Who has offended you?
One of the strongest instruments the devil uses to trap believers is unforgiveness. While we all seek God’s forgiveness, no matter how grave the offences are, the devil makes it difficult for us to let go those who offended us. Many a time, he tells us we have good reasons not to forgive. But how far from the truth that is! In another way, some forgive and count certain number of offences, when it will be right for them not to forgive. This exactly was the case of Apostle Peter, when he asked Jesus the question, ‘how many times shall my brother sin against me and I should forgive him?’ (21) What is clear here is that those who offend us most are not strangers, but our brothers, sisters, spouses, parents, children, etc.
The big question the Lord wants me to ask you as you read this is “WHO HAS OFFENDED YOU THAT YOU HAVE NOT FORGIVEN? The story Jesus told the disciples seems to be applicable to many of us. A man who owed a king N50million was pardoned by the king because he could not pay. (26-27) When the same man saw another man who owed him N500, he insisted his debtor must be jailed. What a paradox in a Pandora’s box? This action led the king to return him into prison and surely, he never came out of it. Many of us today are also in the prison of unforgiveness/malice/bitterness and this has caused many people injuries, sicknesses and setbacks. The truth is that offence must surely come. But what you do with the offence will determine whether it will make or mar you.
(A) Understanding Offenses (Luke 17:1)
According to Jesus, offences are inevitable and truly they come from angles you least expected. They come from brothers, sisters, family members, fellow church members, someone you had helped, someone you loved, etc. Whenever offence comes, kindly note these two things.
• Every Offence is a Trap of the Devil. The devil may never get you as a child of God to steal, drink, commit adultery, but surely he can sponsor someone to offend you. Every time you are offended, see it as an attempt of Satan to trap you. Many firebrand Christians today entered into the cage of the devil through the doorway of offence. Remember, if you don’t forgive, your Heavenly Father will also not forgive you. And if you are not forgiven by God, you are living in danger. (Matt. 6:14-15)
• Every Offence is an Opportunity to Display your Spirituality and Maturity. I have no doubt that only mature Christians find it easy to forgive. If you are finding it difficult to forgive, it means you are not mature and you need to grow up, no matter how many your spiritual gifts are. When you forgive, you shed weight and you are ready to soar to another altitude. Be willing to forgive today.
(B) Why You Must Forgive?
We must forgive anyone who offends us for the following reasons and more.
• God commands it- Ephe 4:32
• God wants us to forgive because He forgave us too. Col. 3:13.
• Failure to do so is Sin- James 4:17.
• Failure to do so is a doorway for the devil. Ephe. 4:26-27)
• It is a condition for God to forgive you as well. (Matt. 6:14-15) Forgive as many times as you want God to forgive you.
Rev. Dr. Israel Kristilere, Shepherdhill Baptist Church, (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory) Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos. WhatsApp: 2348033052590.