Ecclesiastes 7:9 Offended Quickly

Blowing a flame

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9 

Being offended by something is common among many people. They like their way of doing things and way of thinking. When someone else does or thinks differently, they are offended that someone could be that way.

Words are often spoken that are truth, but contain some ugly fact about someone or some event in them. People desiring to forget the past, will often quickly take offense to what is said, forgetting the real truth.

Once a person becomes provoked or offended, they will often quickly say or do something that is wrong in retaliation. This is where many fights and battles begin, is in retaliation to an offense.

In this passage today, one is told not to be quickly provoked. The anger that arises in provocation is something that only fools possess.

Sadly many believers are very quickly provoked to anger. They will very quickly take offense with the way a non-believer lives or wants things to be. Instead of showing love and care, they strike back in anger with words and sometimes actions.

This not only happens outside the church, but often occurs within the church. People take offense with the pastor or other church members. They do not like the way something is said and get angry. Then they talk about the offense under the pretense of care or concern, but rather as gossip and causing division among the believers.

Every believer is supposed to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. One of the results of being filled with His Holy Spirit is the fruit of peace. This believer will be at peace and remain calm when someone tries to provoke or offend him.

Jesus had every reason to be provoked, but He remained in control and did not retaliate in anger.

Allow yourself to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit and filled with the peace Jesus gives you. There will be days when someone will do or say something to provoke you to anger. Sometimes this will be on purpose, other times it is just who they are.

Do not allow yourself to be quickly angered, becoming a fool and making a bad choice in word or action. Allow God to control your emotions in the situation and choose to walk the path of love and compassion.

Allow God’s peace to reign in your heart and mind.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your heart; that God will give you strength to overlook an offense; that God will help you to chose love over retaliation; and that your choices will reveal God’s character of love. 

Proverbs 19:11 Wisdom Produces Patience

Patience in fishing

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 

Being offended by someone is something that can occur very easily. In today’s society it is more common to hear about someone being offended by something than someone who is not being offended.

People are trying to erase the dark side of America’s history, because they are offended by it. There were things that were said and done that were wrong. Today if you talk about that past, many will get offended.

Those who get offended often put up a fight. They want to strike back and make a change. Often it is done immediately with no thought about what was said. There is rarely any thought given as to why something was said or done, other than it was offensive.

Those getting offended does not just confine itself to those in the world, but inside the church. Believers get offended by other believers, or even non-believers. The reality is that the offense is just someone making a bad choice.

Solomon points out another value of wisdom. Wisdom will bring about patience in a person. That patience will cause a person to overlook an offense.

Wisdom helps a person to realize the truth behind an offense. It can give the person eyes to see how bad the offense really is.

Most often the offense is does no real damage. It is also often done out of ignorance. Many people do not always know what will offend another and just say or do things that could be seen as offensive.

Rather than striking back immediately, wisdom will cause a person to stop, think about it, and realize the offense was just words. There is no real harm being done.

One does not need to take offense. He must have patience and guide the person onto the right track. Rather than fighting back, he must overlook it.

You will have times where you will get offended by someone. Someone will say or do something that offends you. You will have a choice to make.

Do not be like the world and strike back or try to offend the person. Be willing to love and forgive as Jesus forgave you. Look past the offense and see why the person is the way he is.

This is where wisdom comes in. It is knowing how to best use the knowledge you have. Knowing that the offense is only a light and momentary trouble, not worth fighting.

I pray today that God will fill you with His wisdom; that God will help you see people as He sees them; that God will give you His patience with other people; that you will turn to God for strength when you get offended; and that you will love others as God loves them. 

Proverbs 12:16 Quickly Offended

Overlook a city

Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. Proverbs 12:16 

Getting offended is something that occurs to a lot of a people on a regular basis. Someone says or does something and someone else is offended at it. They do not like what someone else is saying or doing.

Very quickly people take offense and start fighting back. The fight back can be with words or actions. Rarely does a person take a step back and consider what was said, who said it or why it was said. They do not give the other person a chance.

Many relationships have been broken up because of one wrong word that was spoken and offense was taken.

This verse reveals that it is only fools who show annoyance immediately to an offense. The wise and prudent are quick to overlook it and move on.

While the world is known for taking offense against others, so are many in the church. Believers take offense to other believers and to those outside the church.

Those who overlook an insult are being wise. They realize immediately how little that insult really is in sight of the big picture. The insult took only a few seconds to say and is over. Eternity lasts for ever. Just life on this earth lasts a lot longer than that short insult.

Taking offense to an insult is something  that often lasts for years. It wastes time and energy being angry about it or retaliating against it.

Jesus said that the believer is to turn the other cheek when someone strikes. Insults are a verbal strike against someone, so the believer must turn the other cheek. It does no good to take offense to it and fight back. It breaks down the chance to be a witness of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness.

There will be a time when someone will offend you, if it has not already occurred. Before you get offended, take a step back and see what Jesus has done for you. You had offended God when you sinned against Him, yet, He still loved you and made a way for you.

Keep your eyes on Jesus and eternity. The small thing of that offense will become even smaller. It has no real meaning in light of eternity.

Do not allow yourself to be offended, but instead love and pray for those who offend and are enemies.

I pray today that you will know the love of God for you and for others; that you will know God’s mercy upon all people; that your eyes will be focused upon God and eternity; and that God will give you His peace when someone offends you. 

Jeremiah 1:19 They Will Fight You

“They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 1:19

God called Jeremiah to speak to the people and the nations. Many of his words that he would have to speak were not very nice sounding, politically correct words, yet they would be the message God wanted the people to hear. God promised Jeremiah that the people would fight against him because of those words, however, God would rescue him. Despite their numbers and strength, they would not be able to destroy Jeremiah.

No one likes to be offended in any way or spoken against and told that he is wrong. People like to think that their choices and decisions are the best and that they are correct in all that they do. They want to be in absolute control of their own lives and not allow anyone else to take away that control.

The gospel message is the number one message that God wants all of the world to hear about. His whole purpose in sending Jesus to the earth was to save the world from their sins.

Yet, as great as that message is, it is also extremely offensive and politically un-correct. In the eyes of the world it is the wrong thing to say.

It is offensive because it says:
* It says you are wrong
* It says you are going to die
* It says you have to give up all control
* It says that you must obey
* It says  you must forgive
* It says  you must love
* It says that there is only one way into heaven

If you speak these kinds of words to most people, most of them will hate you and fight against you. God promised this to Jeremiah, Jesus went through this, and Jesus promised you would also be persecuted for your belief. It is nothing new.

The world does not see God’s love showing how to have the best life possible for all eternity, because they get stuck on the words of them being wrong. It doesn’t make sense that God would die for you, but it is the truth.

Despite the world hating you for the gospel message, God is with you. All the world can do is destroy your body, God has your soul in His hands. They cannot destroy that. God will rescue you in the end. So go out and share that gospel message with the world. Show them that God really does love them, even when they are wrong.

I pray today that God will fill you with boldness to speak His words; that you will be filled with God’s love for the people; and that the world will see God’s love through you.