Proverbs 19:11 (ESV) Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
Social media is a wonderful way to connect and keep in touch. It is a good resource for encouragement and ministry. But like everything good that God has given us to enjoy in this life, it comes with some traps and snares that must be avoided. One such trap is that of offense. To become offended opens our heart to many things that are contrary to successful Christian Living and a prosperous life. Resentment builds a wall of bitterness and suddenly there is a breach in the Body of Christ. The bandwagon came to my house today. I was ready to hop aboard. Anger building inside me at the blatant disregard of my feelings or opinion made retaliation seem justified. However, this time I have set aside for Jesus is good for me because in these quiet moment His Spirit would hold keep me from the sin that would so easily beset me.
The media thrives on the emotions and feelings of others. Political opinion and opposition is a favorite. Anything that will create division and cause an uproar. Media has no feelings but it does have an objective which is to gain attention. It is good at its job. Many believers fall privy to its tactics and what could be a resourceful tool to build the church of the Living God becomes nothing more than a sparring match that leads to hurt feelings, revved up emotions and seldom points to Christ. Oh how I wanted to jump on the bandwagon today and ride along with the others. I wanted to share my opinion. Voice my concerns, but the Hand of God on my shoulder reminded me that to do so would carry me away from Him.
Proverbs 17:9 (ESV) Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
To cover an offense is the death of pride and ultimate act of love and humility. It is to put away our emotions and rightness in order to exact the Love of God and His Grace to others. I can make those things that are offensive to God stop right here – if I choose to avoid the bandwagon and stand on the firm foundation of faith in Christ that I have been given. Can I share a secret with you? This is not my home. I am a resident of heaven. I am a child of the Most High God. His Kingdom is where I live. These temporary things really don’t matter in the Light of Eternity. I must be a good and focused solider of God and keep myself from getting caught up in civilian matters. It requires extreme discipline because this culture longs to draw us in and pull us along with the current affairs. I will not be moved. Will you?
Proverbs 10:12 (ESV) Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
The Lord has called us to be one – united in Jesus Christ. In our partnership with Jesus, it is a commitment and firm dedication to lay our life down for others. Hatred stirs up strife. It can also say that strife can stir up hatred. You have a right to your opinion and so do I until it interferes with the Work of Christ in us bringing us to completion. Offensiveness or to be offended – it really doesn’t matter what side of the truck chosen the destination is always the same. Such feelings and emotions – do not lead to anything but disappointment. The hope offered in Jesus Christ allows us to overstep offense and shake off its shackles to continually live in full freedom. After all, who the Son sets free is free indeed. It is only His Opinion of me and others that matters so why waste my time and energy destroying relationships when Oneness gives Him joy!
I Peter 2:1-5 (ESV) So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
You are a member of a holy priesthood and a living stone in building the Body of Jesus Christ that He will soon return to. Christians and believers must stop getting lured into pointless political arguments and temporary trivial matters in order to focus on unity and reaching those who live in darkness. This means putting away malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. The post on social media meant to be a joke or express your personal view that offends or hurts another is not Christ-like or godly. It is a knife to the throat of your ministry all for your own glory. It says that your opinion matters more than God’s and it doesn’t. It is far more difficult to keep scrolling and disengage – believers must be conscious of this constant trap and threat to our ministry. Grace will not allow us to cut down and hurt others in our own rightness. It is not the way of Christ. Let the bandwagon carry off its merry revelers but pray for them as they go.
2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV) Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
Friends, examine your heart as I do mine today. Faith must be found in us. Faith that allows us to disconnect and disengage from pointless opinions to clearly reflect the truth of God’s Love for us. Our life must be transparent for others to see the Love of God inside of us. Those who are offended by us surely will have no interest in getting to know us or the Christ in us. Evaluate the message – every message you send out in the world – is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, praiseworthy for these must be the focus and projection of our life. Not me, but the Christ in me. Test yourself as I do my own heart and mind. Before posting or sharing your opinion on a soapbox or rant, fall back on mama’s advice – is it kind, necessary and true? I repeat – is it KIND? NECESSARY? TRUE?
Oh sweet Jesus – help my heart to not be offended while I strive not to be the offender. Keep my heart fixed by faith and full of You – Jesus! Keep my eyes focused and the way clear of such traps and snares as the enemy tries to lure me off course. Holy Spirit do your job as I give you permission to sift through all the contents of my life and remove all that is impure. Point out anything offensive so I may live for the everlasting and bring others with me. Stir up the fire in me so that all they see is You – Lord! And when tempted to step on the bandwagon, God – keep me standing firmly by faith. In Jesus Name, Amen!
Psalm139:23-24 (ESV) Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!