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How to Trade "Taking Offense" with "Playing on Offense!"



We live in a world that is oversaturated with outrage and overly familiar with offense, and here’s the crazy thing. It doesn't just happen to you; you have to “take offense.” Every time we get offended, it is because we encountered something (usually something genuinely offensive) and made a decision to fight the wrong enemy and demand justice on the wrong terms. “But…” you might protest, “You don’t know what they did and what they’re getting away with.” You’re not alone. King David wrestled in prayer before God asking, “Why do the wicked prosper?” But here’s the truth: Sin always kills. Always. That person who is hurting you isn’t happy. They’re not “killing it.” Their sin is killing them. When we choose to take offense against a broken person, we empower the wrong source and arm ourselves with the weapons of the wrong kingdom. Praise God, there's an alternative to taking offense.


Jesus promised, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18).” Gates don't move. People do. The defining mark of Jesus’ Church is that she chooses to set up camp every place hell resides, until it is “on earth as it is in heaven.” The Church is to issue the continual eviction to the kingdom of darkness in her city. For too long, the Church has adopted a defensive posture to the surrounding culture. We seem to be defensive about everything, with Christians regularly lamenting, “they took this from us, and they took that from us.” We are seeing from the wrong side of the ball, failing to understand that we’re on offense; we don't have to be offended. Satan doesn’t cast out satan. We don't establish the reality of heaven on earth by treating people like hell. And we will never advocate for people's transformation while accusing them:


“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5


How do we play offense? First, “we do not wage war as the world does.” We don't fight the same way everyone else does. Paul would later exhort the church of Ephesus, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms'' (Ephesians 6:12.) There is a war, but people are always precious to our Father. They are never our enemy.


Second, “the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.” We don't fight God’s battle using the enemy's arsenal of accusations, gossip, and rumors. This is how division comes. We don’t use these weapons, we demolish them. 


Finally, we “take every thought captive.” We develop a lifestyle of hearing the voice of our God and align with what heaven is saying. We surrender every opinion and emotion we would otherwise wish to hold to the lordship of Jesus. We literally make our words and actions align with the King of Heaven. “The Father wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4.)” God isn’t “calling out” His children. He’s calling them home. Here’s three practical steps we can take today to trade “taking offense” for playing on offense.


1. Forgive Everyone.


Forgiveness is not a feeling, but simply releasing a debt from your hands (which are inadequate to judge) into God's. It’s saying, “God, here’s what was stolen from me. You saw it. You know all about it, including all I don’t know. I lay down every self-righteous weapon I possess and ask You to return to my heart what was stolen, however and wherever You see fit. It isn’t my debt anymore. My God will supply all of my needs. I release their heart to You.”


2. Align with how God sees His children.


When you want to rush to judgment, stop and ask, “Father, what do You say about them?” And then actually wait and listen for His response. You’ll be shocked how it reorients your heart.


3. Adopt a culture of blessing.


Blessing moves beyond the passive work of releasing debts into the constructive work of building others up. It is the divine imagination that envisions what people can become as God takes up residence in their heart, and then does everything in our power to bring this image to reality. 


Adapted from En(d)titlement, © 2023 by Chuck Ammons. Available on www.amazon.com





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I encourage everyone to read the entire book!

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