Have you ever missed your step and found yourself preparing for a fall but then, God blocked it? You stood tall, maintained your balanced and was ever grateful that your face didn’t hit the ground. You met upon an opportunity to stumble but you defied the odds. It could have been a stone that was perfectly positioned in your path. The stone is not particularly waiting for ‘you.’ Instead, it awaits anyone who dares to cross its path. The one who encounters the stone will feel its wrath and will fall if he has no discernment, precision, diligence nor sobriety. That stone is an offense and the one who stands upright is he who chooses to obey the Holy Spirit and allow the Word of God to interpret the events of life.
Dr. Mary Banks, in ‘The Thought War,’ states that ‘an offense is a stumbling block. It is that thing that brings about an occasion to stumble or fall.’ The scripture tells us that offenses will come, (Luke 17:1). There is nothing we can do to stop a person from being offensive. However, we can determine how we respond and how much we allow the offense to affect us, if any at all. Usually, the offender, who may be saved or unsaved, spouse, relative, friend or foe, either does or says something that is hurtful toward the victim. It can be so bad that it stops the flow of love and produces unforgiveness and bitterness. If that offense is not dealt with, it can lead to more evil.
It is imperative that we embrace the Word of God in its entirety in order to walk free of offenses. Stones can be set in our way but they don’t have to trip us if we are truly conscious of the empowering of the Holy Ghost in us to bear all things. When an offense comes, it is coming at Christ so we don’t have to take it personally, but rather intercede for the offender who is ignorant of the consequences of their actions. We have to see the soul that breathes offense and be moved with compassion when we acknowledge their captivity. If we allow ourselves to get offended, we are allowing ourselves to sin by falling into the enemy’s trap and bonding in iniquity with the devil. Harbouring an offense breathes bitterness, iniquity and makes it hard to love, pray and even confront the offender with purity of heart and meekness.
We have to decide what is important to us. We will either be revengeful, unforgiving and hold on to the hurt and the negative emotions or we will free ourselves by agreeing with God and also free the offender by not laying any sin to their charge. It is interesting how we want to experience forgiveness whenever we have done wrong but we are hesitant when God grants us the opportunity to forgive and love someone we may deem undeserving. The moment we embrace offense (iniquity), we become an enemy of reconciliation and we partner with the devil to further his agenda in the earth. Refusing to let go of an offense is choosing to be entangled again in the yoke of bondage, (Galatians 5:1). Before, we were held as captives but now we choose to willingly become the devil’s pawns.
At salvation, God made us free, free to obey Him and love unconditionally; but when we take that opportunity to stumble, we forfeit the treasures and the freedom in God and allow our heart and soul to become ensnared. It is our responsibility to walk in that freedom and live according to the Word of God that tells us to forgive and love knowing that love destroys offences, it heals, sets free and ‘love is more powerful than iniquity.’