The Offense

by Rhonda, October 07, 2023

I woke at 4 a.m.  

Its been happening that way often, night after night.  Sometimes its 3:45, sometimes its 4:15, but it always comes.  I am angry over any offense my mind can muster.  I replay the day that's just finished, reliving things I did wrong.  I roll them over in my mind, cementing my disappointment with myself.  Then, I replay things other people did to me that I don't like.  If I'm not angry at myself, I might as well be angry at others.

I flip on the light and stumble into the kitchen.  I pour myself a bowl of cereal and finish the milk left in the carton.  As I ate the cereal, I pulled out my journal and stared at the pages.  I could think of nothing to write, so in frustration, I pushed the journal away and asked God what was wrong with me.  

As He began to speak truth to my heart, I wrote down what He said to me:  Don't you see Me, always going before you, always providing a way?  I grant you favor - don't doubt my blessings or gifts.  Don't defend a battle I've already won.  You get to rest in my secure and loving arms.  The battles I call you to are far more significant than this.  I don't waste my warriors on meaningless warfare.

Finally, the truth of what was happening.  All of this anger over stupid little events that offended me was meaningless warfare.  It was such a waste of my time (and my sleep!).  I began to take stock of what had happened, and why I'd fallen backwards into a world of being easily offended.  I was either easily offended by things I did, or things that others did.

I know myself well enough to know when I'm angry, I'm usually wrong.  Excessive anger, in my experience, never means I'm right.  I also know when I'm in this place, I'm usually not putting on the armor of God on a daily basis.  

I have things I do, routines that I follow, that keep my mind in a good place and stop me from being easily offended.  I read the Word, I write, I journal, and I exercise.  It may seem strange, but when you battle the mental struggles that I have, you have to find your weapons for battle.  

But, things had been slipping.  I knew it and God knew it.  I'd been strengthened by my time with Him, and I thought I could do things on my own.  I slowly fell away, deciding I didn't need to spend time in the Word, because I was stronger.  I stopped the routines that were keeping me healthy.

And then came the 4 a.m. crazies followed by a bowl of Captain Crunch and prayer of desperation.

I'm nothing if not predictable.  

God is the only one who heals my mind, over and over.

Eph 6:18 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground

When we stray away from God, we lose one of the greatest blessings of our lives.  Our joy.  Don't give your joy away for some stupid reason. Don't throw your pearls before swine.  Don't allow small offenses to take root in your life.  You're far too valuable to the Kingdom to be caught up in meaningless warfare.  

Matt 7:6 Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

God's plans are for you to be free from any ties that bind you, including offenses.  You can stop worrying so much about such things and enjoy being you!  Joyfully, happily you!  You can focus on blessings and happiness instead of perceived shortcomings.  

Jesus forgave the disloyal disciples who offended Him because He knew His father and He was loyal to His father.  His mind was on serving God, not avenging offenses.  Jesus never had to protect his own name.  So, if you're battling small offenses, you can let go and you can free your mind from the offense before deeper roots take hold.  Don't let it take hold of you and don't give it anymore power.    

Think about it.  You need calm more than you need to be angry.

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