The Spirit of Offense

A spirit of offense is feeling resentful because of an actual or perceived

insult. There are many opportunities to offend others and to be offended.

Offense becomes a problem and moves into a spirit of offense when we

don’t process the hurt and let it go, but instead we begin to nurse our offense. At

some point it can start to consume our thought life and affect our ability

to walk out our God given purpose. Many Christians, leaders and pastors think the “spirit of offense” is an actual epidemic in our society today.

The biggest key element that offense does, is that it breaks up unity. It loves to conquer and divide. We see this in the scripture…Proverbs 18:19 READS – “An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.”

There are too many factors to list that cause us to be hurt and develop a

spirit of offense, but here is a list of four common factors that contribute to people feeling

hurt or offended.

1. Unrealistic Expectations

2. Our own Wounded Spirit

3. Holding on to Things too Long

4. Assuming a negative Intent

Overcoming a spirit of offense takes intentionality and a humble spirit

willing to surrender “the right to stay hurt”. There are steps we can take

that help us move to releasing the person and avoiding a spirit of offense

from taking root.

1. Acknowledge that we were hurt by something someone said or did

even if it is an irrational hurt. God is ready and willing to hear our cries

and help us walk through our pain.

2. Don’t quickly turn to others for counsel without serious consideration

and prayer. If we need to process and discuss the offense, one person

can provide the wisdom we seek. A spirit of offense usually involves just 2

people, and by seeking counsel from too many people, we create a bigger

problem. We may start out innocently working toward recovery and but we can easily

get trapped into offending someone else.

3. Pray for your own grieving spirit and for the other person.

4. Walk through forgiveness even if you don’t feel it. That means if we

see the person who hurt us, act graciously. This can be difficult, but such

an important step in healing.

Proverbs 29:11 READS - “Sensible people control their temper; they earn

respect by overlooking wrongs.”

What about you? Comment below about a time when you forgave someone and overcame a spirit of offense.

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