Summary: Matthew 18:7 says that offense will come but woe unto them by whom the offense comes. You can overcome the woe and live an offense free life.
Offense: Living In The Woe
Matthew 18:7 (NKJV)
Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
I want to talk to you today from a sermon titled,
Offense: Living In The Woe.
I want to talk to you about something that the Lord has been dealing with my heart for a while. This is something that has a great potential of robbing us from the Thanksgiving life that we are not only promised but that we deserve. I want to talk to you today about…offense.
In this scripture found in Matthew 18, Jesus is warning about the offense. He is saying that offense not only WILL come but that offense MUST come. Christ is teaching us as mature believers that it’s not the question of IF, but a question of WHEN. So it’s how you respond to the WHEN of offense. Jesus said, offense will and must come…but WOE until them that the offense comes.
Woe is a word we rarely use anymore. Woe is an old English word that means:
Misery, sorrow, distress, wretchedness, sadness, unhappiness, heartache, heartbreak, despondency, despair, depression,
regret, gloom, melancholy.
So whereas we may not use the word “woe” to describe a place that we may be in, we are very familiar with it’s meaning.
We are all too familiar with the result of the woe, but we often avoid the cause of the woe. There are people today that you have been in a state of woe.
And the “woe”, could be caused because of an offense. And I believe God is here today to remove the spirit of woe that you’re living in and God is here to remove any offense that is living inside of your heart.
DISCLAIMER: I want to offer this disclaimer about this sermon. Don’t think it strange that as we delve into this that people will come in your mind. When that happens, I want you to acknowledge that that is the Holy Spirit and not I. I’m not that good. But the Holy Spirit is. Give Him credit that He is working in our midst this morning.
The word offense means….
A violation or breach of a law, custom, rule, etc. / a lack of politeness; a failure to show regard for others; wounding the feelings or others
Offense is something that we are all susceptible to. I have had my moments where I’ve been offended by something or someone. And there’s a chance that I’ve caused someone to be offended. But what I know about offense is this: The damage of offense doesn’t necessarily fall on the one who CAUSED the offense but on the one CARRYING the offense. Jesus was clear in this text that “woe” of offense comes on the one harboring or keeping the offense.
Offense is tricky. Because you pretty much can function in your life and no one may never know that you are carrying an offense. But while everything looks good on the outside, the offense is polluting your spirit.
Offense is like a spiritual hangnail. It doesn’t cripple you and can easily be ignored until it becomes infected. Then not only is it painful, it’s toxic.
Facts about Offense:
1. Offense is always personal.
a. Only those who you care about can hurt you. Offense never happens with someone you wouldn’t walk across the street to help with anything.
2. Offense is prevalent in families.
a. Offense is often exposed and spills over during holidays. The days that are meant for rest and connection will take a vicious turn all from an offense that as been living in the heart of someone in the family.
b. How many people have cut short visits with family members because of an offense? Maybe not from you offended but caught in the cross hairs of a family offense.
c. Offense is common in families, when losing a loved one to death. (Who gets mama’s ring? Or who gets daddy’s favorite gun?)
3. Offense is prevalent in CHURCH families.
a. People leave churches because of offense. Offense with the pastors, the ministry leaders, or the one they sit in the pew with. So they leave saying “God told me” while offended and they began searching for something that isn’t out there because they made a life altering decision because of….offense. Leaving a church should always be a life altering decision and cannot be based on offense.
4. Offense will keep you up at night.
a. There is no pain reliever or sleep aid that will remove an offense.
5. Offense is hard to let go of.
a. Proverbs 18:19 “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city.”