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If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
(Romans 12:18)

Another key to teamwork that is a must in fulfilling the vision of a ministry is to walk without offense. The main reason people leave churches and ministries is because they get offended. Instead of dealing with whatever was said or done, they harbor bitterness and end up leaving.

I saw a documentary on TV once that showed how Africans catch monkeys. First some men put a cage on the ground with a bright object inside it. The door to the cage was left open to tempt the monkey to go in. When he did, a trap was set on the door to cause it to close and catch him. But, the monkey would not go into the cage.

So the Africans closed the cage. Then they adjusted the wire around the cage so that the space in between the wires was just big enough for the monkey to get his hand into the cage. Then, when the monkey saw the bright object, he put his hand through one of the openings and grabbed the thing—but he couldn't get it out of the cage. With the object in hand, he could not pull it through. The only thing that would free him was to let go of the object, which he refused to do. Then one of the Africans took a club and knocked the monkey over the head, and it died.

Many who are backslidden today are like that monkey. They reached into the devil's "cage" by taking hold of an offense and have refused to let go. The devil is hitting them over the head with sickness, strife, and all types of marriage, family, and financial problems. They have given themselves over to bitterness, and it is destroying them.

All they have to do to be free and remain free is to let go of hurts and wounds. God can heal and restore a person immediately if he will forgive offenses and repent of bitterness.

Some readers have been hurt by ministry leaders or their staffs and have allowed resentment to build up. If you are resigning from the ministry you work for or you are leaving your church, please stop! Go to the person who has offended you, and ask him to forgive you. Talk with him about the situation. Perhaps you have misunderstood something. Perhaps sharing your point of view might help. If you disagree, you can disagree without being disagreeable or offended. The bottom line is not to allow any offense to come between you and any other person. This is the only way you are going to have true peace in your heart and family.

Anyone can take offense, get hurt, and walk out, but it takes a real man or woman of God to make it right. A true armorbearer always seeks reconciliation and forgiveness. Do it and be free.

Developing the Spirit of an Armorbearer

Meditate on the following scriptures today, then act on them.
  • "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled" (Heb. 12:14,15).
  • "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you" (Col. 3:12,13 NIV).
Heavenly Father, I am really hurt. The last thing I want to do is ask for forgiveness. I know I can't retaliate, and everything in me wants to flee. But that is not Your way. I refuse to allow bitterness to take root in me, and I choose to walk in love. I will humble myself and go to this individual to seek forgiveness and reconciliation. I pray that You will be involved in our communication, and I am believing You to heal, restore, and bless. Amen.
Source: God's Armorbearer Devotional by Terry Nance
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Terry Nance
Web site: Gods Armourbearer
 
Terry is Founder and President of Focus on the Harvest, Inc. He's traveled extensively for the past 6 years, awakening believers to this strategic generation. Through his God-given passion, believers are ignited to discover their individual gifts and callings, commit to the vision of their local church and focus on the harvest of souls throughout their city, state, nation and world.
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