Today’s Bible readings are Genesis 32:13-34:31, Matthew 11:7-30, Psalm 14:1-7, & Proverbs 3:19-20
3 Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. 4 Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.
I am amazed at the number of people who hold resents toward others. As I have talked with people over the years I have heard of some of the silliest reasons for people being bitter. But the one thing that is true across the board is that bitter people are sick people.
We sometimes fail to realize that the effect of resentment on our bodies will be devastating. Many people are sick today because they refused to forgive in the past. I know somebody may ask, “How do you know that?”
Bitterness is a cancer that spreads through a person’s soul. It starts out as an offense. It is held on to at great effort for a length of time. It develops into a lifestyle. In settles deep into a person’s attitude. It begins to spread into every area of their life. It eats away at the inside of them.
15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
Bitterness will become a root. Roots spread so they can be stronger. As they spread they touch different areas. That is what happens with forgiveness & bitterness. It ultimately troubles a person to a place of great destruction.
The writer of Hebrews says that bitterness leads to corruption. We many times only like to think of the corruption spiritually. But I want to point out that that corruption could very well be physical, as well. That is why I believe that bitterness leads to a corruption of health too.
Let’s look at some reasons that people get offended:
1. They don’t receive the recognition they think they deserve.
2. They don’t think they have been treated fairly.
3. They think something should have happened that didn’t happen.
4. They think something happened that shouldn’t have happened.
5. They think others are not considering their feelings.
6. They get their feelings hurt.
7. Somebody doesn’t agree with them.
8. Somebody doesn’t support them.
OFFENSE IS BIRTHED OUT OF SELFISHNESS!!!
• Offense will keep you from receiving your miracle.
Matthew 13:55-57 (NLT)
55 Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. 56 All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?” 57 And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.
Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.”
• Offense will cause you to lose out on your ministry.
John 6:66-67 (NLT)
66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”
• Offense will rob you of blessings.
Luke 7:21-23 (KJV)
21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.
22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
• Offense causes you to build walls around yourself.
Proverbs 18:19 (NLT)
19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.
• Offense puts you under the control of the enemy.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NLT)
24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
HOW DO WE OVERCOME OFFENSE???
1. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us.
2. Let go of what we feel is owed to us.
3. Make a choice to refuse to be offended.
4. Quickly forgive when people do wrong.
5. Choose to think the best of everybody all the time.
Imagine the release in Jacob & Esau when they embraced. When love flowed it purged them of the hurt & bitterness. That is truly the work of the Holy Spirit. I have learned a very humbly principal in life—“Change Before I Have To.” Don’t wait for your life to fall apart before you become willing to be purged of bitterness. Let the Holy Spirit do a His work & purge you with His love NOW!!!