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Causes of Offense

Breaking the chains of offense can set you free!

A definition of offense is an annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult or disregard for one’s standards or principals.

Synonyms for offense: annoyance, anger, resentment, indignation, irritation, wrath and displeasure.

Those who are easily offended are usually described as “wounded, hurt, insulted, angry, or disappointed.”  When someone gets offended, they take everything personally. Scripture teaches however, if we keep our focus upon God and His Word, He will maintain peace in our hearts that can withstand offense, “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165; “You will keep him in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Causes of Offense:

Unhealed past wounds/hurts:
There are Christians who are “touchy” or extremely sensitive. They spend much of their time hurt or upset at people and at circumstances. For these types of Christians, we should be patient and gentle with them, encouraging them. There are reasons they are so sensitive, it could be a past hurt or wound that has not been healed. Any wound or hurt that has not been healed can cause a person to misinterpret others and their responses to them. Sensitive feelings can be a way that Satan uses to oppress people. This can be seen by people not experiencing joy or peace because of being easily offended by others.

Focusing too much on self:
Hurt feelings and being easily offended usually has something to do with self, such as, “I did not get my way or what I wanted.” We must die to self, and become totally immersed in the identity of Jesus Christ. When we die to self, we will become immune to offenses. Die to self-will that demands justice for my rights that have been violated. Our heart attitudes must be right when seeking a solution to our offense. We must approach the person who offended us in meekness and humility.

False expectations:
People will fail us and they will disappoint us. Expectations should not be placed upon humans, but Christ alone. Although Christians are forgiven and have Christ living in them, they will sometimes fail and make mistakes.

Feeling entitled:
Many root causes of offense is the feeling of entitlement. When someone disrespects you, you feel offended and feel the need to “get back,” at them. Maybe someone hurt you from your past, and you feel that you will never allow anyone to hurt you again or disrespect you.

Feeling ignored or overlooked:
If someone passed by you and did not say, “Hello,” or they did not invite you to lunch. Or maybe you have been going though a trial and no one seems to have noticed your plight or reached out to you.

Offenses left unrestrained can lead to bitterness, anger, resentment, complaining, and murmuring. Offenses that are held onto to can cause a Christian to be hindered in their spiritual growth, it can build walls in relationships, can lead to potential sickness, and cause bondages in a person’s life that can open the door to demonic strongholds such as discouragement, fear, negative attitudes, critical spirit, and feelings of rejection. When a Christian applies forgiveness, grace, and mercy it can remove all offense and one can experience greater peace, joy, love, more openness in relationships, and spiritual growth and maturity.

If we see or hear something in another Christian that offends us, we should examine ourselves first. Since the faults we see in others are usually the same ones we have ourselves, we should be careful when correcting others. We need to be certain we have dealt with that problem in our lives first.

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3

Share with our readers how you have overcome offense.


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