Long ago I decided to regularly incorporate study books into my daily Bible study. Alongside the Scriptures, I’ve devoured such books as Kyle Idleman’s Not A Fan, Francis Frangipane’s The Three Battlegrounds, and John Bevere’s Good or God. Currently, I’m reading John Bevere’s The Bait of Satan.
And BOOOOOOYYYYY. This book.
Bait of Satan deals directly with the Spirt of offense that people struggle with. A friend had been trying to get me to read it for months, but I always said “Offense? I don’t carry offense. I don’t really need to read that book.” How wrong I was. As I’ve read Bait of Satan, I’ve realized how much offense I really did carry in my heart. In fact, it wasn’t just big things from hurtful moments in my past. Most of it was actually trivial, daily things, moments throughout my day where I allowed offense to settle in over the smallest issues.
This book has been immensely eye-opening. I could. It recommend it more. Offense is a deeper issue than I thought. And as I’ve been dealing greatly with uprooting those thorns from my own spirit, I realize what a thief offense is. It robs you of heathy relationships. It removes joy, life, and vibrancy from your own life and the lives of those you’re in relationship with.
Perhaps the greatest revelation I could take away from this book is that even if I am truly and deeply wronged by someone, I have no right to be offended. That is, if I want to be like Christ. Jesus was betrayed by His disciples. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. David was hunted down by his spiritual father. And yet none of these men allowed offense to settle into their hearts. They chose, instead, to respond with grace, love, compassion, mercy, and soft hearts.
This is the kind of man I want to be. And I refuse to allow the spirit of offense to rob me of my joy and vibrancy in my life and my relationships.
Offense is like thorny soil. It chokes out all fruit, all life, all progress. So I’m going to do what I can to uproot those thorns. I’m going to yield to the hand of the Lord as He prunes those thorns and throws them into the fire.
Refinement is painful. But so so worth it.