Be careful not to offend

An offended brother is harder to reach than a fortified city, and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress.

 -Proverbs 18:19

 I have always thought about not being offended or taking offense at others, but the scripture also teaches us not to offend or be offensive to others. I’ve heard it said that one word of criticism equals about ten words of praise. It is so easy to hurt people with our words.

How do we navigate relationships when people are so easily offended? Kindness. The character of the Christian’s life is formed through walking in the Spirit.

I say, then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things—as I warned you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

 -Galatians 5:16-22

 When you say or do something, that might offend, are you walking in the Spirit? Notice that the flesh produces offensive content: “hatred, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions… “