Offended? By what is where to begin–not by whom. Attacking the messenger doesn’t resolve anything; the truth will stand on its own. If it’s the truth ( 1 ) by which we’re offended, then we’re in trouble. (Note that the most righteous man on this earth offended others.)
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? -Mathew 15:11 and 12
Surely these verses reveal that words were spoken from the heart of Jesus and in so doing He offended the Pharisees. But what about us today? Is it possible to offend one another with the truth? Is it possible to offend one another with what we believe to be the truth? Is it possible that we can anger one another by too much persistence in getting the other to see the other’s point of view? It’s “Yes” to all those questions. I’ve learned that too much is too much. I’ve learned that no matter what it is that I dearly would love the other to see, that when I get ignored (by not getting any kind of an answer) that this is when to be quiet and let it go. “Let’s talk about something else and go on with a life of bliss.” (Still friends?) It doesn’t matter even if it is the truth, there are all sorts of reasons people do not want to know what ever it is that they don’t want to know. I finally realize that I’m to leave ’em alone about it and I am pretty sure that I have learned my lesson well!
Listen: There are those, such as myself, (almost 70 years old) who passes along helpful information to others, only to see that the concern isn’t wanted. The thing to be aware of and to discern is to know when to shut up!
(I hope I’ve gotten a good grip on that one!)
But what if you KNOW that what you have to say is right and that if the recipient would just only listen to your pleas, it may even save them suffering, pain and heart-ache–shouldn’t I spare no effort to win them over?
If our helpful input isn’t wanted, that means that our helpful input isn’t wanted. I’ll put it another way (talking to myself): If my input is not wanted then I’ll shut up about it and there will be no more talk or reminders of any kind from me.
And everyone says, “Good!”
- The truth is spoken of here as truth pertaining to life–physical and spiritual. Spiritual truth comes from reading His Word, living what we’re instructed in the bible and communion with God through prayer. Truth (or facts) that pertain the natural things of life cannot be shrugged off as if they have no part in our daily walk because if natural truths–truths concerning our physical well-being–are ignored, especially the inconvenient ones, what sort of spiritual testimony do we have? I may need to explain: Suppose I’m hiking on a trail and I meet a stranger hiking the other way and I’m warned of a bed of vipers in a small cave just ahead. I think my response would be to get all of the known details and thank this hiker for sharing the information. I do not think I would be so spiritual about it to the degree that I would go on my way as if I never met this person and I can’t imagine myself as thinking (and believing) that if God wants me to know these things (these truths, these facts, these warnings, and / or these instructions, directions or education as pertaining to physical side of life) He’ll tell me through His Holy Spirit when His timing is right. But, of course, I do believe that if we are His, He will lead and guide us! But to claim God’s protection and at the same time ignore “truths” just because the method of deliverance does not fit our theology, is a little dangerous, to say the least–don’t you think?
By the way, even if I knew this hiker and knew him well enough to know that he’s a known liar and makes up stories just to irritate others–you get the idea–don’t you think for one second that I’m not going to be careful when I get in the vicinity of that cave!(