“It happened after this that the king of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place. David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent his servants to comfort Hanun…[however] the princes of the people of Ammon said to Hanun “Do you really think David honors your father... has he not actually sent his servants to search, to spy out the city, and to overthrow it?” Then Hanun took David’s servants, shaved off half their beards, cut off their garments in the middle... and sent them away.” (2 Samuel 10:1-4)
In this crazy world we live in, we’re all very vulnerable. No one is a Superman and no woman Wonder Woman. We all have weaknesses. When these gentleman’s beards were cut off it brought humiliation to them. The beard, in the Middle East, still today, brings distinction, honor, and maturity. So to have this tampered with affected their rank, identity and pride. All they were doing was following their king’s orders. Jesus said in Luke 17:1, “It is impossible that offenses will not come, but woe to him through whom they come.” You will be offended and it will happen again and again. Individuals will shame you, outrage you, insult you, humiliate you, hurt you, and violate you. When we follow our King’s orders by His Word, we will experience these types of attacks.
Jesus himself said that it is impossible for you to escape being offended in your lifetime. Since it is impossible to escape it, you will need to learn how to deal with it. As hard as it is to imagine you will not get stronger, and you will never “mount up like wings on eagles” until you go through trials, attacks, persecution, and being offended. To stay calm and relaxed during these trials will bring respect, honor, and authority back to you and make you even stronger. The key is to turn these situations over to Him and let Him fight your battles.
How do you experience an offense against you?
- If you live for God and you seek to do His will, you will find yourself wounded doing God’s perfect will.
- People will say hurtful things about you, and offend you regardless of your actions or love toward them.
- “Gossip mongers” will falsely accused you of some offense that you have no knowledge of.
How do I overcome offenses?
- Opposition will enable you to do things you could not do had you not had the opposition coming against you - it will strengthen you.
- When someone offends you, just stay “sweet”, stay calm, and listen for God’s instructions.
- Remember most offenses have to do with words. People may insult you, but that doesn’t change who you are, a child of the Most High God.
- Do you feel at times that you need to take matters into your own hands and defend yourself or seek vengeance because of what might have been said about you?
- Is there anyone that has offended you that you have never forgiven? Do you still harbor unforgiveness in your heart toward that person(s) or that situation?
- Next time you feel offended or “falsely accused” of something how are you going to handle it?
Our job is to say, when we are offended and someone has truly done us wrong, “Lord, I am going to stay sweet. Help me to stay sweet. I have been insulted and hurt, but I am going to stay right here. You’re working on everything. I don’t worry about my reputation or defending myself. I am going to let You deal with that person or situation.” The point is this: if you will stay sweet and stay calm, not throw fits or go into a rage, you will experience the peace that God wants you to have. Continue moving forward. Things will be thrown at you. Offenses are going to come, but this is how you grow, mounting up like wings on eagles and rising higher than any bird can fly. When you continue to do the right thing, the struggle will be there and is real, but so will the blessings you will experience.
2 Samuel 10:1-5 Luke 17:1-2 Isaiah 40:31 Luke 15:20-22 Romans 14 Revelation 21 Luke 23:34 Exodus 25:13 Acts 14:22 John 16:33 Proverbs 24:10 John 13:35 Matthew 18:22