One of the most damaging results of being offended by someone is the message Satan slips into our minds about our identity through what the other person did or said. Satan is our sworn enemy, taking advantage of any opportunity he can to fulfill his mission as recorded in John , to"kill, steal and destroy." At the end of the verse Jesus tells us the good news that He came to defeat Satan's plan with His own mission. He said, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly"(NASB).
Satan is relentless. He will not stop coming at you until you are dead. Until that day, it's on! Yet, we don't need to be afraid. Rather, we need to be equipped to stop him and to foil his plans towards us. That is why Scripture tells us this about thebattle. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1Peter 5:8 NLT).
We are also told that we can become aware of the strategies and schemes Satan throws at us and everyone else, so that Satan will not outsmart us, for we are familiar with his evil schemes. (2 Corinthians NLT) Though he is a deceiver, his strategies and schemes are the same ones he uses over and over. In other words, he is predictable, and God can help us understand what to look for.
This is certainly true in the area of being offended. When we are offended we may feel hurt, angry, bitter, resentful and more. Satan's strategy is to get us stuck in these emotions and sins. God's remedy to defeat Satan, as we've been discussing the past few weeks, is to Biblically forgive the offender for their offense,and to confess any sin of bitterness we may have towards them.
Let me say a few more things about forgiveness before I go any further about the attack on our identity. Forgiveness is not saying that what the person did was OK. It's saying it was not OK, but you are not going to allow that person to keep hurting you by not forgiving them. With that in mind, you may have wondered, "What do I do if someone keeps doing the same hurtful sin towards me? Do I just take it and keep forgiving them?" Jesus says, "No," and gives a three step process to deal with it in Matthew 18:15-17. You can also pray for God to break the stronghold that is causing the person to hurt you.
Now back to our main topic. Another scheme of Satan is to put a lie in our minds about our identity when we are offended. Don't be surprised if this lie is the same lie you have heard many other times in your life.
Here is an example of this. A little boy grew up with his dad never telling him that he loved him but rather criticizing him for everything he did. When he became an adult, he found himself extremely sensitive to any kind of correction from his boss to the point that he would become depressed for days. When he finally forgave his dad, he asked his Heavenly Dad what the lie was. He said, "The lie is this: You are inadequate and therefore unlovable. I gave my Son, Jesus, for you personally, showing how valuable you are to me. You are complete in me and are deeply loved."
Believe it! It's the Gospel.
Live Free In Christ,
Mark Maulding, President and Founder
www.GraceLifeInternational.com All Content Copyright © 2016 Mark Maulding but feel free to pass it on!