Here are the links for the former posts connected with this series:
Flexible Saints Make it Through The Storms
Innovative Saints Thrive
F.I.R.M. in God - Robust Christians
Laura hit a favorite of mine: standing strong in Christ we are not easily offended. Jesus spoke of this often and He lived this out perfectly. Hear Him: "Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another . . . and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matt. 24:10-12 KJV).
Years ago I ran across a wonderful article by Francis Frangipane (http://www.frangipane.org/) "Being Unoffendable." Suddenly many of my relationship issue challenges were clear as I looked to Jesus Christ as my model. Looking to these verses in Matthew I see Jesus calling me to walk out what many people will refuse to embrace. “Many” will be offended; the love of “many” will grow cold.
Once I began to live out "being unoffendable," His love filled me for others without ceasing. Laura and I had challenging childhoods and God used that to connect us for our strong relationship. Out of childhood pain can arise "touchiness" or trigger points when becoming offended reminds adults of old wounds. If we let an offense fester in our hearts, it causes serious spiritual consequences.
In the above verse Jesus named three dangerous results:
- cold love
When we are offended with someone, even someone we care for, we must go to them and get things clear and clean. Otherwise, we begin to betray that relationship, talking maliciously behind their back to others, exposing their weaknesses and sins.
It is usually the little things that get us into big trouble. In my old "baby Christian" days I was bothered often by the personality of someone in authority and in short time I would get offended. Other times a friend or family member failed to live up to my expectations, and I would feel offended.
For this first sign of maturity: Not Being Easily Offendable, what do you say?