offense

Weeds

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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Entangled

Have you ever tried to untangle something?

You did not know how whatever it was got tangled, but untangling it was really difficult. That is what happens when we get involved in strife & offense. It entangles us in situations and things we have a difficult time getting free from. Because we are entangled we are not free to do what God wants us to do.

2 Tim. 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 Tim. 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.

2 Tim. 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2 Tim. 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.

2 Tim. 2:5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. NKJV

When soldiers entangle themselves in the affairs of this life, they are unable to perform their duties to the best of their ability because they have lost focus. We have been watching the Olympics. The caliber of the athletes is phenomenal! The effort and sacrifice they endure to go after the prize is incredible, but it is the reason they are able to compete. Simone Biles, of the American gymnastic team, shared how she does not go to proms, dances, other events and parties because she is training. She does not entangle herself with the normal affairs of life because of the goal set before her.

As believers our goal is to please the Father. 2 Timothy 2 goes on to share how this is accomplished.

2 Tim. 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.

2 Tim. 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.

2 Tim. 2:16  But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

2 Tim. 2:17  And their message will spread like cancer. NKJV

2 Tim. 2:14  Remind believers about these things, and warn them in the sight of God not to quarrel over words. Quarreling doesn’t do any good but only destroys those who are listening.

2 Tim. 2:15  Do your best to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker who isn’t ashamed to teach the word of truth correctly.

2 Tim. 2:16  Avoid pointless discussions. People who ∆pay attention to these pointless discussionsπ will become more ungodly,

2 Tim. 2:17  And what they say will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are like that. God’s Word

Striving and quarreling with one another destroys those who are listening.

Getting involved in ungodly conversations spreads like a cancer. It will kill the person talking, the person listening. & it will spread to others. 2 Timothy 2 tells us more.

2 Tim. 2:16 Avoid godless, foolish discussions that lead to more and more ungodliness.

2 Tim. 2:17 This kind of talk spreads like cancer.

2 Tim. 2:20 In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use.

2 Tim. 2:21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.

2 Tim. 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

2 Tim. 2:23  Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.

2 Tim. 2:24 The Lord’s servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people.

2 Tim. 2:25 They should gently teach those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will believe the truth.

2 Tim. 2:26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the Devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. NLT

We keep ourselves pure by pursuing faith, love and peace and having fellowship with people who have pure hearts.

When we strive with others we get entangled in offense which leads to our destruction. We are not to quarrel or strive with others, we are to be kind.

I love Proverbs 31:26 in the New Living Translation, it tells us: “When she speaks her words are wise and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions”. Kindness is the rule when she speaks. When we get offended with people our words are not kind. Oftentimes, we say things we may later regret. The apostle Paul exhorts us to be kind, not to quarrel or strive, but in meekness instruct others.

We are not to talk about others in a negative way.

We should not get into strife with people. Strife steals the word of God from our heart because strife comes as a result of getting offended. When we do not get offended, we do not get in strife or quarrel with people. We find a peaceful way to resolve our differences and we certainly do not talk negatively to others about one another.

Our job, as believers, is to love one another.

Jesus prayed that the world would see our love for each other and then the world would come to know him. Let kindness be the rule when you speak and allow the love of God to control you so others will come into a relationship with the Lord. Do not be entangled with the affairs of this life by talking negatively and saying things you should not say. Be heavenly minded, endure hardship as a good soldier & train like an Olympic athlete. The prize you will receive is much greater than the price.


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