“Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?” Mt. 15:12
Everybody, every single person who has ever lived on earth, has been offended. Not once, but many times. In some cases, many, many times. “Offense,””offenses,” “offend,” “offended” and “offender” appear a total of seventy-three times in the Bible. Several writers, as well as Jesus, give the subject of offense close scrutiny.
We tend to use the word “offense” in the sense of feeling displeasure. Our displeasure may range from merely being stirred all the way to feeling deep resentment and indignation.
Offenses usually occur when someone says something to us too harshly—or at least we interpret it that way. It can and does occur when we perceive that we have been ignored, overlooked or given a responsibility we do not want. Or we become offended when we are blamed for something we did not do, or on the other hand, when we do not receive credit for what we did do. We may be offended when someone has been inconsiderate or thoughtless or has used us for their own purposes. The ways to become offended are many.
Parents are “offended” by the Nutcracker because they think it is ‘religious.‘
Prayer prohibited at football game.
Muslim woman offended by a bacon sign.
Teachers no longer use a red pen to grade papers; so children are not offended.
The Best Defense? The best defense against offense is a healthy and growing relationship with God. We must nurture this relationship on a daily basis, and not allow it to degenerate through a lack of care. And then, when the pressure is on because offense has come, we can cry out in our anguish and desperation for help and receive the help we need. Hebrews 4:16
“When people’s lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them.” Prov. 16:7 NLT