WHO OFFENDS US THE MOST? OUR IMMEDIATE RELATIONSHIPS.
Don’t underestimate the power of our words. (See Proverbs 18:21)
ARE WE OFFENDED OR JUST ANNOYED?
Galatians 5:26 (NLT) Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
Ephesians 6:4 (NKJV) And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
WHAT DO WE DO IF WE ARE ACTUALLY OFFENDED?
How do we prevent broken relationships from happening?
What does it look like to let go?
Mathew 18:15-17 (NKJV) 15Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” 17And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Matthew 5:23-24 (NLT) 23So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
WE WANT TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO BE UNIFIED AND TO NOT ALLOW SATAN TO DIVIDE US.
Ephesians 4:1-3 (NASB) Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT) 14If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Before we go to someone, we need to consider… (See Proverbs 18:2)
Psalm 103:12 (NIV) as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Isaiah 43:25 (NIV) I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
QUESTIONS TO REFLECT AND DISCUSS:
Passages to consider: Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 5:21-26,38-48; Matthew 6:9-15; 1 Corinthians 13
Icebreaker: Would you rather, for the rest of your life: be around someone who talks nonstop, or be all alone on a deserted island?
1. From the sermon, what was challenging or insightful to you?
2. Read Matthew 5:21-26 & 38-48. Read it twice. What insights does Jesus share about relationships, being offended, and dealing with offense?
3. What is familiar from these passages? What is fresh to you from these passages?
4. How do you typically respond to those close to you when there is a challenge in the relationship? (You may think of immediate family, extended family, friends, fellow believers, co-workers, neighbors, or enemies.) A) What works? What doesn’t work? B) How well does your response line up with what Jesus is saying?
5. Read Psalm 4:4,5 & Ephesians 4:1-3. What insights do these passages give you about handling offense in the midst of your close relationships? A) What can be a road block for you to dealing with offense in relationships? Note: The Five Languages of Apology can be a helpful resource
6. What do you see God showing you? A) How will you respond?