- Did you ever have bullies in school? Tell us about your experience.
- Do you have a hard time apologizing or asking for forgiveness? Why or why not?
- What type of personality do you have a difficulty getting along with? Why?
Offense is an unfortunate and unavoidable part of life. We will all get offended from time to time, and we all have offended others, usually unintentionally. In this lesson, we will look at the causes and effects of offense how offense can be resolved.
Causes of Offence
1. Insensitive words can cause offense.
We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. James 3:2 (See als o James 3:3-6.) The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21
2. Correction can cause offense.
12Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”13He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15:12-14The disciples seemed upset that Jesus offended thePharisees. But Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocritical adherence to external religion.
Unresolved offense destroys relationships.
An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city. Proverbs 18:19If left unresolved, offense has the potential to destroythe strongest relationships. What is a “fortified city”?How is an offended brother like a fortified city? We will all have opportunities to get offended.
Some offenses are minor miscommunications and misunderstandings. Others are major relational meltdowns. Whether major or minor, if not handled properly, all offenses have the potential to become major roadblocks to spiritual progress. If you have offended someone, you should take the initiative to be reconciled.
23“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23,24
Taking the initiative to be reconciled is not easy. Though it may be easier to pretend the issue does not exist, Jesus said that we should prioritize reconciliation.
What should you do if you know someone has something against you? If someone has offended you, then you should forgive and forget.
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9.
It takes wisdom and patience to overlook an offense. It is difficult to cover an offense, promote love, and protectthe relationship. What does it mean to “overlook” and“cover” an offense?
- How do you think God wants you to respond to correction?
- How does this differ from your natural response?
- How can unresolved offenses destroy relationships?
- How do you think God feels about these? How can you overlook an offense?
- Why should we not talk about our offenses to people who are not involved in the reconciliation process?4
- Were you corrected in the past but did not respond in a way that honours God?
- What can you do about this?
- How can you respond to future correction in a way that pleases God?
- Have you offended someone? Have you asked God for forgiveness? Have you asked God if you need to ask the person for forgiveness? How is your
- relationship with this person now? Have you been offended by someone? Have you
- forgiven? Has the relationship been restored?
- Ask God to help you speak words that give life to others and please Him.
- Pray that when challenges arise in your relationships, you would not be easily offended, and that you will honour God in the way you respond.
- Ask God to give you the grace to forgive those who have offended you, and that you would have the courage to ask for forgiveness from those you have offended.
- Pray for those who have offended you. Forgive as the Lord Jesus forgave us.
- Pray that God’s love and kindness would be evident in and through your life.
- now WHAT