When was the last time you offended someone? We are all prone to offend others in deeds or actions, whether we meant to or not. Our parents raised us not to be offensive and we in turn raise our children in the same way.
I just had the opportunity to spend a week with literally thousands of strangers in an essentially small space. I wish I could say it was a learning experience but, truthfully, it was a familiar experience we have all had at some time. It seemed that half of the people were pleasant and friendly and the other half were rude and self-centered, i.e. offensive.
They clearly don’t have the same Mama I do.
Pushing and shoving, cutting in front of others with no regard for anyone around them. Speaking when others were trying to listen to instructions, yelling and using “colorful” language. Not following direction because of the former. Then there were those that had no problem wearing as little as possible to swim or sit in the hot tub, and by those I mean older men. It was difficult remembering that Jesus died for them and loves them the same as He does me.
I know that it is a good thing to not offend others in this and many other ways. However, we can take this “not wanting to offend” too far.
Jesus calls us to be offensive. As we learned during Secret Church, the Gospel of Christ is the Greatest Offense. The Gospel shows us that we are corrupted by sin, self-centered, rebels, spiritually sick, morally evil, blinded to truth, children of wrath and spiritually dead (Secret Church 2015 Study Guide, pages25-27).
No matter how “good” we think we are, it is never and can never be good enough.
“As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Romans 3: 10-12.
Our stand for the Gospel will offend!
While we should not be “socially” offensive, we are called to be offensive in sharing the Gospel. I often wonder if I missed an opportunity to share the Gospel because I didn’t want to be offensive. What if my fear prevented someone from hearing about Jesus and it was their last or only time?
May we always be running to the cross!