God our Heavenly Father has planned for ever believer to live a life of productivity and fruitfulness. We’ve been ordained to bear fruit (John 15:16) and foreordained to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). It is the plan of our enemy to neutralize our effectiveness in fulfilling our God ordained purpose in this life and one of his favorite tactics is to get us caught up in an offense. Jesus said we would be exposed to and experience opportunities to be offended Luke 17:1. Offenses are hurts that outrage our senses and ignite our emotions (2 Corinthians 11:29), causing us to be mentally consumed, controlled, and trapped by them.
A good example of someone caught up in an all-consuming emotional outrage of their senses is the brother of the prodigal Jesus spoke of in Luke 15:11-32. Comparing the prodigal and his brother we know that the one son who is often described as the Prodigal son got his portion of the fathers inheritance, left his father’s house, began to live wrong, squandered it, and found himself living in a pig pen with the hogs. After He repents and is restored the father has a celebration.
Witnessing the restoration of his prodigal brother, the brother of prodigal got hurt, held on to the hurt, and had an offended heart. Keep in mind that there was no transgression or trespass against him yet he is hurt and angry. What were the signs of his offended heart?
- ANGER v. 28…And he was angry….
- WITHDRAWAL/ISOLATION (avoidance/separation) v. 28… and would not go in… He would enter in to the celebration his father was holding for his brother.
- SELF FOCUS/SELF PITY (I, I, me I my) v. 29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.
- ACCUSATION/JUDGING v.30 “But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.” How did he know he spent it on a harlot?
What were the results or fruit of holding to the offense?
- DESTROYS USEFULNESS v.25 – he was no longer working/productive. He quit plowing in the field; he stopped working.
- DESTROYS UNITY v.28 – he separated and withdrew.
- DESTROYS JOY v.25, 28 – he would not enter into the joyous celebration. He refused to enter in.
A better response would have been to admit that he was hurt and offended, repent, and receive forgiveness. We get angry because we get hurt but there is freedom from being controlled by it if we first get honest and admit it. Before receiving an offense and yielding to sin from it by what we initially feel, we as Christians have provisions in Christ to process our emotional pain. There are also many things done to us that are unjust, not fair, and wrong that can hurt or offend us but there is freedom for us in Christ. The good news is that when hurt we have two supernatural sources of comfort we can go to: God’s Word (Romans 15:4) and God’s Spirit (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7-13). His comfort is there to soothe and relieve our pain.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
It is human or natural to go to people for comfort but every Believer needs to grow in learning to receive God’s comfort rather than people’s comfort. God’s comfort is full of His grace, wisdom, and power. God’s comfort will always align us to the truth which will make us free.