A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
I have certainly had to deal with people who fulfill this description of the offended and once again the scripture is absolutely correct. People who have been offended are almost impossible to win. In many of cases they have justification for their hurt and reason to avoid and be cautious. I am not denying them their feelings.
This is the very reason that we who are Christian need to season our words with salt and to speak as the oracle of God and with love.
Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
As we can see here there is a much higher road to be taken but it will require a greater humility. Humility comes much easier when the cause is of such great price.
Now I will try to convey the purpose of this writing. I am not writing to those who will offend as much as to those who may be offended. We have probably all been in that conversation when a statement is made followed by the words, No offence. And the recipient usually responds, None taken!
Offence much like unforgiveness is detrimental to the one who carries its burden. Rarely does the offender suffer from the cause of the offense. I do not make excuse for any who offend and I will go on to say that they need to become repentant but the offended are the ones in troubled waters. As Proverbs has stated a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city.
I cannot allow myself to be taken by offence to a place where it will become difficult to return from. I do not want to be in a place where the love of others and even the love of God cannot reach me.To be offended puts me in a gated community which may not allow others in but will not allow me out either. The bars of a castle can be for protection or can become a prison!
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
"We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."
— Acts 14:22
— Acts 14:22
God's people have their trials. It was never designed by God, when He chose His people, that they should be an untried people. They were chosen in the furnace of affliction; they were never chosen to worldly peace and earthly joy. Freedom from sickness and the pains of mortality was never promised them; but when their Lord drew up the charter of privileges, He included chastisements amongst the things to which they should inevitably be heirs. Trials are a part of our lot; they were predestinated for us in Christ's last legacy. So surely as the stars are fashioned by his hands, and their orbits fixed by Him, so surely are our trials allotted to us: He has ordained their season and their place, their intensity and the effect they shall have upon us. Good men must never expect to escape troubles; if they do, they will be disappointed, for none of their predecessors have been without them. Mark the patience of Job; remember Abraham, for he had his trials, and by his faith under them, he became the "Father of the faithful." Note well the biographies of all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and you shall discover none of those whom God made vessels of mercy, who were not made to pass through the fire of affliction. It is ordained of old that the cross of trouble should be engraved on every vessel of mercy, as the royal mark whereby the King's vessels of honour are distinguished. But although tribulation is thus the path of God's children, they have the comfort of knowing that their Master has traversed it before them; they have His presence and sympathy to cheer them, His grace to support them, and His example to teach them how to endure; and when they reach "the kingdom," it will more than make amends for the "much tribulation" through which they passed to enter it.Charles Spurgeon