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How to be free from offense
Archived – February 25, 2024

How to be free from offense

February 25, 2024

How to Be Free From Offense

Main point: Addressing the reality of an offense and if not dealt with, can completely ruin our lives. We will also talk about how to be free from past offenses and how to remain free.


What Does An Offense Look Like?

Matthew 5:22 (NLT) Jesus Speaking

But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

The Greek word for idiot in vs 21 is an Aramaic term of contempt: Raca.

Raca means “empty one” or “empty head” or “foolish.

I don’t know about you but, “Raca” sounds like a cuss word to me. It sounds like something you’d say right before you’re getting ready to throw down with someone.

Matthew 5:22 (NKJV)

And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

I know that I have personally called some people much worse words than “fool” in my lifetime.

Let’s talk about where this all starts:

What starts as a thought doesn’t stay as a thought.

What starts as a thought will turn into a word.

What starts as a word will turn into an action.

Consequently, you act on your thoughts.

Where do you think an offense originates from? Your thoughts.

The actions we choose to take in our lives always occur in our thoughts/heart first.

So what do we need to make sure we guard closely in our lives? Our thoughts!

Prov. 4:23 (NLT)

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

When Jesus was talking about “hell” in Matthew 5:22, he was referring to a physical place called Gehenna, which was the local garbage dump where the locals burnt their trash. There was a smoldering fire that never stopped.

Jesus knew that the Jews could relate to this place because it was a well-known landmark.

So what he was saying here was that we could be in a living hell in our hearts as the result of unresolved conflict and anger in our lives. Also, you can turn your home or workplace into a living hell by what you allow to access the gates of your heart?

Everyone has the potential to turn every relationship in their life into a garbage dump through the prison of offense.

Any demeaning name you call another person, whether it be Raca, fool, idiot, (beep)……it has the potential to plant an offense in your heart.

Question to ask yourself: “Have I locked myself in the prison of offense?”

How does offense affect our lives?

When an offense is not dealt with quickly, it will fester like a cancer infecting every part of your life.

It affects the way you perceive others, the way you perceive yourself and it affects the way you treat others.

Offense is a doorway by which the enemy can enter a person’s life.

Ephesians 4:26-27 (NLT)

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Life Application Study Bible Notes: The Bible doesn’t tell us that we shouldn’t feel angry, but it points out that it is important to handle our anger properly. If vented thoughtlessly, anger can hurt others and destroy relationships. If bottled up inside, it can cause us to become bitter and destroy us from within. Paul tells us to deal with our anger immediately in a way that builds relationships rather than destroys them. If we nurse our anger, we will give the devil an opportunity to divide us. Are you angry with someone right now? What can you do to resolve your differences? Don’t let the day end before you begin to work on mending your relationship.

Today, we live in an age where everyone is offended about something.

Our media only fan the flames of offense and they get a ton of money doing it causing division in our country and households.

Maybe you’ve posted something on a social media outlet and spent half your day arguing with someone because they were offended by what you posted?

Or, on the other hand, there are some who think…. “What can I post today that will offend as many people as possible?”

Do you struggle with being truly happy in life? It may be because you are so easily offended.

Some of us are so busy pointing out a splinter in someone else’s eye but we don’t realize the huge plank in our own eye, hitting everyone in our path.

This can be displayed in how we treat and talk to others, our outward spurts of anger and rage, the gossip that we engage in, etc.

Matthew 7:4-5 (NLT)

“How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

It takes a humble heart and a laying down of our own pride to realize the mistakes we make in our own lives before pointing out things in others.

I personally have to stay conscious of this all the time, especially in ministry!

My motto: “Have alligator skin with a teddy bear heart.”

Titus 3:2 (NLT)

They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

This is much easier said than done. That’s why it is something that God has to work in our hearts.

If you want to make it easier to stay happy in life, make it harder to stay offended.

It is possible to be unoffendable, if it’s something that God is working inside of you.

Best book to battle being offended or unforgiveness is John Bevere’s book Bait of Satan.

Satan’s Strategy of Offense

Satan’s only reason for existence is to bring destruction and bring as much of it as he possibly can.

John 10:10 (NIV)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;”

His strategy is bringing division between people.

Matthew 12:25 (NIV)

Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

His target is our homes.

If he has our homes, he can get into our churches. Guess what his tactic is? Through an offense.

The enemy is not going to be happy until he brings strife and division between a husband and a wife.

Marriage is a perfect depiction of Christ and the church. (Eph. 5:21-25)

So what you see here is what the enemy wants to do in the church as a whole and in every relationship in our lives, especially relationships closest to you.

The enemy doesn’t make a big announcement coming in with his pitchfork, saying he’s going to divide your home.

He comes in strategically and undetected through something small, like a single offense. A single thought for you to brew on and then it will start to grow.

No one can make you more angry or hurt you worse than the people closest to you.

I’ve seen marriages and friendships that I never thought in a million years would end, end in complete turmoil.

With marriages, not only are the husband and wife affected, but now you have an innocent child or children in the process who are stuck in the middle of the madness.

How did they get there? It happens one offense at a time. One plank at a time!

Song of Solomon 2:15 (NIV)

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards,our vineyards that are in bloom.

In a marriage, God puts 2 people together and makes them 1. The enemy’s job is to take that 1 union and make them 2.

How to get out of the prison of offense

Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV)

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Some of us are wondering why our prayers aren’t being answered.

We are ask ouselves: “Where is God in my life?” “Why do I feel like He’s not listening to me?”

It may be because there is the root of an offense in your life that is causing a blockage from hearing and receiving from God.

This verse is basically saying that we can not properly connect with God when the main relationships in our lives are dysfunctional and are filled with offense and hatred.

1 John 4:20 (NLT)

“If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?

Matthew 5:25 (NIV)

Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.

Settle offenses quickly, don’t wait for it to “blow over.” It never will.

Ephesians 4:26 (NIV)

In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

The longer offense goes unsettled, the more hell it brings into your life and into your relationships.

Matthew 5:26 (NLT)

And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.

That last penny could be lawyer fees, someone suing you, divorce court, alimony, etc.

Do you think it’s possible that the very one you call your lover, your spouse, your best friend, in 5 years could end up being your worst enemy?

If you don’t learn how to deal with offense quickly, this can easily happen?

How offense operates in a couple.

Words said unintentionally, or said in a time of personal pain.

Always bringing up what they don’t do.

Unmet expectations by the other person.

Unexpressed expectations.

Communication is vital in relationships.


Birthdays are not important in one household and in the other household, it’s a huge deal.

In one household either mom or dad handled the finances, and there’s unexpressed expectations for your spouse to follow suit.

Buying things w/out communicating. “Don’t worry, I got it on sale.”

Snarky and condescending comments toward others will tear a person apart.

Passive aggressive behavior is like nails on a chalkboard.

What we don’t realize is that one offense after the other, when not dealt with, gradually builds “a fence” between one another.

Signs of offense:

Start avoiding each other

Giving the silent treatment

Become angry w/each other easily over small things

For marriages, eventually, that 1 union becomes 2 separate individuals.

You can live in the same house but not be one. You’re just roommates with kids.

How to Be Free From Offense

How does Jesus deal with offenses?

Isaiah 43:25 (NLT)

I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.

Jesus forgave us and promised that He will never bring up our offenses again when He becomes Lord of our life.

Some of us are self-appointed archeologists. We dig and bring up the past on a daily basis to the ones closest to us to hold on to offenses done to us.

Out of anyone in history, Jesus had every right to have offense (a fence) between us as His creation, but He chose to forgive.

Jesus is the prime example of how we need to deal with offense.

Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Martin Luther said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”

You can’t keep the devil from suggesting thoughts, but you can choose not to dwell or act on them.

The enemy wants to drive that offense deeper and deeper into your heart.

The deeper it gets, the more it controls you.

Sometimes the person that offended you has passed away, but you’re still holding on to those things done to you.

Sometimes the person is unwilling to even talk to settle things. You still have to let it go

Sometimes it’s holding offense toward yourself. Learn how to let go of things you’ve done.

How to react to an offense:

  1. Confront the person in love, if needed. Don’t ignore it or act like it didn’t happen.
  2. Ask God to help you let go of that offense and never bring it up again.

Eph. 3:20 (NLT)

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

You will not be able to forgive others and let go of an offense all on your own.

You have to allow the Holy Spirit to work His mighty power in you to empower you to let go of the offense.

A sure sign that you have let go of an offense is when you are able to think only good thoughts about that other person when they come to mind.

Releasing and forgiving an offense is “ setting a prisoner free, only to find out, that prisoner was you.” Lewis Smedes

Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping it kills the other person.” Nelson Mandela

An offense is an event, but living offended is a decision.” Steven Furtick

Romans 12:9-13 (NLT)

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

I Cor. 13:1-3(NLT)

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Action Points

  1. Be honest with yourself and admit the offense you have toward another person or yourself.
  2. Also, ask God to reveal to you anyone that you have offended either intentionally or unintentionally.
  3. Ask God to work on your heart and empower you to forgive the offense that you may have toward others.
  4. Settle things quickly. If you have an offense toward someone, go and settle it quickly. Don’t let an offense linger. Eph. 4:26-27 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.


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