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Offended people are hurt, and their understanding is darkened. They look at situations and don’t see the whole picture. When someone gives them a compliment, they often find a way to turn it around.
It starts with a small slight: a comment from a friend, a look from a family member, an overlooked good deed. It doesn’t necessarily come from an enemy but often from those closest to you.

I deal with it, you deal with it, every person on this earth deals with it.

I’m talking about the Devil’s most common, deceptive trap for believers: the trap of offense.

In Luke 17:1, Jesus said, “It is impossible but that offences will come” (KJV). So it’s really not a question of whether or not you’ll have the opportunity to be offended. The question is what will your response be?

Let’s take a closer look at this dangerous trap and see how you can avoid being stuck in it.

The Trap
Did you know that an animal can walk into a trap but not get caught? It’s not until he stands on the platform of the trap and grabs that bait that he’s caught. When Jesus stated “It is impossible but that offences will come,” that Greek word for offense is “skandalon.” Originally, the word “skandalon” referred to the part of the trap to which the bait is attached.

Satan places bait inside the trap of offense: perhaps thoughts of revenge. Isn’t it sweet to think thoughts of revenge? It’s like you want to go in there, grab the thought, and hold onto it. But underneath that enticing bait is the skandalon platform, the deadly trap of offense the enemy wants you to fall into.

Offended people don’t usually know they are trapped. The main way the Devil keeps a person in an offended state is to keep the offense hidden to that very person. He keeps them so focused on the wrong done to them that they are in denial. Or he cloaks it in pride. Pride keeps people from admitting their true condition. They know that they shouldn’t be offended so they deny it and repress it.

After denying it for so long, they never deal with what they’re supposed to deal with and after a while, they think everything is just fine—when in reality, they’re trapped in offense.

What Trapped People Look Like
Offended people fall into two categories: people who have been treated unjustly and people who believe they have been treated unjustly. The people in the second group are either offended because they have inaccurate information or their information was accurate but their conclusion was distorted.

People who are offended will have the fruits of offense in their lives: hurt, anger, outrage, jealousy, resentment, strife, bitterness, hatred, envy, insults, attacks, wounding, division, separation, broken relationships, betrayal, backsliding, divorce, murder, spousal abuse, to name a few. You could even say road rage comes from offense.

Offended people are hurt, and their understanding is darkened. They look at situations and don’t see the whole picture. When someone gives them a compliment, they often find a way to turn it around.

It’s like they’re wearing these glasses you put on kids to train them how to dribble a basketball better. These glasses don’t allow kids to see the ball; this helps them improve their dribbling skills. But in the case of an offended person, it’s almost as though these glasses cause them not to see life. They miss things. They can’t hear from God. They can’t see what God wants them to see so they judge by appearance, assumption, and heresy.

It’s What You Might Be Missing
Are you wondering why you don’t have your breakthrough? Healing. Finances. Depression. Anger. This could be your answer.

“But, Jim, I have reason to be offended! You don’t know what they did to me!”

Just because we are mistreated, it doesn’t give us permission to hold onto an offense. Mark 11:23–26 is pretty clear about this:  
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
(Mark 11: 23–24 KJV)

How many times have I done this and I know I believed. As a matter of fact, I’m surprised when it doesn’t happen. I believed so much there was no doubt. But right away, after this major statement, Jesus says, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (verses 25–26 KJV).

Jesus is pretty clear here: you’re not going to get your prayer answered if you’re offended and do not forgive.
“Oh, Jim, what about all that grace you’ve preached and all that undeserved favor when you blow it?” How do you know that favor is not just keeping you alive while you’re caught in the trap of offense?

“Many Shall Be Offended”
Let me show you something in Matthew 24:10–13:
…shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end shall be saved.
(Matt. 24:10–13KJV)
Whose love will grow cold? Well, the two most common Greek words in the New Testament for love are agape and phileo. Phileo is the love found among friends. It’s conditional. You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.

But the word used in the phrase “the love of many shall wax cold” is agape. Agape is the unconditional love of God that is shed abroad in the hearts of His children. If you’re not a child of God, you cannot carry agape love. The many who are offended that Jesus refers to are Christians because without God, you can only have selfish, conditional love.

Many Christians will be deceived by false prophets because they are offended, because iniquity abounds in them and their love, God’s agape love in them, will wax cold.


Copyright Mac Hammond Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Jim Hammond
Web site: Living Word Christian Center
 
Pastor Jim has made over 50 trips to the country of Indonesia. His wife, Kristin, has made over 35 trips to Indonesia. It is their lifelong goal to see Living Word have an orphanage in Indonesia. Pastor Jim and his wife, Kristin, have been married over twenty years and have two children, one of which is Jamey Hammond, who is the Pastor of Living Word’s St. Paul Campus. He currently oversees Manhood, Living Word’s additional campuses, the Wednesday Night Services as well as ministering at the Saturday Night services along with his wife, Kristin.
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