Offense: Lessons from Paul’s Life 2

And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. Acts 24: 15-16 (kJV)

In Acts 24:15-16, paul reveals three keys to mastering thoughts and emotions and living unoffendable.

  1. Choose self-control or discipline: Paul said, “I exercise myself.”
  2. Live eternity-conscious: Paul mentioned his hope that there will be a resurrection of the dead
  3. Be purposeful: Paul trained himself to have a conscience void of offense because he was looking forward to another life after death.

As a former U.S. soldier, self-control, discipline or training comes to mind when I think of the word exercise. Soldiers in the natural realm must consistently use physical and mental power to master the human body. They discipline their bodies and train to make themselves fit to fulfill military duties. Paul wrote Acts 24:16, and he considers himself a soldier of Christ (2 Timothy 2:3). Paul consistently disciplined or trained himself to master his thoughts and emotions as a spiritual soldier of Christ. 

Our Choice

We must choose not to normalize or justify feeling offended. While God empowers us to do His will, He gives us the free will to choose. Today and every day, we must choose to live unoffendable and depend on God to help us (Zechariah 4:6).

Spiritual Purpose

Soldiers train or discipline their bodies for a purpose- to fulfill military duties. Without having a purpose in mind, it is easy to quit or become demotivated. Paul chose to master his emotions and thoughts because he believed the resurrection of the dead would take place. Paul knew there would be another life. 1 Corinthians 15:19 (KJV) says “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”

Paul had a spiritual reason for living unoffendable. We can also choose to live unoffendable for spiritual reasons. Often, people attribute not taking offense to a desire to be the bigger or better person. This approach elevates self, and Philippians 2:3 (KJV) says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

For me, I choose to live unoffendable because I do not want my prayers hindered (Mark 11:25), and I want to make it to heaven. These can be your purpose for living unoffendable, and you can search the scriptures for more spiritual reasons to live unoffendable.

I love the New International Version translation of Proverbs 19:11; it says, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”

Overlooking offense brings us into a realm of glory. Now, that’s another good reason to overlook an offense.

Live Eternity-conscious: Being eternity conscious was Paul’s spiritual strategy for keeping his conscience free of offense. When we are more conscious of the spiritual benefits of living unoffendable, forgiving those who offend us will become easier.

Are you willing to lose eternity with Jesus because of offense?

Would you like to become a member of God’s family? Please say the prayer below and let me know about it here.

Say this: Heavenly Father,
I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe you exist and you sent Jesus to die for me. I receive your love and forgiveness. Reveal yourself to me. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Amen

Welcome to God’s family!

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