Last weekend, I was listening to a lesson entitled Overcoming Offenses, and it really made me think about some things, one being how we don’t confront those who actually offend us. But then there are times that people are offended when you actually don’t do anything wrong (a great example is that you have changed the course for your life and others don’t agree with it – as a result, they reject you and they’re offended because you decided to do something different with your life). Now I’d like to use the story of Jesus when He was in his hometown – this is after He grew up and was baptized into His ministry. So let’s just look at Mark 6:1-3 (and then we’ll talk a little bit more after):
Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.
How many of you have ever experienced this (where people reject you and become offended because you’ve changed – or you’re not like you used to be when you were little)? I’ll use a little bit of my life. When I decided to follow Christ, my family was like, “you used to do this when you were little.” I laugh when I think about it because you have probably heard the phrase, “you never grow up to your parents.” Friends are no different (now this isn’t my life), they would say something, “you’re a sellout, I remember when you used to run around chasing after every girl, and you had a girl on your arms every time I see you. You used to smoke and drink on the corner, but you call yourself changed your ways.”
Now watch this, as we look at verses 4-6.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.
What caused the people’s rejection of Jesus and them being offended at Him was because of first their unbelief. And second, they were plagued with that familiar spirit. A familiar spirit is when you’ve been around a person so long, the moment they changed, you don’t like it, and as a result, you reject that person (and are offended because they changed). It’s been said, if you become too familiar with someone, there’s a strong change that you’ll abuse him or her.
If you have ever been rejected and offended because you’ve changed and have decided to make a difference in this world (and going with Christ), don’t let people box you in to other people’s circle. Let them stay offended at you, and let them reject you. God has so much that He wants to do with you (and like Jesus, you may have to leave your hometown because they won’t believe it). Granted, those are the people that would say something like this “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Or they’ll say “he’ll be back to his old ways (or she’ll be back to her old ways), just watch. I’ll entice them back to their old ways.” My advice to that, get as far away from them as you can.
I pray this encourages you if this applies to you.
The Mayne Man