Summary: One of the most important teachings on healthy relationships: How to deal with offenses. Thank you to John Bevere who inspired this teaching!
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS 101: DEALING WITH OFFENSES
INTRO TO TOPIC: Chris Jordan
“’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:37-39).
• The two most important things we can learn to do is to love God and love people.
• I want to share with you the most important, impacting teaching I’ve ever heard on relationships. It is by one of my favourite preachers & authors, John Bevere.
THE BAIT OF SATAN DVD #1: John Bevere
“1 Then He said to the disciples, "It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! … 3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ’I repent,’ you shall forgive him." 5 And the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith.” (Luke 17:1-5).
• Offense = skandalon - the bait stick of a trap
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” (2 Tim. 2:24-26).
Most people that are in the trap of offense don’t even know it.
• A hunter, to catch a prey, must lay a smart, subtle trap.
“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” (Matt. 24:10).
• Progression - offense leads to a betrayal, leads to hatred.
“A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city.” (Prov. 18:19).
• An offended person has built walls - called strongholds in the N.T:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:3-5).
• The person who can hurt you the most is the person that is closest to you.
• If we set up expectations, if they don’t meet them, they offend us.
David said: “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; Then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, My companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, And walked to the house of God in the throng.” (Psalm 55:12-14).
• This is why people say, “The world treats me better than most Christians!”
• When you build walls, you are no longer seeking to give, but to protect.
• A person with the walls up is the perfect candidate for betrayal.
• Betrayal = when I seek my protection or benefit at the expense of another
“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.” (Prov. 18:1).
“Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15).
• Hatred = love less; have no love; no love of God.
• Challenge: Meditate on love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
• Jesus is coming back for a church walking in extravagant love.
“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” (Matt. 24:11).
• Jesus said be careful that no one deceives you. An offended person deceives themselves.
• Problem with deception = its deceiving. You don’t know you’re deceived.
• Jesus called false prophets wolves in sheep’s clothing.
• These wolves travel in packs. Their goal = isolate the sheep from the herd.
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love (agape) of many will grow cold.” (Matt. 24:12).
PROVERBS KEYS TO HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS: Chris Jordan
“A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.” (Pr. 16:28).
“A gossip tells secrets, so don’t hang around with someone who talks too much.” (Pr. 20:19).
“Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.” (Pr. 26:20).
• Gossips are troublemakers who destroy friendships.
• God COMMANDS us: DO NOT hang around with people who gossip!
• NOTE: “If someone will gossip TO you, they will also gossip ABOUT you.”