“She was mean to me”, “They excluded me”, “He violated me”. Haven't we all heard them...the excuses people use to justify building walls around themselves?
And yet it is clear, those who love much, will have to overcome offense.
I remember when a group of people set me up to exploit me. I loved them deeply, but they purposely exposed, connived, and betrayed me. I was hurt, deeply.
Still, every grudge we hold is like taking a brick and placing it between us and the other person.
As time goes on, offenses can cause us to build an entire fortress around ourselves, without us even realizing it.
Proverbs 18:19 tells us, “A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.”
In Bible times, walls were common. They existed around cities and groups of people. Another name for these fortresses is, “defensive walls”.
And yet, haven't we all gotten “defensive” when another has hurt us; put up walls, placed bricks, put up barriers in hopes to protect ourselves?
As Missional Women, we can't afford to get defensive, let walls of offense be built up between us and those we are ministering to, if we want to reach the nations.
Scripture says, offense is like a stumbling block, or the stick holding up a trap. When tapped, it imprisons us.
But, let's not take the bait.
Matthew 24:10-12 says in the last days many will be offended, betray and hate each other. Yet, there are ways we can live with unoffendable hearts.
When we give him our hurt, He can tare down every wall in us too, following Jesus model on the cross, “Lord forgive them, for the know not what they do”. (Luke 23:34)
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog, Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.
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