One of the things I have used in the past to shield myself from hurt has been offense. Three years ago today, my good friend, *Lisa Goodwin introduced me to a powerful book called, “The Bait of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense” by John Bevere. I asked Lisa to guest post today.
Have you ever been offended? If you’re breathing, my guess is, “Yes”. I’ve experienced it time after time. Being offended is one of the craftiest schemes the enemy uses to distract us. When someone offends us, it “takes us out” for a while- down trails of self-pity and anger. There are a few avenues the enemy uses to throw offense our way. People who are hurting will lash out at us and it hurts us deeply; sometimes, people have no clue what we’re dealing with and make an innocent comment, yet it cuts to our core. Finally, the enemy loves to offend when we think more highly of ourselves than others think of us. For example, It’s not God’s timing for us and we’re not invited into something we desperately want to be part of or we feel we “deserve” or have earned the right for the invitation. Sound familiar? No matter how you are offended or why, the enemy is thrilled because this distracts us from focusing on God’s voice. The more we focus on ourselves, the more we allow the enemy to speak lies into our hearts.
Reflection: Do you ever use being offended as a shield to protect yourself? Are you feeling offended now spending energy being angry or hurt? How can you lower your shield so you can hear God’s voice more clearly?
Prayer: Lord, in Ecclesiastes 7:7 you tell us that “Oppression destroys the reason of a wise man (or woman)”. Please help me to see where in my life where I am oppressed because I am letting man’s words or actions keep me from focusing on your voice. If I listen to you I will know that I am loved, I am worthy, I was fiercely and wonderfully made, or maybe even that You are telling me, that I need to let some stuff go.
*Lisa Goodwin has been pastoring women for more than 20 years. She mentors women of all ages and has made an incredible impact on the lives of many. Now, retired (whatever that means) from 12Stone Church is looking to what God has for her next!