Friday, July 29th, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 81)
Offended? Don't Be
A person's wisdom yields patience;
It is to one's glory to overlook an offense.
Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)
A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city.
Proverbs 18:19 (NKJV)
Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you. For you also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others.
Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 (NASB)
If offense is a slandering demon standing at your front door yelling insults... if you can't bear his wrong-minded opinions, mixing truth and lies to present his case... if you open the door to confront him, arguing with righteous indignation, then you've invited him into debate.
It's a spirit versus human contest, and you have no chance of winning alone. To make this prejudicial drama worse, the peace of your house is lost in the fight. Everyone around you is affected. The cunning demon scores hit after hit, until you give up or exit the room.
But what if the mistaken accuser is a friend or family member? We can see when Jesus said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men' (Matthew 16:23)... how our best friends can speak for the devil.*
Actors, models and talent for Christ: When offense struts into your presence, consider a better strategy:
1. Don't open any door to debate. When you're agitated or defensive, chances are, you're not speaking for God and you're surely not speaking to God. Stay silent and pray on God's armor. Hits won't injure you and Satan will leave.
2. Find a place alone and pray to God. Ask for fortitude and compassion toward Satan's unwitting mouthpiece. If Peter, James and John spoke wrongly, if Christ's Own brothers thought Him crazy, even our closest kin can be used.**
3. 'Love covers a multitude of sins' (1 Peter 4:8). 'Whoever would foster love covers over an offense' (Proverbs 17:9). 'Love suffers long and is kind... is not provoked... bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails' (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).***
To Be Continued...
* Excellent short article: Why did Jesus say to Peter, 'Get behind me Satan'?http://www.gotquestions.org/get-behind-me-Satan.html
** When James and John advised Jesus to raze a Samaritan village, He refused and said they didn't know what 'spirit' they were of. See Luke 9:51-56: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke+9%3A51-56&version=NKJV
** The kin of Jesus think He's crazy: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+3%3A21&version=NKJV
*** 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 in their entirety: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13%3A4-8&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.