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 🙂

Seeking Validation in the Wrong Places – A Love-Starved World


I think at times we don’t really understand why some people do the things they do because we tend to judge them before learning to understand them and their circumstances. I find that even I get caught up with that behavior in that I too sometimes  judge a person by first impressions…but I have to take a step back and ask myself  “Do first impressions always give you a full picture concerning that person?” I have come to realize that it’s not always the case so I have learned to take time to assess people and always give a person a benefit of a doubt before I reach a conclusion about a persons behavior and character as an individual. Sometimes people act up during the first meeting because of a situation that arose earlier in their day before they came into contact with you and it may give you a lasting impression, but it may not necessarily be an accurate impression of them either because it may have just been an emotional outburst as a result of an earlier confrontation and yet we write these people off so easily, but GOD doesn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

I think that if we want to understand people we have to learn to listen to them to avoid misunderstandings and develop a level of compassion that allows us to give people a chance to show us who they really are inside.  I know that I have spoken a lot concerning  sharpening your discernment in some of my posts, but it’s not always about learning how to discern who your enemies are from your friends; sometimes it’s about discerning the root issue of someones behaviour that manifests in their character. This level of discernment is beneficial to us in that it helps in terms of mentoring someone or counseling someone effectively to receive healing and deliverance in their situations provided that we have a level of patience and compassion with dealing with these personalities. We shouldn’t put people into a box and categorize them as write-offs when God never wrote you off when you were cantankerous and rude and not with it.

Love covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8).

I often reflect on the different personalities that I encounter in my daily life such as those who are quiet, shy, talkative, narcissistic, arrogant, clingy, needy etc, and I find that they all have one thing in common, and that is that they all seek some level of validation  in many different ways from people. I’m not going to over- generalize and say all these personalities do this; however, I do find that with the ones I have encountered in my walk, they display many of these traits born out of some level of personal insecurity that they are dealing with. Their need to be validated is manifested by their actions, typically displayed in their treatment towards themselves and others; most of which manifest negatively in feedback.

Examples of this could be:

A gang member who feels that need to confront anyone violently who stares at them the “wrong way” (from their perspective), or the woman who brags about her possessions to others, or the young girl who gives herself away to any man willing to give her attention, or the young boy smoking drugs with his friends in order to “fit in” the crowd, or the man who competes in conversations to prove that he is “right” or more knowledgeable than his peers about a topic, or the child that is “acting out” by being overtly disobedient to instruction as a means of seeking attention and the list goes on.

These are different examples stemming from that level of insecurity exhibited by negative behavioural actions rooted from that general need of validation from others. I do recognize that there are exceptions to the rule, but for the sake of this post I’m just listing these as potential examples regarding the relationship between insecurity and the need of validation from people.

Some of the reasons that come to my mind as to why such insecure individuals do things by pursuing activities or groups to find that validation could be factored by a number of things.

To name a few, it could be because:

1. They have not experienced True Love at home or at anytime in their life;

2. The have experienced Rejection on multiple occasions;

3. Victimization – they have suffered abuse in their life – mental, physical, sexual, spiritual; or

4. Suffered Abandonment – from family members or friends or significant peers/mentors.

5. They are Bitter because they have not forgiven or received some sort of closure acceptable enough to let go of the past.

Although this isn’t an exhaustive list, these factors are things I have noticed with the people I have encountered in my walk. At some level, I am able to identify with some of these areas on a personal level which is why I think that we have to learn what it means to cultivate an attitude of compassion, empathy and most importantly LOVE.  

Jesus commands us to “love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12),  but we all have developed ways of being selective in who we display our love to. I know that I’m a guilty party to this so I won’t hide that or excuse it. On the other hand, I do come across some challenging individuals that really test me and you know, it’s at these times that God calls us to really reflect His image towards such people and that is something I’m still working on. I know I have my own baggage and I have come to realize that I’m not the only one who is carrying bags. Whether you are a minister in church at any capacity or just an ordinary Joe on the street going about your business, I challenge you to be an example of God’s Love for people, Starting Today.

I remember this saying that comes from a well known song: “We are known to be Christians by our LOVE”.

Love is an attitude displayed by both Actions and Words.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV):
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. [Emphasis added].

Many atrocities continue in our world today because we lack compassion to bring about change. A quote that comes to mind in reflection of this is that: “For Evil to Triumph, all it needs is for Good men/women to do nothing”. I don’t want to reflect this truth. Let’s stand against the grain and be the change that this world needs to see. Let’s admit that we live in a LOVE-STARVED world. Let’s feed this Hungry world with LOVE. We can start by showing love one person at a time. Set aside your prejudices and allow acceptance to welcome those different from yourself into your life. God accepted us as we are, we should do the same to others.  Many people experience rejection because they are not accepted for their differences and weaknesses by others. Let’s not judge people too quickly for their appearances and look at the HEART of the individual.

Love doesn’t discriminate, it is an acceptor of ALL persons (Believe it or not).

We have a general tendency to judge people by their appearances and negate that it’s the heart that we need to reach. I know that this is hard to believe, but God loves everyone including wicked people. Jesus healed the ear of the servant of the High Priest that was cut off during the time of His arrest while knowing full well that it was Judas who had betrayed Him (Luke 22:47-51). This story always challenges me every time when I meditate on it in that I know I have to get to that place to set aside bitterness, hatred, and anger and learn that Jesus could still Love someone who was his closest companion and yet was the very same one that betrayed Him for only thirty pieces of silver coins (Matthew 27:9). I know that people tend to forget this part of the story, but Judas later on committed suicide because of the guilt and shame of what he had done against his friend, Jesus (Matthew 27: 3-5). I often wonder, had the disciples forgiven their brother Judas Iscariot and sought him out to minister their forgiveness, would such a tragedy have been prevented? It is NOT God’s will that any should Perish but have everlasting life (John 3:15-16; 2 Peter 3:9).


1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love castout fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. [Emphasis added]

Likewise, we have to increase our Faith level to develop our Love level for people to produce HOPE in this Love-Starved World.

Suffering can be diminished when we increase our capacity to care for others as we love ourselves.  Let’s start changing ourselves to become the Loving image of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s put a stop to evil and overcome evil with GOOD. 

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

Suffering in Silence – Abused by Indifference


This poem I have written is dedicated to all the men, women & young children who have suffered abuse at any stage of their lives, be it sexual, physical, emotional or spiritual. It’s been something that I have wanted to write about for a long time and I know of a few people who have suffered these abuses and one of them was a friend of mine.  Some things don’t have to end up in tragedy if only we spare our time to show people that LOVE does exist in this World. Emotions stemming from a broken heart shouldn’t be pacified with indifference. When you want to cry, cry… I will lend my shoulder, when you hurt, I hurt, when you are sad, I am sad. Jesus is the same in that He sees your suffering and wants to heal you of all your afflictions. God sees all, knows all and sends key people into your life to be representations of His divine Love that He has for you.


YOU are NOT alone! NEVER FORGET THAT!

John 15:11-13 (NKJV)

11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. [Emphasis added].


Some feel abandoned by those they hoped would be near them in their time of need and for those that stick with you during such storms in your life, they are the ANGELS in your lives so let them embrace you as they comfort you in your Pain. You will find healing from the least of these and those that you never paid a second glance are the ones who will stick close to you more than a brother, sister, father or mother. Allow yourself to be freed by the Love of a stranger that is an Angel in disguise. Let your friends Love you, Let your family Love you, Let God LOVE you. Don’t suffer in silence…don’t enter the devils play ground….he is the one that locks you up in bondages that can’t accept

Love…do not be tricked, do not be robbed of happiness, do not be robbed of liberty, for Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed (John 8:36). Run to Jesus…His arms are wide open…run to Him and He will set you free! Run towards the gates of Freedom from anguish, hatred, regret, bitterness, pain, depression, sadness, grief, despair, hopelessness, loneliness, guilt and shame. Run towards God, run and don’t look back…be freed and receive Joy in exchange for all that sadness….Receive Love! Let the Lord carry your burden!

Psalm 55:22 (NKJV)
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. [Emphasis added]

1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. [Emphasis added]

I have also added a Song to brighten the message and I hope that it ministers to you before you read the poem below. 



2 Corinthians 1:2-4 (NKJV)

2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Comfort in Suffering

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. [Emphasis added].

 


Suffering in Silence

 

Her voice is choked,

Her tears are flowing,

but no one sees, that her heart is breaking.

She looks into space,

Darkness lies there…

She closes her eyes,

Darkness follows her there…

She opens them again and sees nothing’s there.

She hears nothing, feels nothing,

more and more, she feels nothing

and yet something is there,

something is there,

Her mind is screaming,

is there anybody there?

Her soul is fearing that no one is here,

Only her and it,

the darkness that lies there.

When will that moment of fear leave her chest?

When will that hand that reaches her lift her off this mess?

When will the light she longs to see through this night,

come beaming down and torture her fright?

She silently gazes into the gloom,

where the doom that awaits her…

where love has no room,

where saddness has now become her groom,

That enraged bitter wound,

no longer wants to fester, that suffered in silence

no longer wants to fight

because she is tired, tired of this pain

tired of the hatred, tired of the blame.

“Set me FREE!” she finds her song,

she finds her voice, she finds her soul.

The wondering spirit that felt abandoned there,

felt as if that’s all life had to share,

That simple place of darknesss and lonliness,

that single crusted level of phoniness,

No more silence, “NO MORE! I don’t care!”

that’s all the torture she could bear.

(c) 2011 Sherline N.T.

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected