|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Great thoughts from great Christians”
Our Bible verse for today: “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:10-13 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “We have to stop being so easily offended”
In 1994 John Bevere published a book which has since become something of a modern-day Christian classic. The title is “The Bait of Satan”. John’s premise is that Satan uses offense to draw people away from God and to entice them into anger, outrage, division, and conflict. The more easily you are offended, the more Satan can use you to accomplish his purposes. That being the case, offense can be a marker or an indicator regarding the depth of a person’s spiritual maturity. The more easily a person is offended, the less spiritually mature they tend to be.
This is Biblical. The New Testament teaches us to be thick-skinned and to resist the temptation to be offended. 1 Corinthians 6:7 urges us to be willing to simply accept a wrong rather than being offended and responding in-kind. 1 Corinthians 13:5 teaches that it is unloving and selfish to be easily angered. 2 Timothy 2:24 calls us to be patient with difficult people. And on and on the teaching goes. Christians are not to be easily offended, especially with one another. Offense is a tool Satan uses to divide us and to cause conflict. John Bevere writes, “When you resist the temptation to be offended, God brings great victory.” And all God’s people said, “Amen!”
We live in a time when everyone seems to be offended about something. Some people more than others but we now live in an era of outrage and offense. It seems to me that the politically-correct far-left is especially hypersensitive and ready to be offended by every little thing. But more and more, the conservative right seems to be perpetually offended and outraged too. Also, in my opinion, Christians are displaying a greater degree of offense and outrage than I can remember – and not only towards the unsaved world, but towards each other as well. There’s a lot of in-fighting in the Christian world today.
Granted, there are some things that should offend us and there are some things we should be outraged about. But outrage and offense as a dominant state of mind is a bad thing. It’s a tool of Satan which he uses to create conflict and division. And, as Jesus noted in Matthew 24:10-13, the closer we get to the end of the age the more widespread offense and outrage will become. Matthew 24 is all about the end of the age and how bad things will get as Satan’s influence in the world continues to grow. Widespread offense and outrage are two of those markers.
As the followers of Jesus, we should be the ones who are calm, cool-headed, and thick-skinned. Let us not be counted among those who are thin-skinned and easily offended about every little thing.
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