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Spiritual growth is neither a function of time or learning, but it is a function of obedience.
It is easy to love those who can do no wrong in our eyes. Thats honeymoon love. It is another thing to love someone when we can see their faults, especially when weve been the victim of them. The love of God was maturing me, strengthening my heart.
Many ministers are afraid that if they do not fulfill their peoples expectations they will hurt their feelings and lose their support. They are trapped by the fear of offending others. They are controlled by their own people, not God. As a result, little of eternal value is accomplished in their churches or congregations.
If we do not deal with an offense, it will produce more fruit of sin, such as bitterness, anger, and resentment.
The focus of offended Christians is inward and introspective. We guard our rights and personal relationships carefully. Our energy is consumed with making sure no future injuries will occur. If we dont risk being hurt, we cannot give unconditional love. Unconditional love gives others the right to hurt us.
A minister or a Christian is what he lives, not what he preaches.
Those who become offended do not fully realize how great a debt He has already paid for them to be free. They have forgotten from what manner of death they were delivered. They see through natural eyes rather than eternal.
It is easy to be loyal to a leader or father who loves you, but what about one who is out to destroy you? Will you be a man or woman after the heart of God, or will you seek to avenge yourself?
A common excuse for self-preservation through disobedience is offense. There is a false sense of self-protection in harboring an offense. It keeps you from seeing your own character flaws because the blame is deferred to another. You never have to face your role, your immaturity, or your sin because you see only the faults of the offender.
Unconditional love gives others the right to hurt us.
Selfishness reigns in our society. Men and women today look out for themselves to the neglect and hurt of those around them.
Sin easily hides where there is no heat of trials and afflictions. In times of prosperity and success, even a wicked man will seem kind and generous. Under the heat of trials, however, the impurities surface.
Without our knowing when it happens, these walls of protection become a prison.
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