You will be offended

Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!

Luke 17:1

One teaching we have heard before, but which we are prone to forget, is the message on forgiveness. Being humans, fellow human beings are liable to offend us. That is why Jesus states in the text that offenses will come.

* * *

The Greek form of the word “impossible” used here – anendekton , a noun, translates as “it cannot be that”. In other words, it is inevitable that offenses will come. Its verb form, endechetai implies “to accept or admit”; so that it is used here in the sense that “it is not admissible” that there should be no offenses in any human interaction.

* * *

Moreover, because of the nature of human relationships, offenses should indeed be anticipated! It should come as no surprise at all; it shouldn’t come as a shock to any of us that someone we least expected to offend us has indeed done so . We should even expect it from people who are very genuine, and who are not merely putting up a pretence. If we fail to expect the people around us and in our relationships to offend us in one way or the other sometime (and often, trust me) , we will be very naive, attributing perfection to them. That’s when we experience the rude awakening to the reality of the basic nature of the human race – fallibility. It is helpful to remember that we all share in this uncomely trait; that it is not just those who offend us who fall foul. We are all inherently fallible and therefore we all are offenders.

* * *

Again, the Greek word used here in the text for “offense” – skandalizei carries to the English reader the sense of giving offence , provoking, or causing one to stumble. It comes from the noun, “skandaleiron“, the stick in a trap on which the bait is placed, and which springs up, shuts the trap at the touch of an animal, causing it to be held fast. Generally speaking, it is a snare, the stick with the bait that causes one to stumble into a trap already set for them to facilitate it’s tight grip! (Think of a
mouse – trap with a bait in our contemporary context).

* * *
The reality is that there are traps set up all around us. We are the targets. The bait is put on the “stick” – those who offend us. They merely “invite” us to come over and sample the bait. They provoke us to get close and if we are careless and unwise, we allow ourselves to stumble and end up in the trap.

Offenses are nothing à be caught in an already existing trap. The pride, ego, resentment, unforgiveness already existing in our own lives are all potential traps. We only need a “stick” to trigger the stumbling.When they do, and we get offended, Jesus admonishes us to forgive the offender and not to keep a record of the wrongs.

* * *

Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you, might always remain a part of your life (and that can only mean that you are still willing to stay in that trap) , but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you , and cause you to escape the trap of the evil one, and help you focus on other more positive parts of your life.

Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. Perhaps you have been unfairly criticised , your colleague sabotaged a project or your spouse spoke some unkind words in a moment of anger. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness or even vengeance, if you allow it . If you do not learn to forgive, you might be the one who pays most dearly with emotional and attendant health issues. And you won’t be eligible for God’s forgiveness either.

Watch out for the traps in your life by examining yourself daily. Walk in love. Forgive readily, don’t hold onto grudges.

💦 💦 💦 💦 💦 💦 💦 💦

5 thoughts on “You will be offended

  1. Thanks Tancy for the timely words, as in our day, and in our churches, it has become vogue to ‘not forgive’, though this is behavior is buried behind other words. You make the comment, ” If you do not learn to forgive, … you won’t be eligible for God’s forgiveness either.” I know few Christians who would recognize your comment as Christ’s words immediately after he gave “the Lord’s prayer” (Mat. 6:9-15). They are words, however, that we need to remember at all times.
    It seems that Yeshua’s (Jesus’) words are slipping away from the churches and our daily lives. Who remembers, and practices, Yeshua’s words where he states that we are to forgive that we are to forgive (without exception) even up to “seventy times seven” times (and if you’re counting, you are missing the point). And what about the apostle Paul’s words where he exhorts us to bestow even greater honor, and treat with modesty, those that we deem ‘unpresentable’. (1 Cor. 12:22-24).
    I like your comment, Tancy, of, “forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge.” I’ve seen people’s live get eaten up and ruined simply because they were unwilling to let go of resentment and hurt.
    Perhaps some of the problem is the teaching around ‘forgiveness’ that one finds today. It is an unfortunate fact of life that sin has consequences, even after one repents or is forgiven. Forgiveness does not mean an unconditional restoration of a relationship. One needs to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matt. 10:16). Some things take time to heal, but they will never heal as long as one does not ‘let go and forgive.’
    When one finds oneself caught by unforgiveness, and can’t even bring oneself to forgive, one can start by asking God to help. But in the end, the step has to be taken, and the offender forgiven.
    I’ll close with these words of Yeshua, “judge not, lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged, and by your standard of measure, you will be measured.”
    So, keep proclaiming His word, even when it seems others aren’t. Thanks for your post.
    – Yosef

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks ytl, for reading my post and making such great comments. Yes, the teachings of Yeshua are being ignored or avoided by many believers which is sad. I share your views on this topic. The neglect of Jesus’ words are lending a worldly twist to the Christian faith.
      Forgiveness is some thing we do for ourselves. I would ask that you post your comments as a blog. It’s so insightful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good idea. The comments, along with a link to your post, will appear in my blog (www.discuss-life.com) within the next couple days. Eventually I will post more discussion on the topic of forgiveness and offending as those are critical topics. Holding unforgiveness in one’s heart is the cause of so much unanswered prayer, we need more people addressing the issue. Shalom!

        Liked by 2 people

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