Category

Intimacy With God

Hi friends,

I’ve never been more passionate to share about a topic than now. Offense. 

Offense is something I didn’t know existed until I started to dive into ministry and actually planted myself at a church. It was then when I realized that offense is a real thing and also a dangerous thing. I want to start out by defining this word because I think that we’ll know how to better dissect the issue when we know what it truly is:

Offense: An injury or wrong done to one.

I’ll give you an example of offense as well:

A volunteer at the church felt ignored by the pastor, as the pastor never spoke to the volunteer. This left the volunteer feeling overlooked, under appreciated and devalued. In this case, the volunteer has offense in his/her heart because she feels she has been done wrong by the main leader in the church.

Now I’m sure many of you already know what offense is, in fact many of you may be dealing with it right now. And maybe you’re dealing with it and you don’t even realize it. Regardless of what state you’re in, I want you to know that offense is attacking the body of Christ right now. Offense desires to come in to divide the body, so that we don’t operate in unity as we are called to. This is what the Bible says about unity in the body.

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 1 Corinthians 1:10 NLT

Oneness. That is what God is asking of us. He wants us to stand at the front line of this battle we are in and be on one accord. We can’t fight the accuser (the enemy) and each other at the same time…we’ll automatically disqualify ourselves and lose. Unfortunately, offense happens and it happens within the body of Christ. I’ve seen broken relationships and friendships within the Christian community.

I have personally encountered what they say is “church hurt” and have been offended by people in the church. I have had people WITHIN the church gossip about me, talk about my worship leading ability and so much more. You wouldn’t believe it. And yes, all these things hurt me to my core.

BUT, by the grace and strength of God, I have been able to LOVE and FORGIVE those same people that have hurt me. Does it still hurt? Uh yes. I’m human. But I have learned (and still learning) to see people the way GOD sees them. This has helped me tremendously. I recognize now that sometimes hurt people hurt people and sometimes you’re just the target. But ultimately, we have to forgive, love, move forward and become more and more like Jesus.

So with that being said, I want to break down to you three practical ways you can overcome offense. I ask that you truly seek the Holy Spirit as you read these truths and be OPEN to what He has to say to you specifically as well. Ready?

  1. The first way you can overcome or even avoid offense is by asking yourself two questions: why am I offended? And is this truly something I should be offended about? Answer these questions honestly and if you don’t know, ask God to help you in this. He’s a kind, trustworthy friend that can help you in this healing process. It’s important that we get to the root of the issue…the WHY. When I got to the root of WHY I was offended, I was able to heal and be restored. Next, ask, “is this something truly worthy of being offended about?” This question is key because often times we are offended by an assumptions. Much like the example above, the volunteer assumed the pastor overlooked her, but really SHE could have spoke to the pastor and initiated a conversation. Maybe his mind was in a million different places. Maybe he just didn’t mean to not speak to her. We have to grace others; even leaders in the church. Often times, it truly takes examining your own heart FIRST before being “offended” at someone else. So, again, why are you offended and is this something you should be offended about? 
  2. Another way we can dodge the bullet of offense is by remembering that Jesus chose to forgive and so can we. Think about it. Jesus was talked about SO much. The Pharisees mocked him and even threw his name in the dirt. I can’t imagine the pain he faced. But still, even in that face of offense, Jesus chose to love and to forgive. Even on the CROSS, in His most vulnerable state, in the midst of gut wrenching pain, while nails were being pierced into his head Jesus said,
    “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. Luke 23:34 NLT (Seriously, can you imagine this??! They are not only “killing” Jesus here, but they are gambling over his clothes??!) 

It’s so easy to get caught up in the pettiness, the drama, etc. even in church. But anytime offense starts to creep into your heart, remember Jesus. Remember your testimony, remember why we’re doing this in the first place. It’s not about cliques within the Christian community, it’s about loving and living for Jesus and being ONE. I know I asked this question earlier: “is it really worth being offended?”, but honesty I’ll answer it for you…NO it’s not. And I mean that in the most loving way. I don’t want to take away from the hurt you’ve experienced, because I know what it feels like to be in pain, but if Jesus loved His enemies, so can you. He will empower you by the power of the Holy Spirit to do so. I promise. There are people to heal, set free and deliver and NO offense or “church hurt” is more important than unity in the body of Christ and winning of souls.

3. The last way that we can overcome offense is by choosing to simply see people the way God sees them. God sees them as their child and He sees them as a beautiful vessel despite their imperfections. It’s easy to see people the way God sees them when you simply ask Him what they look like. He made them so if you struggle to see someone who may have offended in a positive way, just ask God. He will show you.

There has been times in my own life where I had to really pray and ask God to show me what someone is really like on the inside. I began to see how hurt that person was. I began to see how heavy their burdens were. I began to see that they probably are dealing with their own offense, rejection and insecurities and I could be the person to pray for them. It’s easier said than done, but when we love and choose to see people the way God sees them, we can make a greater impact on the Kingdom of God.

I urge you to pray if you are dealing with offense right now. It might take having a serious, mature conversation with that person and releasing it that way. It might take you going to counseling. Or maybe like me, you’re going to have to pray through it and ask Holy Spirit how to heal. Healing can sometimes take time and that’s okay. We are so much better when we deal with our pain than just simply ignoring it. Remember offense is only there to divide and ruin the original purpose God has for us on this Earth. Love, forgive and move forward because life is too short. 

So, I pray that this blog helped you. If you want to receive more insight on church hurt or offense, I highly recommend listening to this sermon about emotional healing by Jenn Johnson. It’s SO GOOD. You can listen to it here.

 

Feel free to comment, ask questions and we can definitely continue this conversation below! I’d love to help anyone who feels stuck in this area. 

 

With love,

 

Jasmine Morris 

 

P.S. I wrote my very first book and it’s all about coming back to the Father. It’s all about coming back to the fundamental truths of who God is and who we are. I’m so passionate about this and I touch on offense in one of the chapters. If you’d like more information about my book, Returning Home. Simply click here. 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi friends,

 

Long time, no speak. I took a week off last week as the Lord placed a huge burden on my heart to go on a social media fast. During this break, the Lord downloaded into my spirit so many things. I thought it might be helpful to share some of those things, especially if you are thinking about taking a break or already on one right now. 

And before I share, I want to say that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with social media. But, as believers it is our job to steward our time well on it and use it to glorify God. IF we aren’t glorifying God on it, or we’re sacrificing our own intimacy with God just to be on it–it’s truly not worth it. 

I have found it to be super helpful to take breaks away from it, and here are my top five things I learned on my break…

  1. I went deeper with the Lord. It was amazing to see what God did in just ONE WEEK. I feel like I gave my life to Jesus all over again and I’m in love all over again. I believe prior to this break, I hit this wall spiritually where I felt like I wasn’t really as eager to get into God’s presence. I grew tired, I noticed that I was sweeping certain worries under the rug and everything seemed to be overwhelming me. To me, this was a sign that I needed to pull away and get alone with Jesus. Do you find yourself in this place? This may be an invitation to pull away and pursue His presence even more. Sometimes we get on social media and scroll for minutes that turn into hours just to run away from what we’re feeling. Maybe we’re sad, angry or even dealing with depression. Social media can’t release us from the burdens we carry, only Jesus can do that and He wants to do that. I can’t explain the joy I now have because I gave everything to the Lord. I had some real, raw conversations with my Abba Father and He filled my empty voids. I’m a daughter overflowing in the Father’s love and seriously pray that every daughter would feel this way too. 

2. I learned to laugh and relax. This world wants to suck joy and peace straight out of us. I mean, it could be work, school, family issues, the news….there’s always going to be SOMETHING to worry about. But the Word says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV – Jesus left us a gift of PEACE. It is up to us to protect our hearts, ears and eyes from things that can hinder that peace. My worship pastor said this one time, “you have to declare peace wherever you are…” And that’s what I did this week. I was very intentional about protecting my peace. This allowed me to relax in God’s faithfulness and to not constantly worry. And then, an overflow of joy flooded my heart which allowed me to laugh at the little things again. The enemy wants to steal this from us; constantly trying to make us feel like everyone else is further ahead in life than we are. It’s all a lie and I pray you protect YOUR joy and peace, after all it is a gift to YOU. 

3. I worked on bettering myself. I realized that once I took my eyes off of peoples lives, (it’s something we all do, right?) I wanted to work out more, I wanted to operate in my purpose more, I even started getting more REAL about some unhealthy habits I had created. For example, God has charged me to wake up at 5 a.m. every morning to spend time with Him. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t waking up at 5 a.m. before this break. Instead, I would have a rushed quiet time session with the Lord, have to rush to get ready for work and then rush into work. It wasn’t like this before. I would wake up, be able to breathe before work and my day would be great! I am now back to my routine and it’s made a HUGE difference in my day. Even with being back on social media, I know I want to keep up this routine as I have in the past, it helps me SO MUCH. 

4. I was able to build a stronger bond with my community. How many of us are like, “Girl let’s hang out sometime…” whenever we see a friend, but then we never actually hang out with them? The Lord really showed me how a lot of my issues came from a lack of support behind me. I wasn’t being vulnerable with those people around me. The Lord has given me so many beautiful (I mean seriously BEAUTIFUL) sisters in Christ and over this past week I have been able to build a stronger bond with them and my family as well. Instead of rushing to my Instagram app, I was going through my thread to see who I can serve, pray for and communicate with. And I was also sharing, so that I can receive and be poured into by people around me. If you’re struggling with finding community or even building a stronger bond with those around you, I encourage you to first pray about who is supposed to be in your life. Then, be open and honest with those around you. We were never meant to walk alone. Never. 

5. I’ve learned to just appreciate all that’s around me. I have this new found appreciation for my testimony, for my life, for what God is doing in me currently and it’s been like a breath of fresh air. I’ve learned to take in all that God is doing in my life right now. I think so often we get wrapped up in the mistakes of yesterday or the vision for the future, that we forget to just be thankful for right now. There’s so much to see right now in my life, and there’s so much to see in yours too. I watched how my prayers changed from, “God take me out of this situation!”  to “God, give me the strength to endure this…” I’m just now in this place of surrender and thankfulness and it’s the only place I ever want to be in. 

 

I share these things because I know some of you may be feeling this pull from the Lord to take a break from social media. Even if it’s just for a day, obey His voice. It’s so important that we don’t fade into the ways of this world and live a life set-apart pleasing unto God. Again, social media isn’t a bad thing. It’s a beautiful resource for developing Godly relationships, sharing the Word, doing ministry, building a business and more. But it’s not our source for fulfillment, Jesus is and He meets every need. So, let’s not forget who He is. Let’s not forget who we are to Him. Let’s not sacrifice  our relationship with Jesus all for an app…it’s so not worth it. Don’t be afraid to take a break, pull away if you need to and be refreshed, I promise it’s worth it. xo 

 

With love,

 

Jasmine Morris