By Rev. Dave Duris


This lesson teaches us how to deal with offenses in a world of increasingly little tolerance. 

Studies show that our communication with others is based on three things: 9% is the actual words, 36% is the tone of voice and 55% is body language. With our modern dependence on social media and phone texting, the final two elements (tone of voice and body language) are entirely lost. The possibility for misunderstanding – and the potential for unintentionally taking or giving offense – has greatly increased. This is apparent everywhere you look today. People are constantly offended and have very little peace. Thankfully, people who love the Word of God have been given a promise of great peace and the ability to not be offended.

Psalm 119:165 
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

When a person is offended, he can feel upset, wounded, and insulted. That hurt can turn into such deep resentment that it turns into sin. When dealing with offenses, the bigger issue is not the reason for the offense, but what the offense can lead to – the hardening of a man's heart that leads to his separation from God and his Word.

In the Lord's parable of the sower and the seed, we see that it is by reason of taking offense that the good seed does not get rooted and become fruitful.

Mark 4:5-6; 16-17
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 
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.

A seed planted in shallow ground will germinate and grow faster than a seed planted in deep soil. A seed in deep soil will put all its efforts into the roots first. The shallow seed concentrates its efforts above ground and it soon withers away. A plant must establish a strong root system to sustain its growth. Just the same, a fruitful relationship with God only comes to those who are rooted and grounded in God's Word. In this example, this man received the Word with great joy, but his commitment was shallow. The inevitable affliction and persecution that comes with being a Christian offended him, and his love for God turned cold.

The devil will use afflictions, persecutions and tribulations to stop God's Word from bearing fruit in our lives. These attacks are designed to take our eyes off God, thereby stopping his Word from taking root in us. We must not let anything distract us from meditating on God's Word, for only those who meditate upon it day and night bring forth fruit and prosper.

Psalm 1:1-3
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The seed, (which is the Word of God), has the power to change someone's life if given the opportunity to grow. Satan sends affliction and persecution for the Word's sake. This causes one to be offended or stumble and the Word of God does not have an opportunity to grow and bring change to a person's life.

Luke 7:23
And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.


King Saul promoted David to a high rank in his army because he was so successful. But when the men returned victorious from war, Saul was offended that the women praised David more than they praised him.

1 Samuel 18:5-10a  
5 And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants.
6 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.
7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul…

Of course, David had no control over what the women sang. He was without fault. But Saul's heart toward David became so twisted with jealousy and suspicion that every aspect of his life was defiled. His hatred for David was poison to him, and he soon lost his kingdom, his family and his life. When we allow bitterness to take root in our lives, we are its first victim.

Proverbs 4:23
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

We must be diligent to keep our hearts from being offended, or falling short of the grace of God, which can lead to a root of bitterness in our heart with ungodly fruit. 

Hebrews 12:14,15
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

J.B. Phillips translation of Hebrews 12:14-15:
Let it be your ambition to live at peace with all men and to achieve holiness “without which no man shall see the Lord”.
Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit, (root of bitterness), which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others. 

David's wife, Michal, was also overtaken by this fault. She had issue with the way David conducted himself as king when he danced before the Lord. This offended her to the point that she despised him in her heart. Ultimately she experienced a childless (fruitless) life. 

2 Samuel  6:14-16, 23   
14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.


The Pharisees were very self-righteous, and prone to judge and despise others.   

Luke 18:9-10
9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

The Pharisees were often offended by what Jesus did. If you find yourself being easily offended, it may be an indication of self-righteousness. There are common traits with the Pharisees of Jesus day and the easily offended, virtue signaling, intolerant, cancel culture we see today. Our society is breeding this response.


Pride and self-righteousness walk hand-in-hand. Naaman's pride was offended by Elisha and it almost cost him his healing. It is a good thing that Naaman had some servants who helped him process the issue.

2 Kings 5:9-14
5 And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.
6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.
7 And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.
8 And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.
9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.
11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

An offense has the potential of getting in the way of God bringing about a total transformation and renewal of our lives. Naaman expected preferential treatment from the man of God. His feeling of being offended could have left him in a diseased state for the rest of his life. Instead, because he humbled himself, his skin was not only healed, but restored to the condition of a newborn child.  


Jesus gave his disciples instruction concerning how NOT to get caught up or ensnared in offenses.

Luke 17:1, 2 
1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

The Greek work used here for offenses is skandalon, and it comes from the word for a trap stick, the stick that springs the trap or sets the bait. It also was used for a stumbling block, something that people trip over. When we are offended, we are prone to trip up or be enticed to sin. With a mouse trap there is bait (cheese) on the trap and set with a trap stick. When a mouse goes for the bait, it springs the trap and gets ensnared. 

We will often be in situations where others sin against us and we are tempted to feel offended. During these times we may begin to start thinking negatively or evil about the one who hurt us. But instead we should consider that the offense is a trap stick that can ensnare us. Remind yourself that this temptation is a TRAP, and do not get ensnared! 

Jesus told his disciples that it is inevitable that temptations to sin will come. We just want to be sure that they do not come through us! Essentially, Jesus was saying that people are going to take the bait, but woe to you if you offer the hook. People are going to trip up, but woe to you if you set the stumbling block in front of them. 


The Word of God provides a solution to avoid being offensive or being a source of stumbling to others, and that solution is love. If we love our brother, we will not bring an offense into their life. 

1 John 2:10
He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.        

But how should you respond when others offend you?

Luke 17:3-5  
3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

What is interesting is that Jesus commanded his disciples to heal the sick, cast our devils and raise the dead. However, it is only when he commanded them to always forgive that they asked for more faith!  

When someone sins against you, you should not pretend that it never happened. That only gives room for the root of bitterness. You need to address the issue with that brother or sister, forbearing them in love and speaking the truth in love. 

Ephesians 4:2 and 15
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

When we walk in love, we don't keep a record of every little offense committed against us.  One of the fruit of the Spirit is longsuffering, (Gal 5:22), and we need to be able to suffer long with small and petty offenses. A characteristic of the pure love of God is that it thinks no evil, or keeps no record of wrongs or offenses.

1 Corinthians 13:5 
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;    

We have to learn how not to be overly sensitive and how to bear with one another. It is not loving to talk to other people about how someone offended you, or bottling it up inside of you. Love is getting the situation resolved with the person who sinned against you.

Ephesians 4:26-27
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.

The tendency with people who get offended is to first NURSE the offense, REHEARSE the offense and then to DISPERSE the offense. This gives place to the devil to operate and cause more sin. If the one who sins against you repents, forgive him. This is the challenge from Jesus. There is no other option given. When the person who offended you repents, you must forgive. 

But what do we do with the person who has never repented? Even if the relationship cannot be restored, we can remember God's longsuffering towards us, and pray for a work of God in their life for the restoration of what was stolen away.


The next time are tempted to stumble over an offence, consider Paul's experience when he was shipwrecked on the island of Malta.

Acts 28:1-6 
1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.
2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.
3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

This account provides an interesting illustration. Think of the venom of the viper as a representation of offensive words. When you are bit by a viper (or a person speaks offensive words to you), shake it off! Do this before the venom penetrates and does damage. The people watching will be surprised when they realize that the offensive words had no effect on you, and that you do not swell up with anger. Even those who think you deserved those offensive words may change their minds about you, and conclude that you must be a child of the true and living God! Praise the Lord for the power to overcome the venomous and toxic words in a world filled with serpents, and to bring forth a message of love and grace to people who are longing for deliverance and salvation!

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
Psalm 119:165 


Presented 15 August 2021 in French Settlement, Louisiana