I was thinking this week about how people get offended in church, the reason was that as I sat in church, I saw someone wearing an item of clothing which was emblazoned with a famous film title, I was sitting there thinking “that’s a film about rape and violence! not the most appropriate clothing for church!” I realise that I discussed judging one another a few weeks ago, but I do not wish to judge that person as it is their choice, and to be honest I have worn a Borat t-shirt saying “high-fiiiive” not offensive unless you have seen either movie. I spoke to my sister about it because I didn’t want to offend the person who was wearing the said item, and found out that there was a reason behind it which made sense!
I know that there is a verse about not causing your neighbour to stumble, and when I have been part of a prayer team I have dressed in a shirt rather than a hoody and jeans, as I was trying to be sensitive to not offend people enough to make them not want to come to me to be prayed for! Is that ridiculous or understandable? I recently found out that my little sister was once asked to remove her “FCUK” jumper/hoody when she was in a church meeting as an old guy found it offensive, she then was so self-conscious that she couldn’t concentrate on worship for the rest of the service!
Now I cannot remember Jesus ever being offended apart from when the money-changers and market-owners occupied the temple courtyards preventing the gentiles from entering the temple. So why do we think we have the right to be offended? After a little research, I found a passage where Jesus avoided needlessly causing offence by paying his tax!
I am rubbish with conflict, I avoid it as much as I can! It took me about a month to talk to someone because I was desperate to not offend them, I also knew that as I often get tongue-tied, what I may want to say would not come out right! But after a “word of wisdom” from someone, I went and received prayer for it, then God gave me a way into the conversation and I was able to discuss it in a calm and confident manner! Praise God!
I have been talking to a couple of friends of mine who have been disowned/condemned by their relatives, one for getting a tattoo and the other for leaving a religion that they no longer believed in. I am amazed at the audacity of the “human condition” to be self-righteous and judgemental. “All have sinned and fallen short” so none of us have a right to judge anyone else for anything they do! We all have done something we regret, none of us are be able to say “I am better than you” because all our mistakes are the same to God, he cannot look on us in our sinful state without seeing us through Jesus’ death!
I once asked the question “when you go to heaven and you see a “gag reel” of your life how would you feel when everyone sees your mistakes?” but I was wrong! God does not keep “Record of wrongs”, it’s like God has a video camera and records everything good that happens in our life and when we are about to sin, Jesus puts his hand over the lens saying “I dealt with that!”
So I want to know:-
- What have you been offended by recently? Were you right to be offended?
- Is there anyone who you have lost touch with due to them offending you or you causing offence? Is it time to forgive or ask for forgiveness?