Offended? A national plague...
Everyone is offended! Have you noticed? Are you offended? Are you constantly taking offense at people? At media? At your employer or other employees? Maybe even at Church or around other Family or Friends? Sound familiar?
Taking offense is epidemic. It destroys the fabric of human existence which is relationships. Offense causes division in relationships: family members, dating couples, marriages, organizations, even countries causing wars. Consider World War I for instance how one murder in one country brought war to multiple countries in the world. In the end, offense is a spiritual issue. It destroys any hope of that “peace of God which passes all understanding.” We may not have harbored hatred in our hearts, but the guardedness, the visceral response to the memories of hurt, the “road-block” that comes between us and God
Jesus said: ““43You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor i and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more t
han others? Do not even pagans do that? (Matthew 5)
The most difficult of the things to overcome is to overcome those feelings of those who have hurt us: physically, emotionally or spiritually. Forgiveness is the antidote to our malady—it is healing for the soul. So how do we get there? It is so very simple and yet so, so hard to do. Jesus told Peter to forgive: “seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:22) Forgiveness: this is the core of our relationship with God. Forgiveness extends to all area of relationship: to God, to our ‘neighbor’ and with ourselves. Jesus said in this most famous passage:
“ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. b ’
14For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6)
This is what we shall be exploring during this season of “growth” known as Lent. Try to be there for a sharing of hearts, an invitation of Holy Spirit to come into our brokenness and wounded-ness so that we may find God’s peace.
What about it? Will we stay as the “walking wounded”? Will believe every negative we hear, especially in a plague of vindictiveness, anger, bitterness and vengeance that is a fire stoked in our contemporary culture? Come and join us at the Foundery Coffee Pub, Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM as we share our personal stories and God’s remedies to the “baggage that hounds us.”