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Resolving Offences

Mike Connell

Page 2 of 10
Jesus said: offences must come. Now when we think about offence, this is what most people think... Now actually this is not a Biblical offence, so when Jesus is talking about offences, He's not talking about this next thing I'm going to say. Here's what most people think of, when they think of an offence. We tend to think an offence is when: someone hurt me; you hurt me; or I feel bad after my interaction with you. I came happy, and then I went away miserable; so we tend to think: well, you've got the problem, you've offended me. This is ridiculous. I'm the one who's got the problem. I came there happy, and walked away sad; I'm the one who's got the feelings changed, I'm the one who's got the issue. I'm potentially about to become an offender. See, we tend to get so focussed on other people, and what they do; we don't look at our own heart. Jesus said its impossible that offences not come. He doesn't tell you immediately in that verse what you ought to do. He says: guard yourself first; so we've got to have a look at this issue of offences.

So we tend to think an offence is: something someone else does, that hurts me, and makes me feel bad. Actually your feelings are your feelings. No one is responsible for your feelings but you. Oh well, you make me feel angry. No, no, no, no. No, your anger is your anger, I didn't make you feel angry, you just got angry. It's your response. So while we blame someone else, we don't look at what's going on in our own life, and we miss the chance to grow. In James 3 verse 2 it says: we all offend in many things. How about that? We all offend in many things, James 3:2. How many are included in that? All, all of us! We all offend in many things, and not just little things; and so I may have been a Pastor for many years, but the truth of the word says that I offend in many things - still. And it says: if any man doesn't offend with his words, then he's perfect. Have we got any perfect people here? Please, please can we find the perfect person, and get them to put their hand up? Right away, put your hand up, we need to see you. We can all give you a clap. [Laughter] [Shian?] You're asking the wrong person; you've got to ask Kathy [laughs] - she's shaking her head see.

See, so if any offend not on the word, then he's a perfect person, he can bridle the whole tongue. So the reality is, we all offend in many ways; and not only that, most particularly, we offend with the words we speak, and how we speak, and the attitude we speak in. All of us do it, so if all of us do it, stop thinking you're better than anyone else. It's time to stop blaming anyone else, because actually you and I are all offenders. We all do things that are distressing to other people at various times. It doesn't mean it's always that what we do is bad; it just means it creates difficulties. So what is the Bible meaning for an offence? The word offence in the Bible is the word scandalon; in which you get a scandal, a juicy scandal. Have you noticed how juicy scandals are? Scandal is when someone seems to have done something wrong, and the newspapers get a hold of it, and they start to spread it out. Have you noticed everyone wants to talk about it, and spread the scandal? Everyone loves a juicy scandal - did you hear about so and so? Did you read the newspaper? Did you hear what happened to the couple, the prince and princess when they were out there and they were on their honeymoon? Pictures no doubt, topless no doubt; and so scandal is just there everywhere, just goes everywhere.

Whole magazines are devoted to scandals. Get a Woman's Weekly, it's got scandals all over the front page. If they haven't found one, they make one up! There's something juicy about scandals. We would think being the church we might be a bit different, but James does say: we all offend in many things; so we all have scandals going on, and we scandalise and upset others; so the word scandalon means literally this, now you need to get this really clear. When the Bible is talking about an offence, it's talking about setting a trap deliberately, that would cause someone to stumble in their walk. I'll say it again. When the Bible is talking about a Biblical offence, it means: setting a trap or a snare, so that someone coming along trips up and falls, and their journey is hindered. Now just have a think about that. Do we make mistakes? Yes, we make mistakes. Do we sin and fail? Yes, we sin and fail. These are not offences necessarily. How I respond is the offence.