We all have filters that we sift others through. Its how we get a “read” on them, it is our conclusion. Fact of the matter, its how we judge them – its our filter. Those filters are placed in our hearts at an early age and protect us from being hurt. Do most filters not always begin with some kind of offense? From first boyfriends/girlfriends, to parents, to friends and even to the stranger at the quick mart. Once one of them offends us, then the lesson is learned, filed away and put up for future reference.
How do we get back the heart we had before the offenses of the world? Where do we start? Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. ” Yes, God can do that. The problem is, sometimes we even put God through that filter. Once that offense is there, its minions multiply and infest our hearts with bitterness.
For some reason children are on my heart this morning. The children are so vulnerable to this spirit of offense. Isn’t that when most offenses start, on the playground? I know we’re brought up with sayings like “words can’t hurt you” and for a while that works. However, we start growing up and the offenses keep getting larger. Those words may begin to sting a little. But NOPE, words can’t hurt us right? “WE WILL NOT LET THOSE WORDS HURT US” is our motto. Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that little minions name is pride. We become too proud to admit we are hurt. Furthermore, that old saying “words can’t hurt you” causes us to lean on our own strength, when we know our own strength will never sustain us.
From that first offense comes pride, bitterness, anger, resentment and on and on. The enemy gets a firm grasp and we become puppets. Then finally comes the day when we just have no control over our hearts any longer and we lay it down at the foot of the Cross. The only way to regain control and ever “feel” the love of God is to put away our pride and our anger and allow God to take the reigns. Whether we realize it at the time or not it is the Lord’s Hand that has kept us thus far. If He would have lifted His Hand from us the enemy would have destroyed us all together. It is His grace revealed to us that brings us freedom.
The spirit of offense is alive and well in both believers and non-believers. It is destroying relationships and provoking others into unforgiveness as well. When we walk around offended, it’s not only us that bares that burden. We snap at the clerk at the drive through because our show is coming on in 15 minutes and we’re in a hurry and guess what – she is now offended. We just planted her seed of offense. It’s called reaping and sowing. We just sowed into that person a seed of offense. We just gave her a filter to sift all others through.
When we are angry or upset with someone, pray about it first. Ask God for revelation and understanding. Pray for them to see that they just placed you through their filter. Plant in them a seed of God’s love instead of responding emotionally. The love of Jesus is much stronger than the seed of offense. How will the world ever know Jesus’ love when we choose the enemy’s seed of offense? It IS a choice. It is a life or death choice. It begins in childhood and lasts a lifetime on earth if the enemy has his way. John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Choose love. – Donna Warren