Don’t let offenses stop you from seeing family during holidays

Published 10:01 am Tuesday, November 22, 2022

To the Editor:
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all that God has provided and not a time to reflect on yourself and your hurt feelings. It’s a time for friends and family to gather and enjoy each other and bless each and encourage each other. The cost of Thanksgiving dinner has gone up 20 percent. However, the irreplaceable time together cannot be diminished. No one knows if or when they may see grandma or grandpa again or anyone else for that matter. Next year anything could happen. One grandma told me she was sad that one of her grandsons had not seen her in two years. Everyone will have to make their choices about what loved ones they see during the holidays and then live with those choices!
The Bible also says in 1 Corinthians 13:5, love is not easily provoked or offended. So it’s unloving to be easily offended. Respected prophecy expert Perry Stone said we are now seeing the end-time signs Jesus warned about in Matthew 24 with the increase in earthquakes. Jesus included another often over looked warning, indicating that 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. Third, people say hurting comments to get attention. One Christian said before he comments, tweets, texts, posts, writes, or acts he remembers to ask 5 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 made 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. Some today wrongly will not go to church because they disagree with the church mask and social distance policy. Matthew 10:14 says if rejected shake it off and keep on working for Jesus even if you have to move to another church or city. Mature Christians don’t allow others to offend us. To do so is allowing pride and the flesh to control us instead of the Holy Spirit. You choose to be offended. We are accountable to God only for what we do and say. We aren’t accountable for what others do and say about us or others. It’s best if do as Paul says in Philippians 3 “…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!”
Families and Christians need to stay united in these dangerous times. The Bible says love doesn’t delight in evil but rejoices with truth. The Bible says in 2 Timothy that in the last days people would “resist the truth.” One way they resist the truth is to say it offends them. Experts say to be able to think and debate positions you have to risk being offensive. Liberals (the Left) believe they have the right not to be offended and want people arrested who call someone the wrong gender. Just because someone says they are offended doesn’t make them right. Hate speech is a term made up to silence free speech. “The further a society moves from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” Christians should exercise their right to free speech while they can and be more concerned with offending God than anyone else. The Bible teaches the only way to heaven is to have faith in Jesus and His death, burial and resurrection. This will offend some people. “It’s better to offend people into Heaven than to flatter people into Hell!”

D.D. Nave
Elizabethton

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