Summary: What can you do when, what you thought was love, has turned on you?
I. What Is An Offense?
A. Webster defines it as:
v. 1. To arouse resentment, anger, or vexation in. 2. To be displeasing (to). 3. To commit a sin.
B. Text: Matthew 18:1-7
C. The Greek translation of “offense” is “enticement to sin.”
D. So, if we are offending someone carelessly and on purpose, we are enticing them to sin.
E. Or, if we are offended at someone, it can lead to sin. Anger can lead to hatred, jealousy, bitterness, etc.
G. In II Corinthians 6:3, he told the church in Corinth that he would give no offense to anyone in anything so that his ministry would not be blamed.
II. What’s the Difference in Being Offended, Than Being Hurt By Someone?
A. There is no sin in being hurt by someone unless we let that hurt become an offense!
B. Everyone will be hurt by at least one person in their life, someday. It’s just part of life.
III. But, How Do You Deal With Being Hurt By Someone You Love?
A. Have you ever been wounded heavily by the words or actions of a loved one, a family member, or church family member?
B. Then, the first thing you must do, according to the Word, is…forgive!
C. Remember, Jesus said in Matthew (6:14), that if you forgive others their trespasses against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you also. But, verse 15 goes on to say, if you don’t forgive, God can’t forgive you.
D. So, that’s the first step…forgiveness! And, then, forget.
IV. Seven Realizations That Will Help You Keep Things in Perspective:
A. #1. You Cannot Please Everyone!
1. Most of us really do understand that we cannot please everyone, but then we organize our lives as if we could.
2. As long as you live, there will always be someone to disagree with you.
3. There is no one, not even any leaders, who will have others following him wholeheartedly all the time.
4. Even Jesus’ followers were inconsistent.
5. Since we cannot please man…. we must determine to please the One who truly deserves it…. God Himself.
B. #2. You Cannot Be A Human Being Without Making Someone Angry Sometime in Your Life. (Especially when you do something for God)
1. Even the great Scriptural leaders follow a certain pattern: they made a lot of people angry!
(a) Moses had an entire nation upset with him on more than one occasion.
(b) Elijah got on the wrong side of Ahab and Jezebel.
(c) Paul was stoned, whipped and beaten.
(d) Jesus was killed by those who hated Him.
2. If you stand for the truth, no doubt, someone is going to be angry with you.
C. #3. God Can Use Your Conflict to Get Your Attention
1. Have you ever noticed how God can use conflict in our lives to redirect us in a way that we would have not normally expected?
2. I don’t like conflict, but when God can use it in my life to help me grow in my faith, I will learn something from that experience.
D. #4. Nobody Understands Rejection and Unjust Criticism Better Than Jesus!
1. Paul said, in II Corinthians 12:9-10 , “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in your weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2. And, He told us, in Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses (which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities), but was in all points tempted as we, yet without sin.”
3. Too often, when love bites us, we find ourselves sinking into a river of self-pity. God can never participate in our self-pity. Rather, when we just give our hurt over to Him, He can soothe or troubled mind and mend our broken heart.
E. #5. When You Are Hurt By Others, It is God’s Intention to Draw You Closer to Himself.
1. When God allows hurt in your life, it is to give you the opportunity to draw closer to Him by trusting fully in His Word!
2. If we run the other way, we are running from His Word!
3. The reason is, as any loving Father would do, when we are in pain, He desires to pull us close to Himself. The closer we get to Him, the further we get from the pain, and the more comforted we are.