“No offense, but you’re a jerk, and our relationship is finished!” Have you ever knowingly or unknowingly messed up and then found yourself on the receiving end of such reactive sentiments? Or perhaps you’ve felt deeply hurt by someone’s actions and you responded in such a manner. Thinking back, whether we were the ‘offender’ or the ‘offendee’, it is difficult to imagine how a situation got so explosive so quickly—how things could go so wrong so fast?
Each of us is unique and complicated, and nurturing our relationships, well, it requires work! Especially when conflict occurs.
But there is another unseen factor that most of us don’t take into consideration when emotions run high—the Spirit of Offense. I believe there are positive forces as well as negative spiritual forces at work in the world, and they influence people, to the degree that we allow. And Mr. Offense is always strategizing against us, planting negative thoughts, causing suspicion and one-sided blindness, reminding us of ‘our rights’ and what we ‘deserve’ and didn’t get. Offense strikes as a hidden giant, an active force both at causing us to offend—as well as to get offended.
Many folks are receiving dreams from God right now, highlighting and confirming the presence and influence of Offense—so that we can aggressively guard against cooperating in any way with this nasty spirit whose aim is to stir up division and destruction.
The Offending spirit’s influence causes folks to:
* Assume the worst about people’s actions and intent
* Slice, dice (with attacking words) and run
* Immediately feel better having vented, not considering the wounds and blood trails left behind
* Be driven by a combo of hot temper, stewing, all or nothing thinking, resentment, jealousy, score-keeping, ‘road rage style’ of reacting
* Attack in a cruel, cutting way, at an inopportune moment for the ‘target’
* Live in Victim mentality—react from ‘hot button’ issues, unhealed wounds, past rejection, etc.
* Badmouth without discretion
* Not be able to see the ‘other side’ of the issue
“What have I done to deserve this?” We may ask ourselves this question, but often not in the right way. We should be asking, “What is in me that may be attracting the spirit of offense? Have I offended someone and not apologized and asked for forgiveness? Have I inflicted a wound that I need to properly address? Have I opened a door for the spirit of Offense to interpret as a welcome ‘invitation’ to wreak havoc in my life?
We do not have to obey old habit patterns that cause irritations in our relationships. We ask ourselves, “What are my hot buttons that may cause me to easily get offended at people?” If we possess a nasty offense pattern in our life, we can trace the bad fruit back to the rotting roots and terminate those deadly suckers. If we carefully rid ourselves of offense, we can block much trouble off at the pass.
Remedies for successfully combating Offense:
* Recognize and resist any supernatural presence that fiercely empowers hurt emotions
* Quickly apologize for offending, and quickly forgive all offenses toward us
* Choose love. Love first thinks the best of people
* Take authority! Refuse every negative thought, spirit, and word (no self-muttering)
* Reverse the process—choose the high road. Bless and do not curse (even secretly), choose not to respond in ugly fashion no matter what was done or how we feel.
* Take responsibility for our every word or action
Sometimes we are on the verge of a breakthrough and are making a difference in a situation, and we just get blindsided by someone who is succumbing to Offense, so that we get distracted from success—a not-so-subtle spiritual enemy sabotage. In such cases, we are wise to recognize the root cause and respond with understanding compassion, knowing who the real ‘enemy’ is.
Life is tricky enough without recognizing and allowing Offense and reactionary Defense to run the show. The upside: every Offense is an opportunity for growth!