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Offense Offering Perspective Uncategorized

Why Trouble Her?

 

Mark 14:6 “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.”

I read this morning the above verse in the account of the woman anointing Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume. If you read the entire account, Mark 14:1-9, it seems that the atmosphere at the time of her offering was charged with negativity and judgment. You know the kind that takes place obviously, but supposed to be secret? Whispering, murmuring around the room under their breath, the disciples whispering, supposing no one else is taking notice but their discontent at the situation taking place before them provoked them to overt offense, it seems almost immediately.

“Why not sell it?” The disciples queried.

“Why not give the proceeds to the poor?” A noble gesture, they reasoned must be more acceptable to God instead of this waste of expensive perfume.

No matter that the perfume was the giver’s possession to use as she felt – why did the disciples feel justified to tell her how to offer her gift? Was it not hers to give how she felt led to give it? Obviously she got something right as to this day, even today as I write about her, her offering stands tall in scripture.

She must have had something right in her heart when she offered to anoint His feet with this perfume.

I heard a preacher once say that, “God will offend your mind to reveal what is in your heart.” I’ve found that to be true in my own life on many occasions. In the case of offering, why does it bother me, who has given me the right to dictate how or what someone should give their gifts to the Lord? I might not give in the same manner as others do, however, they don’t give as I do. Ought not we celebrate the diversity we have in the family of God rather than tearing it down at every chance we get?

While the outward reasonings of the disciples might have appeared to be noble, if you go on to read the account that takes place directly after this anointing, you’ll find Judas speaking with religious leaders – getting his money in exchange for the life of the Son of God.

It seems to me Jesus had already caught Judas on other occasions taking money inappropriately from their money (Judas was their treasurer see John 12:16). It might have been this last act was too much for Judas to bear. Perhaps he felt “ripped off” when he realized Jesus wasn’t going to bestow great riches and honor on the disciples; it might be that he felt he needed an “out” in order to get what he could while “the getting was good.”

Whatever Judas’ reasoning was, it was false, and it led to his demise (Judas hung himself see Matt. 27:1-10).

Judas’ fear of missing out on what he thought was his “due,” cost him his life. Imagine what his life could have been had his desire for money not overtaken him? He could have been part of a church that “turned the world upside down” (see Acts 17:6). Instead, his drive for his “due,” to get what was owed him for his service, drove him away from an amazing possibility.

Money can always be replaced, but it’s impossible to replace our lives that are intended to be lived for the Kingdom.

So, why trouble her? The offering is hers to give.

Categories
Offense

I’m Offended

Luke 17:1 “…It is impossible that no offenses should come…”

“That offended me.” What an overused phrase by Christians all over the world! When it is said, somehow, we are supposed to excuse the person for being offended. There’s a reason, so being offended is all right. Oh how “not all right” it is to be offended! It seems to me that a large number of Christians are blind to the fact that they are living in a continuous state of offense. Their pain justifies their feelings and allows for them to remain angry. Often, the offense is caused by fellow Christians, loved ones, family, and this makes the offense even more difficult to overcome.

Psalm 55:12-14 “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it the one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng.”

Only those you care about can hurt you, true? You have given your heart to them and you expect them to care for you – but the higher your expectations of the relationship, the greater the fall when the offense comes.

Satan successfully keeps people in an offended state by keeping their offense hidden, covered in pride. Pride hinders a person from admitting their condition.

There was a time that I was offended by what was said by other Christians about my husband and me. Those comments went deep into my soul and my husband, knowing how deeply I was hurt, would often ask if I was all right; if I had forgiven those people. I would say, “of course I have!” I said this because I knew it was wrong not to forgive. I even told myself I was fine and didn’t hold a grudge or offense. I was too proud to admit that I had an offense. Pride opens our hearts to an offense and pride then keeps an offense hidden in our hearts.

To break free from being deceived is to come to an understanding our offended feelings and do as Jesus said in Revelation 3:18 “buy from Me gold refined in the fire.” Gold from the fire is pure and soft. Gold is only hard when other metals are added to it to keep it from bending. In the same way, we are refined in God’s school of life. The heat, the tribulations of life, separates impurities such as unforgiveness, strife and offense from God’s life and character in our lives. In the fire, the impurities rise to the top and are skimmed off. God wants our hearts to be like pure gold, soft and easy to bend.

As Jesus said, “It is impossible that no offenses should come.” Opportunity to be offended will come, perhaps even today. The question is, what will we do when offense comes knocking?