Offending and Being Offended

Offending and Being Offended
In Luke 17:1 Jesus Himself stated to His disciples that “It is inevitable that offenses (stumbling blocks) come, but woe to him through whom they come…”
“Stumbling block” is the Greek word “skandalon”, it’s where we get the English word “scandal.” It means “offense, stumbling block, or occasions to fall.” The word “skandalon” originally described a small twig that was used to keep the door of an animal trap propped open. A piece of food was placed in the trap and when the animal went into it to get the food, it would hit the small twig and the trap door would close shut trapping the animal. He has become snared by the design of the tempting trap. A “stumbling block” also referred to as a stone or obstacle that causes one to trip, to stumble, and to lose his footing, to waver, to falter and to fall down.
All of us “humans” have known the sensation of hitting the twig as we rushed blindly into a lured trap and felt the slamming of the trap’s door behind us leaving us “snared” — captured in offense’s clever trap. Ironically, the bait quickly loses its appeal which once was the main focus of our attention but now the enclosing walls of the trap demands our sole attention.
Human nature, to its embarrassment, seems destined to rush headlong into “stumbling blocks” with eyes only for the bait without taking the precious time to slow the headlong rush to a slow gait of caution.
Discussions with persons about vital matters deteriorate once offense enters the arena and the vital matters then no long matters as the discussion turns to dissection of the persons. This has always been the “snare” of the enemy to sidetrack the essay of truth and turn its participants down dingy and vermin infested alleys of “offenses.”
No wonder, seeing how we are made, that it truly takes the Holy Ghost in order to rather than turn on each other but to have the grace to turn the other cheek to the slap of an offending hand.
May God help us all, frail and weak creatures that we are, to offend not even when we are offended—for that is the only way to reopen the trap door that we might truly be free.
Either we live by what we preach or we become an offense to the gospel itself.
— jlg —

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