come, but You will deal with the offender. Thank You for helping me see I could be the one who has offended someone without knowing it. I repent for walking in piety and judgement. I thank You for requiring me to understand “to the pure, all things are pure”. I control how I respond. It doesn’t matter what someone may think about my statements and/or actions. It also doesn’t matter what I may think about someone else’s statements and/or actions. It only matters what You think about everyone’s statements and actions. Because I name the name of Christ, I have the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead living inside me. That gives me power and purity. The truth is, I could have misinterpreted what was said and I could have been misunderstood. You require me to examine myself and apply what needs to be applied and leave the rest alone. Thank You. Father God, help me stop being so touchy and emotional. I don’t want to talk about my feelings being hurt all the time. Help me realize You can use every word spoken, and every deed done to make me better if I allow it. I thank You in advance and give You glory…