Oh-Fences     (Offended)

You can learn a lot about horses when you feed them in a herd.  It is a window into their personalities.  It doesn't take long to see who is aggressive in the herd and who is timid when you pour the grain into the feed trough.  The pecking order is established and soon they have worked it all out.  They kick and bite one another and work through this until order is established.  They have great abilities to work it all out.  Sometimes, a fence is required in between the aggressive and the timid to make certain that all are getting the necessary amount of grain.  This is necessary because once in a while, the offended ones will stop trying to get up to the feed trough. Then, they will lose weight and become weak.  It is so important that they all get the nutrients needed to grow and provide energy. 

Have you been offended lately?  Have you had your character attacked?  Have you felt like someone is biting and kicking at you?  If so, this devotion is for you.  If you haven't been persecuted lately, hang on - you will.  It is part of life.  We are a big herd living in a fallen, sinful world.  Every relationship that we have has the possibility of miscommunication, emotional ups and downs and misunderstandings.  All of these are fertile grounds for becoming offended.  I see this often.  Someone becomes offended and decides to write off the other person.  It seems to me that instead of working out the differences, it is becoming more and more common just to change relationships like changing dirty shorts.  What ever happened to working THROUGH our problems? 

Perhaps you are trying to serve God and attacks come your way.  Don't be surprised at this.  The day that you became a Christian, a child of God, a friend of Jesus, you also became an enemy to anything that opposes that way of life.  When I accepted Christ, my first desire was to tell others in the horse industry about my new life and the peace that I had found in my soul.  I wanted to start church services at the major shows and as many week-end shows as was possible.  The funniest thing happened during those years.  The attacks that came usually came from within the Christian community.  I met a dear older man who had written many books on the behavior of people, Dr. Cecil Osborne.  He told me this:  "If you desire to serve God in an industry that is predominately hostile to becoming Christ-like, you can expect persecution and attacks to come your way.  When this happens, it will usually be against you as a person - your character, your faults, etc.  It will usually come from another believer.  When this happens, do not be deterred, but go immediately and do something for the cause of Christ.  Do not let these attacks hinder or halt your desire to serve Him, but let them give you even more desire.  Examine your heart to be sure that your motives are pure and your heart is in line with the Word. If you are off, judge and correct yourself. Then keep on keeping on."  

We must hide the word of God in our hearts and when we are under persecution, we must not retaliate in anger, resentment, blame or withdraw.  We must remember what the Word tells us:  "Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."  1 Tim. 3:12     My favorite scripture to meditate on when emotions get rubbed raw from someone is this one:   "Great peace have they that love God's Word, and NOTHING shall offend them."  We must choose not to become offended and put a fence between ourselves and another believer.  We must learn to work through differences for the cause of unity in the body of Christ. 

If we allow another to chase us away from the feed trough, we are playing right into the enemies hands. There are many people who no longer attend church because they have become offended.  It is a day and time when we need to open the gates of the fences, work through our differences and belly up to the feed trough together.

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Copyright 2004 - 2011 Joyce Loomis-Kernek
Last modified: January 05, 2014