I heard a sermon once titled “And nothing shall offend them.” The preacher was speaking on a subject that is very relevant in our day and age. So many conflicts and big problems aroused because of people taking up offense at something that really isn’t that big of deal.
Psalm 119:165 says this: “Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them.” How many times have we gotten angry at someone because of something that they said or an action they did? Have you noticed how much unrest it gives you when you are holding a grudge against someone because they offended you? It is ridiculous some of the stories I hear that have caused life-long grudges to form, families to break apart and churches to split. I even heard of a church that split because half of the congregation didn’t like the color of the toilet paper in the ladies’ bathroom.
Have you ever been in a situation that left you feeling offended or like you just got your face rubbed in the dirt?
I remember a time when I was deeply hurt by something that was said by someone; it bothered me for so long. I remember being so flustered that I wasn’t even enjoying my Bible time and my fellowship with friends at church. Seeing how that affected me, do you honestly think I should have let that bother me for so long? I stayed that way for so long that I honestly thought I had a right to be so angry. But isn’t that why there can be so much conflict in churches, families and friendships because people just can’t give up on their “rights”?
It wasn’t until I thought of it from God’s point of view that I finally realized how hypocritical I was by holding that grudge for so long and with such passion. Do you think that it was hard for Jesus to give up on his rights when he came down from heaven to pay the debt he didn’t owe? Jesus had a lot of room to fold his arms across his chest and stand for his rights, but instead he opened them wide for the whole world. He gave up on what he deserved, to give us what we don’t deserve. Did Jesus have rights? Yes, more than anyone. Did he hold onto them? No.
Now with that point of view, can you think of any reason I would have to be mad at someone because of an injustice coming my way? I can’t. When we feel like we should stand for our rights let’s just remember the rights that Jesus gave up for us. That leaves us with no excuse.
Jesus didn’t hold onto to his rights. In fact he did have a right to be angry at our sins. But because of his love for us, he forgave. If Jesus did it, so should we.