"But He said to them, it is inevitable that stumbling blocks will come..." In the KJV it says, "it is inevitable that offense" will come. As I looked up the word in the greek, it would best be said "It is inevitable that a trap will be set for you" or as the ESV says, "temptations to sin are sure to come".
When someone wrongs you, wounds you, hurts you, whether on purpose or inadvertently, a trap has just been set for you, a temptation to sin has occurred, an opportunity for you to choose offense or choose forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
A few days ago I was listening to John Bevere's teaching on "Bait of Satan". (Don't listen to it unless you're prepared to repent.) As he talked about offense is the bait of satan. He said there are two categories of people when it comes to offense, people who are offended and in reality nothing was done to them that really "justifies" (I use that term loosely) their reaction. Then there is the category of people who have legitimately been wronged. He says the problem is no matter which category you fall into neither has more of a "right" to walk in offense. He says this,
"The person who won't forgive another, is the person who has forgotten that they've been forgiven of MUCH"
Why is offense the bait of satan? Satan desires to use Christians to harm CHRISTIANS. Don't you see it all the time? If satan can cause you to be offended and hold unforgiveness then he sows discord among you and God which will in turn cause you to be deceived and cause discord among the brethren. What did Jesus say over and over and over, "forgive your brethren" "love your neighbor as yourself" "they will know you are Christians by your love"... Jesus desired His bride to be in unity and by offense, the enemy is causing strife among believers.
How do you know if you're offended? Well, how is your prayer life towards that person? "But I tell you, LOVE your enemies, and PRAY for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:44) If you can't pray for them to be favored, to be blessed, for God to do big things in their life, if you can't pray for their good fortune, then you're offended and no matter how wrong what they said or did was, you just jumped on that side with them by not forgiving them.
As I sat listening to this message my heart began pounding in my chest. I didn't understand, I WASN'T OFFENDED, I was good with everyone.. so I thought. I went to the alter and began to pray, "GOD, what's this about? I'm not offended!". He began to show me that I was and that not only did I need to repent to Him, but I needed to repent to the person.
I saw it then. I had gotten offended. Someone had done something, I felt mistreated, and though I wasn't angry or bitter, I just took that little bit of offense and I kept it with me. As satan does, he took that little bit of offense and I began to be deceived... Praise God that He spoke to me before it got any farther, but I immediately saw the truth.
OFFENSE IS A TRAP, IT IS THE BAIT OF SATAN. HE WILL USE ANYTHING TO GET YOU OFFENDED, DECEIVED, AND SOWING DISCORD.
There will be many times in life that you are really wronged, people say rude things, lie about you, talk about you, use you, spit you out, stomp on your heart, throw you to the dogs, and there will be some times that we get offended by the dumbest things. Check your heart often. Ask our Holy Spirit to show you when you've been offended and don't take it lightly. Take it straight to the alter before deception sets in.
I was convicted. I repented to God and I repented to the person. God is quick to forgive, He is quick to redeem, and even bring restoration if necessary.
Be Blessed, J. Tate