In sports, they say the best defense is a good offense.
I don’t know about that. Sports bore me. I’m thankful the hubby doesn’t care about them either. But, think about that saying. In sports you want to outscore your opponent. Therefore a good offense that puts a lot of points on the board is going to overcome a good defense.
Isn’t the same thing at work with us? Someone hurts us, purposely or not. Well, it’s always on purpose, right? I can hear it now, “She knows exactly what she did to me. She probably planned it for days, no weeks, months even!!”
“She lay there in the tall grass, just waiting for her chance to humiliate me in front of all my friends, like a cunning serpent. And when I innocently said something just a tiny-bit wrong, she sprung like a lioness and took me down. No, I will never forget that. NEVER!!”
So, now that offense you nurture and baby and care for, has become your best defense. By staying away from the person who hurt you, you protect yourself from being hurt again. Your offense is your defense.
But what if you are wrong about the other person? What if she truly didn’t mean to hurt you? What if she doesn’t even know you are mad at her?
I think life provides plenty of legitimate opportunities for offense, without us making stuff up or blowing things completely out of proportion. Do people hurt other people? Of course they do. And some of them abuse, traumatize and destroy people without conscience, it seems. That is my point. We have enough genuine “wrongs” in the world without adding to the list by getting upset when someone cuts us off in traffic or talks too loudly at the movie.
Maybe your husband didn’t change the burned-out bulb in the bathroom, even though you reminded him eleven times. Or maybe he didn’t get the hint you dropped about your birthday and gave you a gift you didn’t like. Or, husbands, maybe you got upset when she returned the gift you picked out so carefully. Or, she sold the dress you bought her for Christmas in a yard sale.
We have to be careful, because offense is a sin that can wound your soul and make you physically sick.
Micah 6:13 says, “Therefore, I have also smitten you with a deadly wound and made you sick because of your sin.” God said his people, Israel, had sinned. The sin wounded them and the result was physical illness.
Look at Psalm 41:3-4
3 The Lord will sustain and strengthen him on his sickbed; in his illness, you will restore him to health. 4 As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.”
God promises to restore us from our bed of physical sickness. He heals our soul when we sin against Him.
Offense can make us physically sick and yet we hold on tightly because we feel so righteous in our anger and hurt. Give it enough time and your offense will turn to resentment and bitterness. And, the worst part is, quite possibly, the person who wronged you, who hurt you or shamed you or cheated you may be completely unaware of the cause of your anger. They likely have no idea they are the source of your offense.
Let’s again remember the man at the pool of Bethesda. Read his story in John 5. When Jesus encountered him, the man had been an invalid for 38 years. I picture Jesus kneeling down to the man’s level, where he asked gently, “Do you want to get well?”
The man could have just said, “Yes. Yes I do!” Instead, he complained that no one would help him into the healing water and, even though he had waited his whole life, people kept cutting line in front of him. His family had turned their backs. He didn’t have any friends he could count on. All he wanted was to be first in the water, just once, so he could be healed!
Now, I don’t want to add to scripture, but isn’t it possible the man was carrying a big old wound in his soul that kept him sick? The guy was an invalid 38 years. He had probably lost count of the days, weeks, months and years he had waited and yet, every stinking time, someone jumped line, rushed in ahead of him and stole what was rightfully his.
Jesus looked right past the man’s anger and told him to pick up his pallet, get up and walk. As soon as he tried, he could stand and walk. Jesus said to him, “Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
Is there a possibility that this man was offended? Could that have been his sin? I think there is. If offense was part of the reason the man was sick, it is horrible that it lasted 38 years. Thirty-eight years. I think that is why Jesus warned him, “Stop being offended. Don’t get offended again because you’ll get sick again.”
Offense is a weapon of Satan. It kills relationships, steals your joy and destroys your life. It kills marriages, steals your peace and destroys your future. It breaks families apart. It turns brother against brother, sister against sister, children against parents. And, worst of all, it can destroy your health.
Are you thinking of someone who has offended you? How long has it been since you’ve talked with them? A month? A year? Thirty-eight years? A lifetime?
Today is the day to begin making things right. Do you want to get well? Big Love, Katie
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