To make the decision to not be offended does not imply approval. There is liberty to be gained when we do not succumb to being offended. To see and experience things that are offensive is unavoidable, but being offended is a choice that may cause us to feel justified in our own righteousness. Instead follow the example of Jesus and may our hearts be filled with love and compassion.
The command of Jesus to “love our enemies” can be very difficult to accept especially in the light of evil, injustice and other atrocities, but he did not tell us to love our enemies only until they crossed a threshold beyond redemption. We are to be people of mercy because as James says, “Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
Motivation is a huge component in our lives and we quickly realize that not everyone is motivated by the same factors. In the business world and in athletics, the leaders who excel are the ones who have learned how to use a variety of incentives and disciplines to maximize their organization’s effectiveness. Someone who is good at motivation helps others by getting them to focus on things larger than themselves.
“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes.” Luke 6:43–44 (NLT) We may find it astonishing that someone who does not act like us or think like us can produce good fruit, but Jesus commanded us to love one another and in doing so, each one of us will produce even more fruit in our lives for the glory of God.
Without a doubt, the way of love is too difficult for us to accomplish in our own strength or ability. When we see what it actually means, we may not even be inclined to try, but we must remember that we were not always as lovable as we are now.
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but from where does it come? It begins with our experiences in life. We begin with a childlike faith, but as the disappointments and heartaches come our way, so do our fears.