“Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone – except God.” ~ Billy Graham
I saw this quote and immediately things started running through my mind, things that our society approves of and are thoroughly offensive to God. No shortage of offensive examples exist whether you look to the entertainment industry, acceptable dating etiquette, or even the laws of our country. As I was making my mental list of all the people and organizations I felt were failing our society, I realized that my energy would be better spent looking to what I am doing to offend God instead of pointing the finger at others.
If you see something that needs to be changed or are having difficulty with a relationship, it is important to look at what can be changed in or by you to make it better instead of just pushing around the blame. But we’re so good at the blame game, aren’t we? Old habits die hard. “The woman You put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:12) Mankind made it all the way to the third chapter of the first book of the Bible before we were sinning and blaming it on someone else.
So, I decided to examine my own heart for offensive material instead. How many times have I not spoken up when the people around me were doing wrong? How often have I been afraid to witness because I might be embarrassed or make someone angry? Daily I have my own personal sins that keep tallying up but I tell myself that there are worse people out there. God is offended by every sin from gluttony to murder, but we try to rank them in order of offensiveness and assure ourselves that God thinks we’re fantastic.
The good news is that He does think we’re fantastic. Not because we’re right in our thoughts about sin and how much we’ve pleased Him, but because He loves us enough to sacrifice His only Son in our place, call us His own, and forgive us! Thank you, God, for repeatedly forgiving me whenever I offend You. Help me to follow You more closely, stand up boldly for what is right, and eliminate those parts of me that are offensive to You.