Every day as I scroll through the postings on Facebook I see evidence that some person has been offended by something another person has said or done. Why is that? The word “offense” comes from the Greek word skandalon which as two meanings. The first meaning refers to stone or an obstacle that causes one to trip, stumble, or fall down. The second meaning is quite different. It is actually a small piece of wood that keeps the door propped open on an animal trap. Some kind of aromatic food is placed inside the trap to entice the animal to enter the trap. As he goes after the tasty morsel, he bumps into the skandalon; it collapses, the door slams shut, and the animal is caught with no way of escape. But what does that have to do with being offended? Okay, think about this! The enemy of your soul will set a trap for you.. He will bait the trap with something he knows will offend you. You are just going through your normal day to day stuff. You don’t see the skandalon but you walk right into it; that unexpected, unpleasant moment when you fall for the enemy’s bait and get tripped up, stumble, and fall. You’re so shocked and surprised by something you’ve seen, heard, or experienced that you completely lose your emotional footing. You’re overwhelmed by a behavior or response that is so unlike what you expected all you can do is stand there speechless. Shock overtakes you and then erupts into disappointment. The more you think about what happened or what was said; the greater the disappointment grows until it transforms into full blown episode of being offended. Everyone I know has experienced this kind of disappointment at some time or another. According to Jesus, in Luke 17:1, it is a pipedream for any of us to think we can live without encountering these kinds of traps. It’s just impossible; no matter what you do you can’t keep them from happening. You must fight diligently against this enemy and not allow offense to get a foothold in your mind or your heart. It will only result in bitterness and anguish. Sadly, each and every one of us has at some time been the source of offense to someone. It was probably not intentional but more than likely occurred because of misunderstanding and miscommunication. As followers of Jesus we must do our best to bring healing and reconciliation where misunderstanding and offense has taken place. If you know someone has taken offense toward you over something they think you said or did, why not take the road less traveled and go ask them to forgive you? Allow the love of Jesus in you, to work through you to help them overcome the hard feelings toward you. And just as important, don’t forget to let His love work in you to overcome those ugly-bugly feelings you feel toward others. Avoid the enemy’s traps that will rob you of your peace and remember, “Jesus Loves YOU!
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