by Tammy Phillips
October 3, 2021
“Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come…” (Luke 17:1 NKJV)
“This [being] so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” (Acts 24:16 NKJV)
Plain and simple.
Jesus gives. Satan steals.
Jesus wants us to live. Satan was us to die.
Jesus wants to build us up. Satan wants to destroy.
Jesus wants us to unite. Satan wants us to divide.
Jesus wants us to forgive. Satan wants us offended.
Jesus wants us to let go. Satan wants us to hold on.
Jesus wants us to walk by faith. Satan wants us to stumble in fear.
Jesus wants to hold us up. Satan wants to trip us up.
Jesus wants us to stand. Satan wants us to fall.
Steps into the trap of offense:
- Failed expectation
Steps to avoid the trap of offense:
- Failed expectation
- Let Go
This is so much easier said than done! We have to have a plan in place because Jesus said that it is impossible that offense would not come. However, offense comes, we have to know what we are going to do. What does the word tell us to do in Acts 24:16?
We are to strive; exercise; train; take pains…
Take pains to avoid pain. Isn’t that the God way of doing things? It’s going to be painful either way. Are we going to stand and deal with offense the right way, the God way or will we painfully fall into Satan’s trap of offense? It is our choice. Did you know that?
The Greek word for strive is also translated: to form by art; to work up raw material with skill.
As an artist by gift, this speaks to me. Artists work painstakingly to create the piece that God has inspired in the drawing board of their mind. Think about the time, effort, blood, sweat and tears that it took Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel (https://m.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani-mobile/en/collezioni/musei/cappella-sistina/storia-cappella-sistina.html) or Leonardo DaVinci to paint the Last Supper? Do we put that much effort into not taking offense? It is the example that Paul paints for us in Acts.
I enCOURAGE you to exercise, stand, and not fall into the trap of offense. Take the pains to avoid the pain! Notice the word pain makes up eighty percent of the word paint. Artfully take the steps to paint yourself right out of offense into the beautiful picture of love.