I want to talk to you today about Living Unoffended. We all have opportunities to get upset and be offended: co-worker is rude, someone cut you off in traffic, a friend leaves you out. It's easy to get sour, try to pay people back, hold a grudge. We don't realize: that's poisoning our life. That offense is like a toxin. It's not affecting the other person, it's souring our joy. If you hold on to that offense, it's not only going to weigh you down, it's going to keep you from reaching forward.
We need to see the offense as a toxin, as a poison. You're dealing with something very powerful. The offense is like a seed: if you keep dwelling on it, letting it upset you, it's going to take root and grow. It will begin to contaminate your life, cause you to live sour.
Luke 17 Jesus was talking to his disciples, getting them prepared to go out and do great things. He was saying, "As you go through life there will be rude people, grouchy co-workers, family members that get on your nerves. It's impossible to not have offenses". He gave them this somber news, then he gave them the solution. He said, "If your brother trespasses against you seven times a day, forgive them".
You have to deal with offenses quickly. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to release. If you dwell on it for a day, think about it for a month, it'll get bigger, become more hurtful. You'll be sour, short with people, irritable, not enjoy your family. That could have all been avoided if you would have forgiven quickly.
The enemy loves to use offenses as distractions, he loved to get you upset, trying to prove to people who you are, trying to pay them back. Even if you accomplish all that, you're no further down the road. You've just wasted valuable time and energy fighting a battle that doesn't matter. If that battle is not between you and your destiny, you're not supposed to engage.
Is your vision being limited because you're not dealing with offenses properly? Is the favor on your life, the blessings, the creativity not showing up like it should because you're holding on to hurt, living offended, bitter? The good news is: you will see things clear up if you'll start releasing, start forgiving quickly, not letting these toxins build up.
If you hold on to offenses, they'll begin to change who you are. But if you'll be a David, walk away from the Eliabs, walk away from the insults, the disrespect, then God can trust you with more. We have to pass these tests: when offense comes, that's an opportunity to show God what you're made of.
When you're offended, you never win by returning the offense. All that's doing is poisoning your spirit. You overcome offenses by letting them go, not responding, not dwelling on it, not letting that poison in.
The Psalmist said in Psalm 73:21, "I didn't realize how bitter I had become". I wonder if we're carrying around offenses, anger, resentment and we don't even realize it. It's poison in our spirit, keeping us from our dreams, limiting our creativity. What's causing you to be that way? You're supposed to be free and positive and joyful.