Don’t let fear and offense keep you from holiday gatherings

Published 4:27 pm Friday, November 19, 2021

To the Editor:
The Bible says love is not easily provoked or offended. So it’s unloving to be easily offended. Respected prophecy expert Perry Stone www.voe.org said we are now seeing the end-time signs Jesus warned about in Matthew 24 with the increase in earthquakes, etc.
Jesus included another often over looked warning, indicating a spirit of offense would be everywhere, coinciding with the timing of the Gospel being preached around the world, which without doubt is this present time. Matthew 24:10,12: “And many shall be offended and shall betray one another and shall hate one another… And because evil shall abound the love of many shall wax cold.” Perry Stone said in his 40 years of ministry and studying Bible prophecy he never observed such an unleashing of a “spirit of offense.” Why do people offend others? Psychologists have found when people associate almost exclusively with those who agree with them, they suffer from group-think and confirmation bias and lose their ability to see events clearly or correctly. Experts say “we don’t see things the way they are, we see things the way we are.” So many offend because they can’t see others’ point of view. Also, hurting people want to hurt others.
Thirdly, people say hurting comments to get attention. One Christian said before he comments, tweets, texts, posts, writes, or acts he remembers to ask five questions. Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind? The question we should ask is, do we as Christians have a right to be personally offended? Jesus in all the things done against Him, in every offense against Him, more than we could ever suffer in a thousand lifetimes was never offended personally. Would we not be offended if most mocked us and wanted to kill us? If Jesus didn’t become offended for such extremes, why should we be offended at lesser things if we are dedicated to following the example of Jesus? If someone offends us personally, then it simply doesn’t matter. We are to let it go. Being offended is only concerned with self. There’s no way around that because it’s only the self that was offended and to the self that the offense was made. Being personally offended is a waste of time and is selfish and is focusing on one’s self. The Bible — the Word of God — is all about dying to ourselves. Jesus was never selfishly offended by things done against Him. The Bible teaches not to bear grudges and ignore insults against us in Proverbs 12:16 and Leviticus 19:18. In this age of insults and offense we as Christians must remember it’s a sin to allow other people to offend us and stop us from doing all of what God wants us to do or has called us to do.
A new survey finds most vaccinated Americans “uncomfortable” with unvaccinated relatives at holiday gatherings and the unvaccinated mad at the vaccinated for not respecting and judging them for not taking the experimental COVID 19 vaccine. The Bible says live at peace as much as it is up to you. In differences of opinions Christian families should remain civil. Christians should never waste valuable time and resources attacking each other on secondary, non-essential matters such as what personal health care choices should be made. The only essential is that you chose only Jesus for your eternal health care and His blood covers your sin disease.
One Christian said, “in the essentials unity, in the non-essentials liberty (freedom) and in all things, love.” The demons win if they can divide the family and church. God wants families and Christians to stay united in these dangerous end times. God wants us to reunite and stay connected with relatives and loved ones. The Bible says in everything give thanks. Give thanks for your family, relatives and loved ones this Thanksgiving and show it by attending traditional holiday gatherings. Let love overcome fear and offense!

D.D. Nave
Elizabethton