NEVER A SHORTAGE OF SCANDALS

Jesus said, “It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!”

Sometimes I think we might need to change the name of this country to “The United States of the Offended.” No matter what you do , what you wear, how you speak, the color of your skin, etc. there always seems to be someone to get offended by it. Of course the rational person simply says to himself, “Life isn’t fair, and it doesn’t ask my permission on most things, so I guess I’ll take it on the chin and move on.” On the other hand, for those who think the universe circles them and everything is supposed to go their way it’s another story. They’re the ones who walk around with a chip on their shoulder expecting everyone to live only to please them. That reminds me of a quote I once heard from Mark Twain. He said, “The world doesn’t owe me anything it was here first.”

Jesus, being the practical guy He was, never sugar-coated anything. He always said, “The world’s going to hate you because it hated me first.” Then He would say something like “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

As I thought about being offended of course I had to go a bit deeper and look into the definition. According to the Strong’s Concordance the word “offence” in Greek is the word “skandalizo” and this of course is where we get our English word “scandalize.” It means “to entrap, i.e. trip up (fig. to stumble or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure). If you look a bit further into the root of the word the picture of a trap using a bent over sapling is given, like to catch a rabbit or other small game. In other words being offended is Satan’s way to entrap us. If he can get us offended you can be sure bondage is coming.

After Jesus warned about offences which were sure to come, He went on to tell His disciples “If your brother sins against you seven (seventy) times a day, and returns to you seven (seventy) times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Let’s think about this for a minute. The disciples had seen some pretty amazing things being with Jesus. They watched Him cast out demons and heal people but it wasn’t until He told them to forgive that they responded by saying, “Increase our faith!” So it seems forgiving others takes more faith than casting out a demon or healing people. What is it about forgiveness that is so difficult?

Of all the things in life we have to confront forgiveness has to be one of the biggest. The Apostle Paul told us in Ephesians “do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity (foothold).” So, Paul understood having anger and unforgiveness is an open door for the enemy to move in. It’s his favorite lure and once we take it we’re in trouble. Proverbs 18:19 says, “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”

So what do we do then? According to Hebrews 12:15 we “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” In other words we always live towards others with grace because of the grace God has shown us. When someone is doing something that is offensive we see them as God sees us. Or maybe you don’t think you might be a bit offensive to Him at times. Thank God He deals with us with mercy and grace. What do you say we take Paul’s advice and “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

Louie

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “NEVER A SHORTAGE OF SCANDALS

  1. I know we are dead to sin and our new identity is in Christ. So when sin comes knocking we can say the old man who previously lived here died. A new man lives here now and he doesn’t do sin. Louie, I have heard your testimony at the May conference at Sylvia’s about your drug addiction. This is my question. Say a person accepts Christ as Savior, but their body is addicted to drugs. When sin comes knocking and their body is going through, I guess you say, withdrawal, is it possible not to yield to that temptation?

    • Arnita, thank you so much for your comment and question. A short answer would be the instruction as found in Galatians 5 “Walk after the Spirit and you won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” On a personal level let me just say, I totally understand what it means to have an addiction that dominates you in the body. My own story is that I went through a methadone program which is designed to help you deal with withdrawal symptoms in order to proceed with recovery. For me it did just that and for a year and a half I took methadone everyday. However, after being born-again it only took a couple weeks for me to come to the place where I understood the Holy Spirit could take over in place of the methadone. I still went through a bit of withdrawal symptoms but I now had Jesus Christ as my keeper! As far as addiction goes at the root of it it isn’t any different than many other things. For instance, what does one do when they have a craving for sweets? What about lust for sex with someone outside of marriage? The list goes on and on but when it comes right down to it the question is “Who is your keeper?” Either we are relying on ourselves and some so-called “will power” or we realize apart from Christ we really can do nothing. I hope this is helpful but in the end suffering is the only road to glory and like Jesus said, “There aren’t many who find it.”

      thanks again,
      Louie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s