Are You A Person Who Gets Easily Offended? (Archive)

Posted in Attitude, Offense by PCraig on June 25, 2014

Are you a person who gets easily offended?  You probably wouldn’t want to admit it if you are, so here’s a test to see:

  • Is there someone you having a hard time with right now?
  • Did someone say something to you that you didn’t like even though it was true?
  • Do you feel justified in taking offense?

There are two kinds of offended people:

  1. Those who have truly been treated unjustly or with cruelty.
  2. Those who believe they have been treated unjustly or with cruelty.

The second group have convinced themselves that they are justified in feeling like they do, even if the conclusion was drawn from inaccurate information.  Some get offended because of gossip, “Well, I heard that…”, while others make assumptions, “I imagine they intended to do that…”

How many of us have ever had a conversation with someone, and what you heard them say and what they really said was two different things?  Often offenses, if allowed to stay in your heart will produce more sin.  God is so faithful; He has the Holy Spirit within us to reveal to us our sin.

We can spend our whole life blaming others and being bitter or we can choose to trust God to work in and through us to bring about His plan and purpose.  If you choose to stay offended, you will wander in the wilderness until you repent, forgive and let God put you back on path again.

Prison left Joseph with an opportunity to get bitter or better. He chose to get better and even used his prison experience as an opportunity. God is all knowing, He knew what Joseph’s brothers would do with him before they did it.  When he had the opportunity to pay back, instead he chose to not take offense and offered forgiveness. (Read Genesis 45)  I love Joseph’s story and attitude!

If you are offended and don’t take care of it, it will follow you and come up again and again. Many people float from church to church because their roots don’t go deep, leaving them so weak that they find themselves unable to endure any hardship or persecution.

God calls us to live in family, in unity, and to learn to work through our problems with each other, dealing not only with their flaws but our own.  Part of being in a church family has greater expectations of spiritual growth than our earthly families require.  Unfortunately, spiritual growth is not a matter of time or more learning, it comes through obedience.

It is usually not the big things that shake us but the little things. The enemy tries to pervert our attitude about the real issue to deceive us.  The real issue is not “have you BEEN offended?”    The real issue is, “did you choose to TAKE offense?”  No one has the power to MAKE you offended.  The ONLY way you can be offended is to TAKE offense.

Would you want God to forgive you in the same way you have forgiven others? According to the Scriptures, this is exactly how we will be forgiven. Our debt of sin was overwhelming, but God gave us salvation as a free gift.  Many people cannot receive healing, comfort or deliverance all because they would not release others and forgive them.

Make no mistake:  God is a just Judge and He will see to it that justice is done. God avenges us, it is unrighteousness for us as believers to seek to avenge ourselves. When we try to correct wrong done to us we become the judge, trying to take God’s place. Jesus likened the condition of our heart to soil. The ground can only produce what is planted. If unforgiveness, offense, and anger are planted, then instead of God’s love, another root comes up, the root of bitterness.

Some steps to healing and freedom from an offended spirit:

1) Admit you are offended and hurt.

2) Open your heart to the Lord’s correction or discipline for you.

3) Forgive and release the person from everything they have done.

4) Stay open and tender to the Holy Spirit’s voice and obedient to His Word.

5) Choose to not let negative thoughts reign in your spirit.  Just like you can CHOOSE offense, you can choose to not be bound by it

Life’s too short to spend it all knotted up in a ball of offense.  Get free today!  Your wife wants you to, your husband, your friends and everyone around you.  Let go and let God be God!

(First Published 9/8/11)

 

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What’s In You?

Posted in Change, Deliverance, Pursuing Jesus, Victorious Living by PCraig on June 19, 2014

How do you break the power of bad habits and hang-ups in your life, especially those that you have dealt with for years and have tried to overcome to no avail?  Maybe you’ve used various methods that worked for others but they didn’t work for you.  Is there anything else you can do?

I was reading in Colossians chapter one yesterday and was reminded of how God’s power can work in us.  Paul writes about “Christ IN you, the hope of glory” and how HIS (Christ’s) energy…so powerfully works IN me.”  Many people try will power, positive thinking and meditation to attempt to win the internal battle for control.  I think all of those things can be effective, but what if they aren’t?  Is there anything else you can do?  I believe this is where Christ’s power working IN us can help us do what we could not do before.

I’ve known people who had alcohol, drug and sexual addictions that they could not break on their own.  But, one day, they tapped into God’s power and won a victory that could not be sustained before.

So, what are you battling today?  Addiction, habits, anxiety, disorders, lust….?  Whatever it is, why not tap into Christ’s power and let it powerfully work in YOU?  People who have battled these things for years have found freedom and deliverance through the power of Christ.  I believe the same can happen for you.

Get your Bible, read Colossians 1 & 2, confess verses 27-29 of chapter 1 over yourself this week.  You CAN be free!  You CAN lay down that addiction, habit or hang-up!  What Christ’s power has done in others, HE can do in YOU!

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Every American Christian Should Do This

Posted in Impact, Involvement, Missions, Perspective, Serving by PCraig on June 12, 2014

Every American Christian should go on a mission’s trip at some point in their lives.  I know not everyone will be able to do this because some have family commitments, work schedules and physical limitations.  But trust me, anyone and everyone who is a Christ follower in the U.S. should get out of here and experience another part of the world, and most of us can make it happen if we really want to do it.

I just returned from another missions trip to the Dominican Republic, and here is why I feel strongly about it:

  • American Christians should see how spoiled & rich they are.
  • Seeing this will help battle consumerism & lack of contentment.
  • It will show you that you can communicate with people who speak a different language through love.
  • The bond you develop with the team serving together is special.
  • Knowing you made a difference in another part of the world is an incredible feeling you will otherwise never experience.

Those are just a few reasons why I hope you will consider going on a trip.  Just talk to the other people who served and you’ll see why many of them are hooked.

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How To Make Decisions Easier

Posted in Character, Choice, Decisions by PCraig on June 3, 2014

We all make choices every day. Some choices we make with purpose, and some we make by not taking action – simply by choosing to go with the status quo.  Sometimes we take our time by stalling because we’re not sure what to choose.

Here’s the one thing that makes choices easier to make: values.  When we have stated, strong and secure values, then our choices must line up with them.

For example, “Should I friend my old boyfriend from high school now that I’m married?”  If my value is a strong marriage that is built on deep commitment, then the answer is “no.”  If I don’t have that value, then I might at least say “maybe”, because I might want to see what he’s up to these days.

All those graduating from high school and college right now need to make sure of their values and their decisions will take care of themselves.  Such as, “Do you want to do some partying this weekend where we’ll have drugs and booze?”  If you have a value of maintaining your sanity and staying out of jail, then the answer is easy: “no!”

What are your values?  Not just what you would tell me if we were talking, but what are your real values?  If you say it’s God, marriage and kids, then it should reflect in the decisions you make.

This past Sunday I stated that after God, my wife comes first in my life.  That made some decisions a whole lot easier to make this week.  And, it will do the same for next week too!

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