By Greg Sanders
We live in a society where people are offended easily and often. Words are misspoken, text misread, and people’s actions sometimes convey a message they never intended. Some entire families will not have a dialogue with one another because of offense in the past. With this much offense active in the culture, the last thing you need to do is to pick up the offense of someone that has nothing to do with you. Just because you are aware of a problem does not mean that you have to own the offense.
In Luke 12:13 Jesus had the opportunity to pick up a second-hand offense. The Bible says “Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” 14 Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?””
Jesus is the God of the universe. There is nothing that happens on planet earth that escapes His sight, and yet He refuses to pick of the cause of this offended brother. If Jesus felt it best not to take someone else’s offense, why would we practice anything different? Jesus knew that the solution to the offense is not for judgment to be granted but rather for grace to be offered. This man did not suffer from a lack of property, but rather a lack of real priorities.
Like second-hand smoke, second-hand offenses can choke out the life that God has for you because you embrace someone offense. Just because something happens around you does not mean that you have to internalize it. I have witnessed people embrace a second-hand offense and allow it to destroy them while those who were involved in the argument had mended fences and received healing. Individuals who embrace second-hand offenses do so as a substitute for dealing with an unaddressed issue in their own heart. The excuse of trying to bring healing to others is a mask to the real injury and issues in their own heart. The way to move forward is not by picking up more pain, but rather by taking your offense to Jesus.
Don’t engage a battle that God has not given you the grace to win. Battles fought out of offense will not bring the victory you desire.
Today’s Challenge: Take your offenses and the offenses of others to Jesus in prayer. Refuse to become embittered over a situation that does not involve you. Don’t allow the enemy to paralyze you with an offense you were never intended to carry.