Pastor's Corner
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The word offense is many sided in definition but for the purpose of our discussion “Loving Beyond
Offense” we have the following definitions:
a) An offense is any act that brings annoyance, displeasure or resentment
b) A lack of politeness, a failure to show regard for others, wounding the feelings of other people.
c) The stage of being insulted or morally outraged
d) Something that causes a person to be hurt, angry or upset.

We live in world where offense is unavoidable. No matter how good and nice you are to people, as long as you still exist on earth, offense must come your way. Even God the creator of the universe get offended by human being. This being the case with all of us, as believers in Christ we need to know how to deal and respond to offenses in life. Important to learn from God's word is the fact that offenses if not properly dealt with could firstly, create room for enmity among God's people and thus giving the devil a foot hold (Ephesians 4:26-27). We see this with the first King of Israel Saul, who got offended by the way the masses hailed David and from that day he sought to kill him (1 Sam 18:6-16, 29).

Secondly, offenses close the heavens upon the offended. Every time you get offended and refuse to release the offender, you position yourself for closed heavens (Matthew 5:23-26). Thirdly when offense stays for long, the by-product is bitterness which gives birth to wickedness. There is no way you will harbor bitterness in your heart and expect a better product (Hebrews 12:15, James 3:14).

To love beyond offense calls for a deliberate move to show unconditional love to those who offend us. For this to happen, we must understand that offenses are part of our Christian journey and a test of our maturity (Ephesians 4:1-3, 14-16, 29-32). Secondly we must experience God's love. We can only give what we have and a good understanding of how deep God loves us translates to us extending the same to those around us (Ephesians 3:17-18). We are to base our relationships with others on the same criteria on which God bases his relationship with us, love, acceptance and forgiveness.

Thirdly, a decision must be made from within not to hold an offense but rather be quick to forgive and let go. We have to let go of the past for us to get on with the present. Fourthly, we must live with the fact that love is an act and not just a feeling. God's love is characterized by action. It is hard and difficult to feel love for some people, but Jesus is not telling us to feel love, but to act love (John 13:34-35).

In a nutshell the emphasis of our discussion today is that it is not enough to know what offenses are and what they do, the best we can do to ourselves as children of God is to emulate our father in heaven who forgave us and reconciled us to himself. Are there people around you that have offended you? This could be a spouse, relative, friend or colleague. If your whole purpose of serving God is to spend eternity with him, then you must forgive them and release them – Love them beyond offense. The bible says “not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father”. ARE YOU?

 

 

Pastor's Weekly Corner

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Lavington United Church was founded in 1960 through a joint effort of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Methodist Church of Kenya (MCK) and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) as a community church to minister to the Lavington community. <<Read full History>>

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