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Offended: Week 1

Offended: Week 1

WHAT IS OFFENSE?

1. THE TRAP:

Luke 17:1 (NASB) He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks* come, but woe to him through whom they come!”
• *stumbling block or offenses is the Greek word skandalon, and it comes from the word for a bent-stick—the stick that springs the trap or sets the bait or something that people trip over.1
• What is the bait that lures you into being offended? A parent, child, sibling, friend, politics, the media, infringement on your rights as an American?

The possibilities for offense are endless, but boil down to essentially two categories:
o Those who have been treated unfairly
o Those of us who believe we have been treated unfairly, but in reality we haven’t

Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV) The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
o We assume the worst without actually understanding the other person’s motives.
o Our perspective is most often driven by our pride!

Psalm 10:4 (NIV) In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
o Pride keeps us from admitting our true condition and dealing with truth.
o Pride causes us to view ourselves as a victim.
o Being offended usually leads to anger. When we are angry, we say and do foolish and damaging things.

James 1:19-20 (NIV) 19My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
o If you live in anger, you will not be a peacemaker.

Romans 12:18 (NIV) If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
o Do you see yourself as sinned against first, or a sinner first?
o If you don’t acknowledge you are a sinner, you will never overcome being offended!

2 Timothy 3:1-4 (ESV) 1But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
o If this represents the attitudes of many in the church, it’s inevitable we will be offended.

2. BREAKING FREE:

Romans 12:3 (NIV) For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
o You cannot have an accurate self assessment without humility.

Revelation 3:18 (NIV) I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
o Transformation is painful yet very fruitful.
o Our transformation always benefits our relationships.

3. WE ARE COMMANDED TO FORGIVE.

Matthew 6:15 (ESV) But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
o Life is a journey of forgiveness.
o Without forgiveness, we cannot be in right standing with God.

Good News! God does not stay offended at us!
o Forgiveness sets us free regardless of the other person.
o Remember God is just!

Colossians 3:13 (ESV) Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Matthew 18:21-22 (ESV) 21Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
o We are called to forgive—it’s not a feeling but an act of your will.

4. MOVING FORWARD IN LOVE:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB) 4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
o In order to love and not be offended, we must die to our flesh.
o Remember there is a battle between our flesh and the Holy Spirit. (See Galatians 5:16-17)

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
• At what level do you live offended?
• Have you ever said, “I will never…”? Repent! Vows are destructive.
• Are you expressing your offense on social media where you face no real consequences?
• What do you choose to be offended about?
• Are you an offender?

LIFE GROUP QUESTIONS TO REFLECT AND DISCUSS:
Passages to consider: 2 Timothy 3:2-4; Luke 17:1; Hebrews 12:14-15; Psalm 101:5; Matthew 17:24-27
Icebreaker: When an item breaks, are you a fix-it person or a get-a-new-one person? Share a story about that!

  1. What from the sermon was impactful to you? What passage from God’s word has stuck with you?
  2. What has been your experience with offense or being offended lately?
  3. Read Matthew 17:24–27 & Luke 17:1-5. Read them twice. What is Jesus saying about offended? A) What does Jesus show us about being offended and being offensive in His example of living?
  4. What do you find yourself being offended about? How do you respond when you are offended? A) What would you measure your “offended” level at? What about your irritation or anger level? (Would you be willing to ask someone close to you to help assess those levels?)
  5. Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5 & Colossians 3:12-14. Compare and contrast these passages. What is similar, and what is different? What does this show you as you seek to follow Jesus? A) How does the fruit of the Spirit that is being cultivated in your life fit into this?
  6. How will you become more aware of your own levels of picking up offense, anger/frustration, and being offensive this week? A) What relationships, situations, or patterns do you need to let God help you be aware of?

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