Those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil – Hebrews 5:14.
This world is a minefield of offences. You can potentially be offended everywhere. So offences are everywhere, and nobody can run away from them. There’s no demilitarized zone. There’s no place so holy on the earth where you will not be offended, neither is there someone so holy that they cannot offend or be offended. Offences come to all of us. The source of offences is the evil one and the purpose is to distract our focus, obstruct our faith and thwart our spiritual progress. No one can grow spiritually when they’re offended or bitter. When offence is incubated and allowed to fester it leads to full blown sin. Sin is a termination of our relationship with God. Therefore, the question is not whether you will be offended but rather how to deal with offence when it comes. Our Scripture bears reference to the fact that the mature have learnt to discern between what is holy and what is demonic so that they can respond or react appropriately to any situation or experience. This is the essence of a victorious faith life. The source, nature and purpose of offences is demonic. This is an unchanging premise. Every child of God should grow to learn how to deal with offence.
The Word emphatically states that we should pursue peace and holiness without which no one will see God, looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness (that is offence) springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled (Hebrews 12:14). Offence causes a child of God to fall from grace. Offence if entertained and not dealt with dislodges us from the position of grace or favor with God. It happened to Esau, Cain and many others in the Bible. Verses 16 and 17 of Hebrews chapter 12 calls Esau a fornicator and a profane person who was consumed by offence and bitterness, and because of this in his heart he was declined the blessing that rightfully belonged to him although he sought it diligently with tears. So offence is a definite blessing blocker, no doubt about it. Verse 17 states that Esau was rejected because he found no place of repentance in his heart.
So then offence causes our prayers to be rejected, unless we find a place of repentance in our hearts. God cannot hear a prayer of an offended and bitter person. Such a person is in the hands of the devil. It happened to Cain, and God told him in no uncertain terms that he could not be accepted unless he repented of his offence, bitterness and anger (Genesis 4:7). By way of contrast, Job refused to be offended and bitter at God, and was heard and blessed twice as much as before. Offence cripples a believer and thwarts all efforts at getting ahead. Offended and bitter believers are hopeless and their future is bleak, unless they repent genuinely from the heart – not as Esau. We could see in his case that God cannot be manipulated by our tears; He wants true repentance of the heart. An offended believer drifts away from spiritual things and grows cold towards God (John 6:66); they lose their first love for Him. This is the purpose of the devil with offence to separate us from the will of God and becloud our sense of judgment. That means, when we’re offended we become unreasonable and uncorrectable. The only way to come out of the dark pit of offence and bitterness is to repent genuinely from the heart, and see things from God’s perspective – because ours is so distorted.