In my last article I talked about not getting entangled in the affairs of this life and how getting offended & sowing strife do just that. They weave a web that is difficult to get out of and choke the life out of us. I would like to continue along the same vein….
2Tim. 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2Tim. 2:2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2Tim. 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2Tim. 2:4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
2Tim. 2:5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. NKJV
2Tim. 2:14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.
2Tim. 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2Tim. 2:16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.
2Tim. 2:17 And their message will spread like cancer.
2Tim. 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.
2Tim. 2:21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
2Tim. 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2Tim. 2:23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.
2Tim. 2:24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,
2Tim. 2:25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,
2Tim. 2:26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. NKJV
Note in verse 24 that Paul refers to “The Servant Of The Lord”
In order to stay free from entanglement, we must see ourselves as servants of Almighty God. God’s servants don’t get involved in arguments or vain babblings, etc. God’s servant is kind, gentle and patient. When we get involved in the wrong kind of talk, we certainly do not exhibit these attributes.
Servants do the bidding of their masters. The word of God shows us the picture of how his servants act. Kindness is the rule when we speak. When we talk our words are pleasant. God’s servants don’t get into strife and do not allow offense in. They do not take up an offense for someone else. Offense is like a cancer that spreads rapidly. It’s like a highly contagious disease that kills the person who has it and everyone they come in contact with. Offense steals the word from our lives.
Mark 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. KJV
It’s The Little Foxes That Spoil The Vine.
Offense doesn’t come in a brightly decorated package with it’s name on it. It’s a little act that bothers you or a small twist in a conversation “that wasn’t so bad”. The problem is if these “little things” remain they are allowed to grow and they become big things. They become something that is difficult to contain or control. Sometimes they become bigger than life.
“Little things” we let go unchecked are like weeds in the garden. Weeds are airborne. They are spores. They go through the air and then land. No one notices at first. When the weed starts peeking out of the ground, most of us are unsure whether it’s a weed or a plant, so we don’t pluck it out. The problem with weeds is that the longer they are in the ground, the stronger their roots get. They are difficult to pull out.
Another interesting fact about weeds is that they are a counterfeit to a plant. They look very much like a plant that may be nearby. You can’t always tell the difference until they are bigger, but then it’s hard to pluck it up by the roots. If you chop it off at the top so it looks like it’s not there, it grows back stronger. Weeds need to be taken out by the root.
Offense Should Be Dealt With At The Root.
What was the real reason you took up an offense? How did you get yourself in a position to be offended? Take God’s word and deal with it until it’s dead. Allow God’s love to control you and to control your thoughts concerning the situation or people involved. Remember, when we get offended it steals the word and steals our faith. As Christians we can’t afford to lose either.
I encourage you to boldly stand on God’s word. Guard your heart with all diligence. Don’t listen to things you shouldn’t. Don’t allow people and situations to get you upset and offended. Let God’s love control you as you hearken diligently to the voice of his word.
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