I spent a lot of my youth being offended about something. Much of my early married years I walked in a cloud of hurt feelings and resentment. Thanks to a faithful pastor who wasn’t afraid to speak the truth to me, I began to understand the underlying reason why I was so easily offended.
The present day church is plagued by many problems…as many problems as individual people can have. Of all the sin issues that tarnish and hurt the church today, I believe that being easily offended is one of the most dangerous.
Often people have changed churches frequently looking for a soft spot where there will be nothing hurtful or offensive. Sometimes people leave church altogether because someone hurt them with their words or their actions. Churches are split, pastors are discouraged, marriages are dulled, children are spiritually stunted because people like you and me are too easily offended.
It is clear in scripture that one of the purposes of the church and Christian fellowship is to sharpen the believer. Sometimes this sharpening is painful. Always, as in sharpening a physical knife, material has to be removed in order for the sharpening to occur. We all want to attain spiritual sharpness but few of us want to hold still while the sharpening stone does its work.
What I am trying to teach myself to remember is that the Lord sends abrasive situations ino my life. The brothers or sisters who just seem to be difficult and in need of change may be just the right grit to put the edge back on my life where I have allowed it to go dull. Whoever it is that I most want God to change is probably the person that the Lord has sent my way to sharpen me up.
Why is it that we are so easily offended by people and processes that God intends for our good? There is a simple scriptural reason. We do not love God’s law enough.
165Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
God has given us his law, not just the 10 commandments or the old testament, but the entire Word of God. If we love the boundaries the Lord has given us for our thoughts and behaviors as we should, we will be hard to offend when God uses another person in the church, in the pulpit, or in our family to bring correction or exhortation into our lives. People have left churches over carpet color, over what someone said about their child, because the pastor preached about something they were sensitive about or because their church had standards of behavior or dress that they were unwilling to submit to. What if these people loved God’s law enough to seek it out and find a scriptural solution to their hurt feelings or resistance to change? What if I love his Law enough? I hope to find out.
God bless you!