Daily Devotional 10-10-19

How to Deal with Offense
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful

“And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Matthew 11:6

If you have lived life long enough, I am sure you would agree with me that life does not always happen as planned. You get to experience the ebb and flow of life. One day you are up and the next day you find yourself down. Today, you are on the mountain top, tomorrow is all a valley affair. One of my favorite preachers puts it like this: “someday it is chicken, somedays it is feathers.” You cannot prevent pain, hurt, being upset, being snubbed, etc., but you can choose how to respond to these things, or even what to do with them.

Our text today is a response Jesus gave to the disciples of John the Baptist to be given to him in prison. John felt offended that Jesus had not done anything about his imprisonment, and instead went about freeing others from all manner of predicaments. If John the Baptist, a prophet and a forerunner of Jesus, could be offended because of Christ, then we ought to be on the lookout, lest bitterness grows in our heart because of Christ.

Jesus’ response indicates that: 1) Christian suffering is real and, 2) Jesus may not respond to you as you anticipated. Admittedly, your faith in Christ does not negate the challenges of life. In fact, when you are a child of God, you will suffer for Christ’s sake. There will be times you may feel offended in Christ because He may not show up or respond the way you expected. Many people have forsaken Christ and left the faith because He did not “meet” their expectations. 

So, how do we handle offense because of Christ?

  1. Recognize that suffering because of Christ is part of the journey (Philippians 1:29).
  2. Recognize that Jesus may not respond according to your plan. He will always choose the best path for you.
  3. Recognize that suffering, when it comes, can be used by God to grow us (Romans 8:28).
  4. Do not carry your offense on others.
  5. Talk to God about your offense. It is okay to do so! This will bring healing to your soul.

PRAYER: Holy Spirit, help me guard my heart against bitterness when Christ does not respond to me in the ways I anticipated.