Resolving Offenses

21 October 2012


1.   Introduction

·         Lk.17:1-3 “It is impossible that no offence should come”

·         Wherever there are people there will be offences.

·         Offences can produce dramatic and lasting damage to people and relationships.

·         Offences will come to every person – key issue is how you deal with them.

·         Vs3 “Take heed to yourselves” – Jesus warning to guard ourselves in issue of offences.

·         Mt. 24:10Many will be offended, will betray one another and will hate one another”.


2.   What is an Offence?


(a)  What it is not!

·         We tend to think that an offence is anything a person does that “hurts me” or results in me “feeling bad”.

·         James 3:2 We all stumble (offend) in many things, if anyone does not stumble (offend) in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.

·         All people sin, make mistakes, struggle to communicate properly, tend to self.

·         Many of the things that “hurt us” are the result of immaturity and self-centredness.


(b)  What an Offence is

·         Offence     =NT4625= ‘Skandalon’

= a trap, a snare, a stumbling block

= an impediment placed in the way that causes a person to stumble.

·         It is inevitable that the actions of others or their failure to act can be a cause of stumbling to others.

·         Many things can cause people to stumble, to be offended.

·         People are offended by:

(a)  The Truth (b) Jesus (c) Correction (d) Counsel (e) Unmet expectations

·         Correction that people consider an offense is not a snare to draw them into sin but an act of love to help them out of sin.

·         People often react, become offended and then stumble others, infect with offense.

·         The key issue is how you respond! – this is a choice.


3.   Your Response to Offense is a Matter of Life or Death / Prison or Promotion!


(a)    Bible Examples of People who become Offended

i)       Gen.4:5-8 Cain – offended by God’s correction – Anger and Murder

ii)      Gen.37:4-8, 18 Joseph’s brothers – offended at immaturity – Hate, Murder

iii)     1 Sam. 18:7-13 Saul – offended at Daniel’s popularity – Hate, Murder

iv)     2 Ks 5:9-17 Naaman – offended at God’s Ways – Anger and Rage

v)      2 Sam 15:1-11 Absalom – offended at Daniel’s failure – Betrayal, Murder

vi)     Num. 14:1-4 Israel – offended by spies report – Anger, betrayal

vii)    Mk.6:17-19,24 Herod’s wife – offended at the truth – Hatred and Murder

viii)   Mk 3:6 Pharisees – offended at Jesus work – Hatred and Murder




(b)  How People Usually Respond (Mt 12:34)

·      Draw others in by repeating their story to them.

·      Repeat their story in a way that highlights their hurt and injustice.

·      Never talk about the real reason they are in pain or assume responsibility.

·      Nurse their hurt rather than resolve it Jesus Way.


(c) The Hidden Agenda (Prov. 26:26-27)

·         Draw others into their offense to justify self.

·         Seek to bring others into agreement with them.

·         Make them feel like they feel.

·         Draw them to agree with their judgement of the ‘offender’.

·         Draw them onto “my side” i.e. create division.

·         Seek for you to tell them they are right to hold these attitudes.

·         Willing to sacrifice your future, damage your heart and relationship with that person in order to justify themselves and prove they are right.


·         Hatred is at the root of the behaviour – love always seeks to restore.

·         Words that carry a spirit of offense – taste sweet – they resonate within us – they wound our spirit and ability to love.

·         Prov.26:17 Meddling with strife = taking dog by ears.

(d) Passive Listening = Agreement

·         We tend to listen to people because we care about them and want to help them.

·         Don’t just listen and agree – give Biblical direction or become angry and offended.

Prov. 18:17 There are two sides to a story.

Prov. 18:13 Don’t come to conclusion without hearing the other side.

·         Give Bilheal direction! Mt18: Have you spoken to this person about it?


4.      How to Deal with Offences


(a)  You feel Offended

Mt.18:15 “Go and talk face to face with a heart for restoration

(i)    Bring it to the Lord first – Ask the Holy Spirit to help!

Expose feelings – how did you lose your peace?

Expose judgements – what do I need to face?

Forgive and bless the person! – Choice! e.g. Joseph; Gen 45:4-5

(ii)   Resolve it with the person

Ask for a suitable time and private place to meet.

Get to the point – identify the specific action and how it affected you.

Listen to understand the other person.

Own your part – repent and forgive.

(b)  Someone Comes to You with an Offense

(i)    Guard your heart from premature judgement and offenses.

(ii)   Challenge the person to obey Jesus directive – Mt. 18.

(iii)  Pray and bless the person you spoke about.