The problem is that if we allow our emotions to control us, we are like a small oar-less rowboat in that ocean, being tossed to and fro with no ability to steer our way clear of those waves. We are out of control and unable to control our path. God created us and gave us emotions, but He also gave us the ability to control those emotions. ...casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ... 2 Corinthians 10:5 NKJV
Yes, people "hurt our feelings". Things they say and do bring feelings of sadness, hurt and anger. They prick our deep scars of rejection and insecurity. We feel disrespected, treated unfairly, made fun of. Often the hurt gives way to anger, because we don't mind showing anger but not our hurt because that "feels weak".
Those feelings aren't sins, but almost immediately the spirit of offense comes and you will choose to either embrace or reject that spirit. That is when sin enters in. Offense is one of Satan's most effective "tools" against believers. The companion spirit of offense is unforgiveness. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27 NKJV The emotion will come, you will experience it, but you must not embrace the spirits that come right behind those emotions to tempt you into sin.
Remember: No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV
Yes, there is a way of escape from embracing the spirits of offense and unforgiveness: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV Self-control! If only self-control could be prayed on you or given to you with anointing oil. It is in you, but you must work it, and build it by getting filled with the Word, listening to the Holy Spirit as your guide and exercising your self-control every day. Every time you consciously reject the spirits of offense and unforgiveness, your self-control will get stronger and each time it will become easier!
I can testify that this is true in my own life. When I was much younger, I lived in my feelings. I didn't control them, they controlled me. My mother used to say I "wore my feelings on my sleeves". I was a carnal, immature believer. When I got angry or hurt or disrespected, I embraced and nursed that offended spirit and its companion, unforgiveness! I would cut that person out of my life and make them pay for what they had done to me (in my eyes). One day, I heard teaching on the spirit of offense and what a strong weapon of Satan's it was! It truly opened my eyes and I began the process of building my self-control. I was determined to never be a tool used by Satan against my fellow believers! Nothing was so important that I would allow myself to be offended and harbor unforgiveness against anyone.
My purpose today is to show you the difference between our God-given emotions, and the spirits those emotions draw that want to tempt you to sin and embrace offense and unforgiveness. If you claim to be a citizen in the Kingdom of God, I will say without reservation that it doesn't matter what someone did to you or said about you, you do not have the RIGHT to hold offense and unforgiveness toward ANYONE. Recognize the emotion, feel it and let it go. Then pray for those who have hurt you. If Jesus could pray "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" as He died on the cross, you have no excuse. Luke 23:34
Once you have determined that you will not embrace offense and unforgiveness, no matter what happens or how you feel in the moment, there is such peace. Trust me, it becomes easier every time to keep your peace and forgive. Offense and unforgiveness will "eat you" from the inside out. Peace is a healing balm to your spirit. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Want peace? Pray for those who have hurt you: But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven... Matthew 5:44-45 NKJV
Be a Kingdom light shining in the darkness,
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