He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. (1 Peter 2:23 NLT)
Taking an offense to someone offended by you is like pouring gasoline on a fire.
In my country, the USA, and many others in this world, we live in difficult times. Much of our educational system has gone from educating students to indoctrinating them. Open debate is a thing of the past. Our young people are coached to be offended when people disagree with them. On college campuses, instead of an exchange of ideas, students tend to shut down dialogue they don’t like. It is who can yell the loudest and longest that wins the argument. Ideas don’t matter; it’s all about power and control.
How should a Christian respond to such a world as this? First, we recognize that the Gospel will always be offensive to the unregenerate mind. Why should we be so surprised when sinners sin? That is what they do. Jesus told us in 2 Timothy 3:12 NLT that we should expect persecution. If you are not experiencing some form of resistance, you’re probably not standing up for your faith.
Second, when someone treats us harshly because of our faith, remember about that person, but for the grace of God, there I am. The difference between them and us is God’s goodness and grace. They still walk in darkness, whereas God has given us that underserved light.
Make no mistake, Christians should resist evil, but never by becoming offended. If you have taken up an offense, you have started to fight flesh and blood. Ephesians 6 tells us that we are not fighting against people but the powers of darkness. When we fight flesh and blood, we always lose—even when we win the argument, we will lose the war.
How do we win the battle—through forgiveness. We must forgive, as we have been forgiven. You might ask, how many times? Jesus said, “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22 NLT), in other words, as many as it takes.
The image is used with permission by Microsoft.