Dealing with offences, Part 2 by Pastor Leon Forte
This is a continuation of Pastor Forte’s teaching on offences, you can find Part 1 here.
If you happen to be in the Ohio area, here is the address of Pastor Forte’s church.
Grace Christian Center
9322 Johnson Rd.
Athens, Ohio 45701
Pastor Forte was talking about various ways offences affect us. The first four were in the previous post.
5. Offences create spiritual and emotional sunburns. The moment they are touched you know it. Have you ever had a sunburn? A few days go by and you couldn’t tell by skin color that you had a sunburn, but if you touch the area it lights up. Many of us have been offended and the offence caused emotional sunburns. All it takes is somebody coming along and touching that area in your life and you will go back in your skin and be offended. For example, beautiful women who are harassed and judged because of their beauty, don’t want anyone to say they are pretty anymore, because it brings criticism. judgment, and jealousy from others. It hits a sunburn area and they are offended from that point on. We’ve got to allow these sunburned areas to be healed on the inside of us because God wants us to move on past these areas of pain. Most often, probably 99% of the time, these sunburns are touched innocently or by accident– not intentionally. Divorcees carry sunburns all the time. All it takes is someone asking you to move to the next level in a relationship, but you don’t want to do that because you haven’t gotten over your last relationship. By getting close to those hurt areas, it hits the sunburn. Instead of you allowing God to provide you with someone who can restore and heal you, you guard the sore. You are so unsure of yourself, you are guarded. You fear being betrayed.
6. Offences create the birth place for inner valves and bitter-root judgments. Inner valves are those types of experiences that cause you to say, when you are offended things like, “I’ll never get married again.” You put up a mental block. You may have had trouble with a former marriage, so you decide that for you all marriage is off limits. Yet everything in you is crying out for a mate. Your inner valve lets one person who hurt you once become the standard for all marriages. So because one relationship didn’t work out, you reject marriages. If the truth were told you married at too young an age, weren’t ready for marriage. Often partners came from good homes and because they had everything provided for them, their maturity level was not at a point where they were ready for marriage. You make an inner vow to never marry a man like my father, and you end looking for the same type of man. If your father was neglectful, you will find someone who is neglectful. If he was verbally abusive you’ll find someone who is also verbally abusive. You don’t look for these traits consciously – it is subconscious. Inner valves tell you to never marry another woman again because the last one ran off with someone from the internet, and you take it even further vowing to never have a computer at home. You try a sport and fail, so you make an inner valve and don’t try the sport again for fear of failing. For example Payton (sp) (a famous football player), as a youth, joined the track team and lost a race. He stopped racing until years later in college when he was challenged by a football player to a race. Payton wins, and is spotted by the football coach. The coach convinces him to leave marching band and play football, ultimately he became one of the best football players. Had he not taken that opportunity football would have not had such a valuable player. All it took was the coach to come and break the inner valve, then Payton was able to become great.
Bitter root judgments are normally prejudicial judgments against entire people groups. One person does something to you and you judge all in that same category to be similar. One white man does something against you and you conclude that all white men are no good. One black woman says something to you and you decide all of them ain’t no good. Regarding the current immigrant issue – who isn’t an immigrant? No one can claim this land but Native Americans. to them the whole world is an immigrant. Pastor Forte’ told us that we are paranoid of anybody not born in New York or Ohio or whatever state we are from. We are doing the same thing right now making bitter root judgments against Iraq, Iran, Cuba, etc. Not all people from those countries are bad. We should not accept that lie. When we come into the Body of Christ, we are connected with all these different people, for we are One Body In Christ. Yet these little offences are the doorway that lets the mess in. We need to stop making bitter root judgments, stop taking offence so easily and begin to function as the One Body In Christ that God wants.
It is interesting that, the United States produces 90% of the evangelists. Yet, the United States only makes up 10% of the World’s population. Of the US evangelists produced, 90% of them stay in the United States instead of reaching out to other countries. If the rest of the world produces 10% of the evangelists, and only 10% of United States evangelists leave the states, that means that 90% of the world is being evangelized by 20% of the evangelists in the Body of Christ. The reason we don’t go to some of the places that really need the Gospel is that we have national bitter root judgments against entire nations.
What do we do about it?
We need to analyze the offences. Was it about you? About you personally? Take time to examine why we are offended. Was it touching a wounded, bleeding unhealed place in your life? Or maybe the person did what they did because they were wounded. There is a reason why that woman was cold to you, she might have been molested. There’s a reason why they don’t want to go to the family reunion – maybe someone did something in the family that they don’t want to talk about. Maybe when they went looking for help they got judged so they are very private, and you are offended because they don’t open up to you. Or they are speaking out of intimidation, insecurity, or jealousy or envy. Why does it have to be something personally about you? Are you so much the center of your world that everything evolves around you? Do you think they got up that morning, stayed up all night long to find a way to offend you? Ask yourself why does this one thing continually keep pushing my buttons? Have all these people gotten together and decided to push my buttons or could it be my thing is hanging out there and I need to do something about it? If you get the truth, you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. Sometimes the truth is offensive. Why doesn’t someone want to fellowship with me? It may be that you have bad breath – need mouthwash, or you have a critical spirit. When a person shares the reason with you, figure out if they are telling you that to offend you or to empower you so you can get set free. Sometimes the truth hurts. When Pastor Forte’ addresses sensitive situations between blacks and whites sometimes people can get squeamish – when all Pastor Forte’ is trying to do is to teach people ways to stop offending one another, to help them not to hurt each other.
We in the United States, in the Church, have so much prosperity that poor people offend us. We say little stupid stuff like, “They must not have enough faith or they would have what I have.” That’s offensive to someone who is believing God, to whole nations who may not have a summer home, two or three cars, a closet full of clothes or surplus food but they have enough faith to raise the dead. With all our health care we can’t get over the flu. We are offended when some girl has had two or three abortions and comes into our church. Instead of saying God brought her here to for us to heal her, love, embrace her, put her on the right path we become judgmental. The last person Jesus did a miracle for was Mary Magdalene. Jesus cast seven devils out of her and she was the first one to see Him risen. She was the first one to preach the Gospel, before even the disciples preached it. The Gospel is the good news that He is risen. Jesus told her to tell the ignorant disciples and that lying Peter. She told the disciples and they took offence because she told them that they almost knocked her down to run down to the tomb to see if she was telling the truth. If they really had believed Jesus, they would have gone to the place He told them to go and waited for him there. They were offended that Jesus used her to deliver the message.
Our offences blind us. Our offences keep us in bondage. Church we have to wake up in 2008 God wants to loose us.
Pastor Forte called Pastor Don to the front of the church and had Pastor Don hit him with a handkerchief – that handkerchief became a symbol of the offence. Pastor Forte could get mad at Pastor and hold the offence to his account. (He held the handkerchief on Pastor Don’s back) and pointed out as Pastor Don walked all around the pulpit that Pastor Forte was not able to go where he wanted to go because he was so busy holding the offence (handkerchief )on Pastor Don. Once he released the handkerchief he was free and could go where he wanted to go. Pastor Forte pointed out that once the offence was released he was free and so was Pastor Don – they could both go where they wanted. He asked us, “So who was holding who in bondage?” When we hold an offence against a person, that refusal to let go keeps us in bondage. What is sad is that the person may not know they had offended me. We can choose to be offended and hold onto the offence or we can choose to let go of the offence and gain our freedom.
Jesus said why take the thought saying…In other words, you don’t have to receive every attempted offence in your life. We need to learn the difference between your role and your identity. If you are an usher your role is to direct traffic – to tell a person to take a baby to baby room or be quiet in the lobby – that is your role as usher. A person can choose to be offended at the person because of their doing their job. But it was not the person who offended you, it was the fact that they were performing their role. What you may not realize is that the man who, as usher told you to take your baby to the baby room, may be the one who comes in your life to be the man to take your boy to do scouting and fishing and teach him to be a man. If you hold onto the offence you may not allow this man/usher to be what he is supposed to be and your boy will miss having a father figure in his life.
God showed Pastor Forte that God was going to give us an opportunity to be set free. We were told to take a piece of paper and crumple it up. The paper was to represent offences in our lives. Pastor Forte’ had Pastor Don hold a basket that represented the Blood and the Lord. We were to give our offences to the Lord (drop them in the basket). But we were warned to only do that if we really were ready to release the offences. Many in the church brought their offences to the altar. We were told if we put our offences in the basket we couldn’t take them back and that we may have to forgive somebody. As people dropped their offences into the basket, Pastor Forte’ prophesied over many in the house. There are not enough words to describe how much his prophecy impacted each and every person, myself included.
It was truly a turning point in my life, and I am sure in many others’ lives. God is so good, and we were blessed to have this man of God minister to us.
Praying your day is blessed.
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