DEALING WITH CANKER WORM OF OFFENCE

DEALING WITH CANKER WORM OF OFFENCE

                 Pastor Wole Gbogboade

 

Text: Matt. 18: 7

The Lord said woe to the world because of offence. He said further that offence will surely come but, woe to the one who causes offence. This is a heavy statement that we need to examine, understand before we can deal with it in our lives and in our relationship with other.Luke 17: 1

What is offence? Dictionary meaning of the word is, something that cause rage, anger, rage caused by being offended. Lack of politeness; a failure to show regard for others; wounding the feelings of others. Contravention of what people judge to be right. Something done that is displeasing to others is an offence. Even, in the law court, causing offence is often times punishable.

In human relationship, there is bound to be offence. Different people from different socio-cultural, economic and religious background form the world system. As they relate, there is bound to be offence because it is like a rat race. In the world system, the principle is success is shrouded in earthly principles of ambition, competition, comparison etc. This is bound to cause intrigues, confrontation and cheating, lying and outright oppression. Little wonder that the Lord said woe to the world because of offence. Secondly, somebody must cause or initiate offence. An action must lead to a reaction which goes on like a chain to form aggression, oppression or what is simply called Machiavellian principle of, “the end justify the means.”

But, it is supposed to be different in God’s kingdom. From the context Matt. 18: 1-3, we can see that the disciples tried to manifest the old nature by wanting to outshine themselves through introduction of worldly principle by asking the Lord, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Of course, the Lord supposed they would ask who would be the greatest among them and they did. Mark 9: 33-37; 10: 35-45

Offence has become a canker worm that is now tearing many Christian homes and families apart; it’s affecting many in the congregation, neighbourhood, work place even the nation. It’s part of the end-time manifestations that our Lord Jesus prophesied. Matt. 24: 1-14, wars, rumour of war, nation rising again nation and kingdom against kingdom, iniquity will abound and the love of many shall wax cold etc. Paul also said, in the end-time, strange things shall happen, love of self instead of love of God, disobedience to parents and many would not want to stand on the truth, ministers with doctrines of demons etc. 1 Tim. 4: 1-3, 2 Tim. 3:1-5. All these makes the times we are in to be volatile and so prone to offence. As Christians, we need to pay particular attention to this concept: study to deal with it so we can live our lives free of offence. The Lord will help us.

CAUSES OF OFFENCE: We must note here that it’s not just about who causes offence but, it’s about how we react to offence or deal with offence to overcome and still maintain good relationship with others. Finally, we must avoid being the one to cause offence because the Lord pronounced woe to anyone who cause offence.

Offence comes in various form and shades. We shall examine some and proffer solution from the word of God.

1- In ordinate ambition. When they were arguing among themselves on who is the greatest. Mark 9: 33-37. Also, when the sons of Zebedee, John and James when to curry favour from Jesus to have a special place to sit beside Him on the left and on the right. Mark 10: 35-45

In both cases, the Lord taught them to focus on Him and not on position but on serving. Serving, He made them understand is the kingdom promotion. When you serve well, greater work will be given to you as reward. Luke 16: 10-12. Even in heaven, those who serve faithfully here on earth will man cities. Rev. 21: 14; Matt: 25: 14-30

2- When we are abused, misused for the Lord’s sake. Matt. 5: 10-12. The Lord said, we should rejoice at persecution because, the kingdom of heaven is ours. 1 Peter 3: 14-17

3- David at Bahurim: 2 Sam. 16: 5-14. David was toppled from his throne by Absalom, his own son. He and his men were going into exile in anguish while Absalom and Ahitophel David’s chief adviser were also planning to kill him. A man named Shimei started to rain curses on him. Promptly, David’s men who were warriors wanted to go strike him down but, David restrained them from killing him saying, perhaps God will hear and restore him back to his throne. God did! Also, David warned Joab, the commander of his army not to kill Absalom.

David & Saul: David served Saul with all his heart. Though Saul despised him; gave him tough test to rob David of the promise he made to give his daughter in marriage to him after killing Goliath. When he finally gave him, he took her and gave her to another man. After, he started to threaten his life. In all these provocation and humiliation, David was not offended neither did he retaliate.                                                             David had two opportunities to kill Saul, but he refused to touch God’s anointed king. He never retaliated against his detractors. He allowed God to fight for him and to promote him. What a lesson to learn from the life of David. Little wonder, David was a man after God’s heart. He longed to do God’s will; abide by God’s principle to not retaliate but leave vengeance for God. He led God’s people according to the will of God unlike Saul. Act 13: 22

4- Jesus is our Example: Matt. 26

He was falsely accused yet, abused, tormented, flogged, spat on, bruised yet, He did not defend Himself. Instead, on the cross, He said,“Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” Instead, He was obedient to His Father to death. Phil. 2:5-11

Can you say sorry to the one who course offence even when you are right for the sake of peace? Jesus would rather say sorry. Let’s learn of Him.

Word of Salvation Publication

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