Do Not Be Offended
I have taught my children from their youth up that a person cannot be offended unless they are looking to be offended. By that I am saying no one can offend me unless I let them. That’s right. I have to let people offend me before I can be offended. For a person to be offended by another person they must place a high value on the words of the other person. I, myself, could care less about the opinions of those who have a different belief system than I have. Those critical hurtful remarks do not come from God. They come from the evil one no matter whose mouth they come out of. And it doesn’t matter to me what Satan’s mouthpiece may think of me; I am not going to give him permission to offend me and get into an argument with him about something that isn’t important to me. There are more important things going on in my life then for me to get upset because someone may have an opinion that does not agree with my beliefs. If they disagree with me and what I believe, so be it; I am not going to bow to the pressure they are applying to me to change what I believe.
Not long ago I wrote an article I titled, “Do I Go To The Doctor, Or Stay At Home.” I had a gall bladder attack that lasted for two weeks and I was in severe pain. You would be surprised at the number of people who told me to go and have my gall bladder removed and my problem would be taken care of. I said to them, “If I have already been healed of this gall bladder problem by the stripes that Jesus bore on His back for my healing; why do I need to see a doctor to get healed?” (1 Peter 2:24) They would look at poor dumb Don sitting there in pain looking like death warmed over, shake their head and go away. I have learned that the world deals with problems they don’t have a cure for by cutting it out of the body, locking it away out of sight, or by killing it. Case in point; the lady taken in adultery and brought before Jesus by the Pharisee’s. The religious Pharisees wanted to stone her to death to get rid of the problem. Jesus wanted to restore her and told her what she must do. Her life was changed that day and she became a devoted follower of Jesus. In the minds of the religious Pharisees she would always be an adulteress. And if she had believed them… that’s what she would have become. But she chose to put that part of her life behind her, believe Jesus; and her life was changed forever. The lady with the issue of blood who spent all of her money on doctors trying to get well, but only grew worse. Jesus healed her and she went home a new woman. The demoniac who lived in the tombs was stark raving mad and was unfit to live in society, Jesus knew inside this man lived a person worth saving. He delivered him from his demons and his life was changed forever. Do you get the point? The world does not have answers to our problems. Their answer is always to cut on us, lock us away, or kill us to remove the problems. The problem is they can’t cut deep enough to get to the root of the problem, nor can they put us behind walls thick enough to remove the fact we’re made in the image of God, and even if they kill us they can’t remove the fact we’re a living being worth saving in the eyes of the Lord. We are all worth saving, and Jesus alone has the answer to everyone of our problems. That why I believed the Word of God when the pain was so sharp in my stomach, back and chest, stayed home, fought the pain, and am now free of my gall bladder attacks. I offended people because I chose to believe God that told me I was already healed and didn’t do what they thought I should have done. But if I had listened to them, I would be short a gall bladder right now.
In 1 Timothy 4:12, the Apostle Paul said to his young protege Timothy, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct; in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” In essence the Apostle Paul was telling Timothy, “Do not let anyone tell you that because of your young age you are not qualified for the position I have placed you in. Do what is right. Be an example before them in all things, and the life you live before them will grow their respect for you.” I guess Timothy listened closely to the instructions he received from the Apostle Paul because the churches he was the pastor of in Ephesus lasted into the third or fourth century AD.
The only thing that should really matters in life is our trust in God’s Word and being a living example for men to follow. It’s sad though that many people place a higher value on the opinions of other people then they do on what God says about them. Stop giving people your permission to offend you. Their offensive remarks are not meant to help you. They are by design meant to harm you. To steal your confidence in God. However, they cannot offend you unless you permit them to do so. Believe you are what God says you are; and you will never get offended, but, if you do not know what God says about you, you will place a high value on the opinions of other people, and when you accept the world’s opinion of you as being true… you lose.