Not Offended

Happy are those who don’t stumble and fall because of me.
Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.
-Matthew 11:6 (CEB, NET)

Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t he Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” They were repulsed by him and fell into sin.  And they took offense at him.
-Mark 6:3

Are you easily offended?  We get offended when our expectations are not met.  The more self centered we are, the more we have a sense of entitlement.  We might also be governed by should's and ought's and when things don't go as we think they should or ought to, we say, "why?", and the answer to "why?" questions are usually judgemental,  condemning, or shaming.

"Open the eyes of my heart, open the eyes of my heart, I want to see you, I want to see you."

We sing that song and a dozen others that are about transformation.  There were people who could not see Jesus in the gospels.  They didn't get him.  They were blind and deaf.  They needed to be born again.  They had ideas or boxes about how things were supposed to work and Jesus was outside those boxes.  They were offended at him and a group of the most offended ones plotted and carried out his murder.

To be offended means to trip, to stumble, to fall down, or to get caught in a snare.  There are opportunities to be offended from the moment you wake up in the morning.  What or who woke you might offend you.

Jesus offended people, when he did not meet their expectations.  Dying on a Roman cross was offensive to those who were looking for a different kind of messiah.  Today, the idea of God coming as a man, and dying a torturous death is offensive to many people to the point that they just don't believe it.

If Jesus offended people then, even having to warn his cousin John to not take offense at him; we are in danger of being offended, even at Jesus, today.  John (the baptist)and those close to John, were in danger of being offended at Jesus.  They were and John perhaps was filled with expectations about Jesus that were not fulfilled.

There's a saying that you can get bitter or better.  Those who get bitter, have been offended and turn away from God.  Those who get better, feel the sting, the loss, the jilt; and turn to God.

What if I look at Jesus every time something "not good" happens to me?

What if, when I don't get what I want, when injustice hits me, when I am passed over, or when people do any variety of bad things to me; what if then, I turn the other cheek and turn to Jesus?

What if my quest, my goal, in life, is to be so in Christ that he is my life; he is my everything.  

What if loving, knowing, pleasing, and being in Christ is my life?  Isn't this the Christian life?

When we get offended, it is a sign of a glitch in our operating system that needs an upgrade.  We need more Christ in that part of us that got offended and God wants to give us more Christlikeness.

What if the Christian life is about Christ?  How it is about Christ is that we have received Christ as our savior and are now seen by God as in Christ.  We also have made Jesus, The Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord.  He is not only the one who has saved us, whom we received salvation from by faith; but he has also become the Lord of our lives.

The second, Lord, part is not optional.  Jesus is Lord.  Real Christians has surrendered their lives to The Lord Jesus.  I have died and now Christ lives.  "I" means my self, my ego, my selfishness.

Dead people or dead to self people do not get offended.  Dead to self people are alive in Christ.  God takes care of his children, those in Christ.  In Christ, we trust God to meet our needs.  In Christ, God unfolds and fulfills a plan he has for each individual.

When we get offended, we are not very much in Christ.  When we get offended, we are being little gods who are punishing the offenders of us, and it is ugly.  It is not Christlike.  

The more you are in Christ, the less offended you will be.  You'll be happier and those around you will be happier.  You'll be a better person for it.  So, the Christian life is all about.......   Christ.  Let God love you and transform you.  Let God's Spirit make you more like Jesus.  Just turn to Jesus, return to Jesus if you have stumbled and let him give you his unoffendable heart.