Let's talk about those times when other people become offended by your stand for God. Have your friends or relatives ever taken offense because you took a firm stand to serve God, refusing to participate in sin any longer?

This has happened to me. For example, although my brother has been saved for several years now, there was a time before he became a Christian that he would tease me about my "radical" stand for Jesus. He'd say things like, "Praise the Lord, Kate!" in a very sarcastic tone of voice.

My brother was trying to offend me - and he succeeded! To tell you the truth, sometimes I wanted to punch him and ask for forgiveness later. But I chose to let go of the offense and walk in love instead.

I told him, "The Bible says in Acts 16:31 that if I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, I and my household will be saved. Mark my words - one day you're going to really praise the Lord with me!"

Well, a few years later my brother did get saved. Not long afterwards, I was preaching in his area, and he went to a service with me. As we stood next to each other during praise and worship, he lifted his hands high above his head, praising God. Then he nudged me and said earnestly, "Praise the Lord, Kate!" This time he really meant it! God is a good God!

As I witnessed the change Jesus made in my brother's life, I can't tell you how glad I was that I had decided to walk in love when he tried to offend me. I mean, what do you think would have happened if I had given him "the silent treatment," holding him off at arm's length with those invisible bars of unforgiveness? I'll tell you what could have happened: my brother might never have gotten saved.

There's no doubt about it - holding on to an offense is serious business!

Jesus also experienced this particular type of offense in His life and ministry. People were offended with His stand when he started to be used by God and stepped out into His ministry.

Those who lived in Jesus' hometown were amazed at the signs and wonders that followed Him. They asked, "Isn't that Joseph's son? Didn't our children play with Him? Who does He think He is? They were offended that the little boy they had watched grow into manhood could not be so mightily used of God.

Jesus was even accused of operating under the devil's power. (And you thought someone told a lie about you!).

"Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils" (Matt. 12:22-24).

Jesus could have become very offended when the Pharisees said this. He could have said, "Forget this! I'm tired of being falsely accused! I'm going back to heaven and leaving all of you join the devil in hell - goodbye!" Aren't you glad Jesus didn't do that? He didn't operate in offense; He operated in the love of God.

God may be calling you to do something in life that is beyond the ordinary. Well, not everyone is going to appreciate your vision or back you 100 percent. However, it is not your job to pacify or satisfy all those who are offended by your stand for God. Your job is to walk in His love.

I like what one respected minister had to say on the subject. He maintained that if people accused him of killing his own grandma, he wouldn't even stop to deny it; he'd just let God fight his battles for him!

You see, you don't need to defend yourself when someone offends you. Just pray, walk in love and be led by the Holy Spirit. When you do your part, God will fight your battles for you!

Source: Get Over It: Overcoming the Enemy's Strategy of Offense by Kate McVeigh.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers