Dealing with the Offense, the Offender and the Offended


Hello Everybody!

Well, this post is going to be rather short (I think) and not intended to be preachy, but I just wanted to address something here. I want to tackle the issue of offenses. In this life you will be offended, or have committed an offense and/or may have offended someone or some people in some way.


The question is how do you deal with the subject matter of:

  1. the offense,
  2. the offender, and
  3. the offended?

 

The truth is this, people who are often times offended remain offended when the offense that took place is not properly acknowledged by others as a legitimate complaint/issue. Sometimes, those that are offended fall in the class of (victim) when they receive no closure to the offense that took place. The fact is no matter how grievous the offense may be, no one can bring you closure except yourself. It’s either you forgive and let it go or you remain a victim forever and harbor bitterness inside your soul. Bitterness then turns into hatred and hatred is equivalent to murder in the Bible. You don’t have to personally stab the person or kill them with a physical weapon to murder the one who is the object of your hatred to commit murder, but hatred can drive you to do that because hatred contaminates the soul.


Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.


angerIf you are the Offended, Do not allow yourself to be contaminated by hate. Having said that though, this doesn’t mean that your feelings of being offended are not legitimate. It’s how you deal with your feelings that matter. I remember when I was in grade school a guy told a weak kid he was bullying to punch me in the stomach for the fun of it to see if that kid would do his bidding, and he did. It hurt like hell, and I was incredibly offended by the offense. I wanted to beat up that kid so bad for what he did to me but my best friend who was a Christian thank God, told me to let it go because it wasn’t worth it and held me back from retaliating. At that time I wanted to punch the living daylights out of that kid for what he did in front of all my friends and classmates, and I remember holding onto this grudge for the longest time that I laughed at the kid when he couldn’t swim when we had swimming classes and that was my strength. Yes I was being immature, but mind you I think I was about 8 years old when this whole thing took place. I took the pain of being offended and became cruel in the sense that I took pleasure in the misfortunes of the one who had offended me (I wasn’t saved by the way). As time went on, I realized that my bitterness was doing me no good and one day my best friend looked at me and said “You know you’re being stupid right now, holding onto this thing forever. The only one suffering is you”. Needless to say, I was ticked off that my friend said that to me, I thought she would be on my side, and in actual fact she was, she just seemingly wasn’t nice about it but the thing was, she was telling me the truth.


anger (1).jpgThe Truth was hard to gulp down because I was too emotional, but at the end of the day, that really hit me when she said that to me and it was at that time I had to look at myself in the mirror and realize I was playing the “victim” card way too long. I decided to let it go and forgive my Offender. The kid later on came and apologized to me later for having listened to his bully like a fool. I honestly felt like the bigger fool for not seeing the full picture that I wasn’t the only victim here. He too was a victim. I later learned that he was a loner and had no friends and had a tough upbringing with difficult parents that always shouted at him all the time. I forgave him and decided to allow him in my friendship circle because I also found out he was subject to bullying.


Forgiveness brought me back to my senses. I felt human again and realized that hatred is like carrying a monkey on your back. That monkey isn’t supposed to be there and yet you keep carrying it on your back until you become a monster yourself. In no way am I saying that forgiveness is easy, but forgiveness allows you to act with grace towards others. In some cases, letting go doesn’t necessarily mean you let the offender stroll back in your life. I’m also referring to and talking about abuse situations and grievous offenses as well. I was molested when I was a child and although I have forgiven the offender, it doesn’t mean I’ll let them back in my life again. You need to apply wisdom with your forgiveness.


Forgiveness is like a protective shield. It shields you from bitterness that draws you to hate in the first place. 


Forgiveness is about releasing yourself from the bondage of hate. 


I was attacked by a guy who attempted to sexually assault me when I was in University. I never told a soul about this story, in fact my parents are currently not even aware that this happened. Although, he did not succeed, I was terrified and traumatized by the incident. I blamed myself for being tricked into going to a secluded area of the university “just to talk” because it was in the library I thought it was a safe place.


He committed an offense, he is the offender and I was the offended. I remember returning to the library a few weeks after the incident just wanting to avoid the guy because I didn’t want to cross paths but somehow I saw him stalking me in the same library and at this time I remember feeling angry and I wanted to publicly shame him and tell him off in public what he had done to me and scream at him and probably punch him in the face or maybe punch him multiple times, but then I remembered what my best-friend told me when I was 8 years old and though I was really tempted, and though my complaint was legitimate, and though my anger is justified, going after him and thinking of causing him harm wasn’t worth it. At that moment, I decided to let it go.


The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.


My Offender seemed to be afraid of me and when he saw that I noticed him stalking me in the library, he ran off. He probably felt guilty and was afraid I had reported the incident. I had not reported the incident because I was too ashamed of myself and was traumatized by the whole thing. I now understand why many rape victims don’t self-report things like this. It just re-traumatizes you to remember the incident, and I at that point in my life just wanted to forget it and move on. Maybe I should have reported it, but I was just too ashamed about it. I was a youth leader at my previous church and couldn’t even tell the pastors of the church what had happened because I was just too traumatized to speak. I guess fear gripped my mouth shut until now. I don’t know why I always tend to blog about things I want to take to my grave but I feel that this message may help someone. Usually, I am sharp at discerning people but I felt I had failed to see there was something wrong with this character. The Lord dealt with me and showed me that it wasn’t about discernment, it was the fact that I was too naive and too trusting, but I thank God for His protection because I managed to escape the assault. I was also battling a lot of spiritual warfare when I was in university and had difficulty concentrating, couldn’t sleep because of nightmares, issues with depression, etc. but I digress, the point is, hatred has a way of contaminating the way you think about people and it perverts your actions and draws you to act on evil intentions. 


tumblr_kxsl0dOghF1qzu1fjo1_400Do not allow yourself to be bound with the “forever a victim” mentality. I know, “it’s easier said than done Minister Sherline” and I agree with you. However, that way of thinking leads to death. It’s either you kill yourself over it, or you kill someone else over it. I know this sounds extreme, but I’ve lived through quite a bit and have seen things that not many people should have experienced if they lived in a “normal” world devoid of cruelty. The reality is, that’s why we need to seek God to help us forgive. Forgiveness is not automatic all the time. For some people, it may take days, weeks or even years to do it, but the most important thing is taking steps to forgive in the first place. Your Offender may never be sorry for what they have done to offend you, and you may never receive closure over it by waiting for them to acknowledge the offense, but the thing is this, you are the only one that can set yourself free from the bondage of hate by deciding that you aren’t going to let the offender nor the offense ruin your life.


You’re not going to become a monster because you’re going to let go of your hatred TODAY.


To the Offender, you may not feel like you need to be sorry about your actions, and some of you may feel like you got away with something, but I can tell you the truth, that you will reap what you’ve sown if you feel guiltless. It’s better to seek forgiveness for your actions, sometimes the people you have offended may not forgive you, but it is important to do the right thing and make right with your brother and sister that you have offended. I’m not referring to just serious offenses, I’m even referring to even the petty small ones. Make it right with your brother and sister so that before God’s eyes, you can be redeemed and be in right-standing again.You can be blameless before God.


Behold, God will not cast away the blameless, Nor will He uphold the evildoers.


Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, He himself will fall into his own pit; But the blameless will inherit good.


For those that commit serious offenses, it is often-times difficult to seek to be forgiven from the person that you offended, but healing can begin for the both of you if you acknowledge the offense and apologize sincerely for committing the offense and acknowledge the pain of the offended. If the victim remains offended, you have at least done your part to right a wrong. God always looks at both parties in this whole thing. God looks at how the Offender is treated just as much as how the Offended is treated. The Offender is bound to the bondage of guilt whereas the Offended is bound to the spirit of unforgiveness. The Offended may experience unforgiveness to the Offender and in some cases unforgivness to themselves for having fallen victim to the offense. Let us remember that the Devil doesn’t care about any of the parties in relation to the Offense.


ephesians-4-321.jpgThe Offender and the Offended are destroyed if there is no admission of guilt or forgiveness of the offense. Both parties become losers to bondage and the devil’s work is done. We must remember that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy your happiness, joy and fulfillment that you had in your life by committing offenses that affect your soul. It is only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit that you can either find redemption by confessing the offense, the guilt and the shame if you are the offender and/or by choosing to forgive if offended.


Do not allow yourself to be bound in this scheme of Offense. If you need counseling to get over the offense, then seek it out, but don’t just sit there simmering in anger thinking that you’ll get even one day. You will find yourself running quickly to evil, and you will become deaf to God’s voice. I implore you to seek God’s face and be real with yourself. You may need help to forgive so seek it out, but also seek the help of the Holy Spirit to deliver you from the spirit of unforgiveness, shame, hate, anger or any negative feelings that cause you to be bound in a cycle of condemnation. Silence doesn’t make hatred go away, you have to confess what you really feel with your mouth and invite the Holy Spirit into your situation to begin the process of forgiveness.


[ Forgiveness and Prayer ] “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.

BaitOfSatan.jpgThere is a book I read written by John Bevere called The Bait of Satan. That book was instrumental in my deliverance from the spirit of unforgiveness and hatred. I had some serious issues, many legitimate complaints, but despite all these offenses, forgiveness is what blessed me to operate with the spirit of compassion. In order to operate with the spirit of Compassion, you need to have been through something and felt something to understand how you can empathize and sympathize with others and lead them to higher ground. Hatred can make you arrogant and filled with pride, but compassion is born from the spirit of humility that knows you need the Saviour to keep your sanity intact. You need Jesus. I know I’m not perfect and I also know when I have issues. The last thing you ever want to be is to be in denial of your issues. This book by John Bevere will help you and I encourage anybody who has issues with unforgiveness to read that book. God wants to heal you and deliver you from the snare of unforgiveness. Life is too short to remain unhappy…you deserve freedom from bitterness, but you have to confess with your mouth and forgive with your heart with the help of the Holy Spirit, Amen!


This is an old song from 21:03 called In Your Presence. I pray that it blesses your spirit today. I love this song. If anybody needs prayer in this area, don’t be afraid to message me in this post. God bless you everybody 🙂

8 thoughts on “Dealing with the Offense, the Offender and the Offended

  1. Thank you for reminding us that we must be more than conquerors in this. but the truth is. Freedom is a choice. You must choose to forgive as an act of your will and faith. God will bring the healing when you decide to do it. It is not easy, but we have been given the grace and strength to perform this.

    I read The Bait of Satan many years ago, it was an awesome book. I would also recommend that you look at this one to: Total Forgiveness by R.T. Kendall. Excellent it will require you to simply let go and grow up.

    Also this book: A Call for Character Book by Greg Zoschak is great. It was one of my school of ministry books. I had to put it down after reading the 1st chapter. Whew! All I could say is LORD HAVE MERCY ON ME! Not from condemnation, but to arise to the challenge of the Holy Spirit leading me to grow up and go up with HIM!.

    Genesis 22 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

    22 After these events, God tested and proved Abraham and said to him, Abraham! And he said, Here I am.
    2 [God] said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I will tell you.
    3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and his son Isaac; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and then began the trip to the place of which God had told him.
    4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.
    5 And Abraham said to his servants, Settle down and stay here with the donkey, and I and the young man will go yonder and worship and [a]come again to you.

    Sometimes we hold on to offenses and hurts and unforgivenesses in our hearts unto it becomes an idol in our hearts, we can actually worship being a victim and the attention we get from it. Not to minimize anyone’s hurtful experiences, But at some point in our lives God will require us to take that which we love so much and lay it on the altar. He will not stop us as he did Abraham, he will wait for us to slay it ourselves. Separate ourselves from the hold it has had on us. We must willingly give it to him and he will replace it with HIMSELF. He is our RAM IN THE BUSH!

    I am using this scripture in the context of offenses but God will require all that we love, people, jobs, spouses, abilities even ministries, anything can be an idol in our hearts. When we let go and give it to God even though it may be painful, it is still an act of worship.

    Be blessed my Sister

    • I love how you address the fact that the offense we hold in our heart can become an idol. It is true in that it can lead to obsession and lead someone to be completely lose control and act on really evil intentions. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth may speak but it can also lead a person to act on what they brood over, which is why it is important to invite the Holy Spirit in when dealing with being offended. Thanks for the scriptures you put in your comment and the other books recommendations. You are indeed quite read up on the topic. God bless you Hazel.

  2. ” It’s either you forgive and let it go or you remain a victim forever and harbor bitterness inside your soul. ”

    THIS works when you aren’t in a relationship of any nature with the person. For people in abusive relationships with a spouse, a parent or a figure of authority, forgiveness isn’t as easy that you described. What do you have to say to people who have sincerely forgiven 7 x 77, even and especially when the offender never acknowledges his/her offenses, worse laughs at the face of the victim whenever that person tries to address the issue, denies any wrongdoings and slanders the victim? What do you have to say to those people who have been trying their best to forgive again and again to obey God’s “command” to the point of killing their self-esteem? Are you gonna tell them: “either you forgive or you remain a victim forever?” Are you gonna tell them that, when in spite of everything, they still have to remain in touch with the unrepentant offender? How do you forgive UNDER SUCH circumstances?

    Truth be told, lots of Christians live in bubbles where they shelter themselves from people’s despair. People think that believers struggle with “small” forgiveness acts. You make the decision and 5mn later, God takes cares of everything: immediate healing! False! Sometimes, it might take decades before the person completely heals and has, actually, forgiven. Forgiveness is a PROCESS, not an event and IT IS GOD who does the whole work, not us. Forgiveness is DIVINE, not human so enough with the shortcuts and the quick recipes of forgiveness.

    Sure, suffering cannot be ranked but offenses can be. Pastors and Christian counselors who work with victims of repeated abuses, are very careful when they talk about forgiveness. Why? It is complex and you don’t want to pour salt over people’s injuries nor be a Pharisee who guilt people into rushed and non-genuine forgiveness, by striking them with Bible verses.

    Seriously, would you have dare and stand in front of a Syrian or Iraqi Christian refugee whose family members have been tortured, killed or sold into sexual slavery by ISIS, and have the nerve while that person’s talking her hurt, tell her: “You have to forgive to free yourself or you’ll forever be a victim?” Really? Would you tell that to the French woman whose husband beat and raped, his wife and 3 daughters, for decades?

    I think that the Bible overflows with verses which can be of great comfort to people who are suffering, and whose suffering is exacerbated because they want to do right by God by obeying his commands, but don’t know how. I think that when people suffer a great deal, only 2 people know the throes of what they went through: GOD and themselves! And because God is an intelligent, merciful, compassionate and truly empathetic person, he’ll NEVER oversimplify this whole issue of forgiveness and rush it. What he needs is just the YES of the person to start the healing and forgiveness processes. It IS GOD who forgives, it is with HIS HELP that we’re able to forgive, it is HIS GRACE operating in us, it HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR WEAK HUMAN WILL! And God is respectful of people’s feelings and does things in HIS time. It is because Christians like to lie to themselves and appear more pious than they are, that they spend their times presenting forgiveness as a 2 mn process. This might work in situations like being 8 yrs old and being punched by a classmate. It doesn’t work this way for adults though. Christians always conveniently forget the moments when they might have even wished death upon their enemies; at least King David, was honest about that. No, no, no: they decided to forgive and they forgave. It was them, them all alone, not the power of the Holy Spirit, just them and it took them
    10 s, not 10 days, 10 months or 10 years.

  3. Hi Anna,

    Thanks for reading my post and your comments. If you read my post completely, you would have noticed that I never mentioned that “forgiveness was in any way easy” as you stated.

    On the contrary, Forgiveness is not easy, but it is necessary if you want to be delivered from the spirit of bitterness. It doesn’t matter how petty or grievous the offence maybe, the fact remains that FORGIVENESS is required for the individual to become free from the spirit of bitterness and hatred. Forgiveness is not necessarily automatic, it can actually be a very long process that can even take months or years to achieve, but the fact remains is that it first starts with a decision to forgive in the first place in order to get to the point where a person is completely free from bitterness and can finally say “I forgive” which is what I think you are misunderstanding from my post. Forgiveness is a process that starts with a decision, it’s not an automatic thing that eliminates the process of dealing with the pain of the offence which is what I think you are having an issue with.

    I NEVER said you can “rush” your forgiveness, but the fact remains is that people do need to take steps in order to forgive in the first place so that they can heal completely from being offended and remaining offended. It is a guarantee that in this life you will be offended, but what do you do when you are offended? What actions do you take when offended? Do you choose to act on your hatred or do you choose to forgive and be released from the pain of the offence? It is what you do after the offence has taken place that counts. You may not forgive right away and yes, the offence may hurt big time, but the fact remains that it is important to take the steps to forgive in the first place for the purpose of setting yourself free from the bondage of bitterness and hatred.

    You gave examples of various types of grievous offences that maybe unforgivable by our “human” standards, but the thing is…NO offence committed in this life is unforgivable to Jesus Christ. If Jesus can forgive a murderer while being crucified on the cross, then don’t you think He can forgive a rapist, molester, robber, thief etc etc? I’m not saying that the offence is justified, and in many ways people have the right to be offended by these offences, but if one remains offended to the point of acting out with hatred, that is where forgiveness becomes relevant because anger that turns into hatred is what contaminates the soul and this is where forgiveness if required for the individual to be delivered from the spirit of hatred because hatred can drive a person to murder. This is how serious unforgiveness can be.

    I was molested when I was a child. I was very offended by the individual who did the things that they did to me. My anger maybe justified but my bitterness wasn’t doing me any good, so I decided to forgive my offender after many years of being hurt and angry about the whole thing. I took steps to forgive. It was not instantaneous, however, it started with a decision “I choose to forgive so and so for the following offence….” and I prayed about it confessing to God about it and asked God to heal me from the pain and set me free. I came to a place that when the abuser contacted me years later, I had no bitterness in my heart when I spoke to them on the phone because God had helped me heal from the offence and I was set free from the bondage of bitterness. It took months, but the whole point is, I took steps to forgive in the first place. Some people may heal instantly, some may take days and some even years, but it is important to take the steps to forgive in the first place in order to release your soul from the bondage of bitterness and hatred.

    The whole point is, no matter how big or small the offence maybe, people still need to take steps to forgive the offender in order to be released from the pain of the offence. For some people, forgiveness maybe instantaneous, and for others it may take days, months or even years to forgive, but the whole point is to take steps to forgive in the first place so that you can be released from the pain of the offence and the offender(s).

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