We are the church so when people say, “I was offended by the church” what they really are saying is “a person or people offended me.” We have a choice once an offense happens at church. We can either work through it or leave, hardening our heart and never want to find a church home again.
The key is to know offenses will happen time and time again because we are called living stones. Stones rubbing together in fellowship will inevitably cause friction and sparks can fly and catch a forest on fire. However, be have been given the gift and presence of the Holy Spirit which is the oil or lubricant to keep the friction from flying.
The enemy is not after unbelievers because they are not a threat but he sure shows up in the body of Christ to divide and break fellowship.
The answer is not the decision to never go back to church again but rather learn from the experience. If a doctor misdiagnoses a person, do they never seek medical attention again? If a hair cut is disastrous, does a person never cut their hair again? How about bad investments, does that mean never trying again? No, we keep going back and we keep trying, right? So let’s do the same with a not so good experience with our church family. We are all capable of offending someone and hopefully grace and forgiveness will be given to us. We are all imperfect beings, rubbing shoulders with one another, so let’s not let the friction happen.
The answer comes through the power of genuine love and forgiveness of the Holy Spirit’s anointing lubricating oil flowing through our living stones as we rub shoulders together in ministry and serving one another.
We need to own up to our emotions and learn it is a choice we make to take on an offense. It’s not if but when you are offended, be quick to recognize it and ask God to help you let go, forgive the other person, repent for your part of it, surrender the offense and move on.
1 Peter 2:5, “You are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple. What’s more, you are His holy priests. Through the meditation of Jesus Christ, you are spiritual sacrifices that please God,” NLT