“But so that we may not cause offense…” Matt 17:27 Jesus explains to Peter about payment of a tax. In the Following chapter, Christ preaches about the punishment for causing someone else to stumble (Matt18:6). Then helping a brother out of sin (Matt 18:15) and finally forgiveness towards others (Matt 18:22).
To live in the light is to live in confession and love and in truth. The truth of who we are and of how we need Christ to cleanse of from all unrighteousness. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8)”.
This is a difficult task to live in humility and open vulnerability, but there are huge implications that these seemingly simple actions imply. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:26 “Do not let the sun go down on your anger and give the devil a foothold.”
Recently I was reading an odd book that documents the Carthusian Order Monasteries, An order that was vitually untouched by anyone until 1962 when the Vatican II came into existence. In revealing some of the hardships of a monastery where most monks went to get away from others. A story one Dom used was (Dom~This is Latin word that describes a monk in this order kind of like Pastor so and so or Elder so and so), One Dom was so upset one week that when he came to to confess his sins that he could not even speak. It took him a long while to even begin to share his frustrations. When he finally opened up he said “Dom Alexander hates me” The elder Dom asked “Why does he hate you?” He responded “Did you see the way he handed me the rope last week to ring the bell?”
You see, in a world where satan is lavished with many gifts and elaborate lies, He attempts to gain dominion over our brains and hearts. The only way to combat His continual attacks is with the cross, with confession, and with community.
But this is not the reason I write this blog… I write because I am assuming that you know what has been previous stated as a real and true concept that we must embrace if we desire true valiant victory in Christ.
In the first couple verses stated at the beginning of this page, Christ unpacks a different yet related concept. “As to not cause offense..” are his words, In a culture where Christians protest every kind of wrong we see. I don’t know if this teaching has any room. But my heart weeps because I know that when Christ was hanging on the cross he said “Forgive them for they know not what they do”, for a reason.
I believe that the posture Christ presents to us to follow is that of protecting others from sin. If you decide lie to me and to steal from me, I believe the Christ-like thing to do is to forgive you and not “hold” that sin against you. If I don’t allow your actions to offend me then you are not held in the tension of that sin. Christ preached “Go the extra mile… Turn the other cheek… Give the cloak also… Lend and don’t expect anything in return.” To live as a servant or a minister of the gospel is to live non-offensive and non-offended.
Lord, Show us what it means to serve the world. Not to make others sins multiply but to love them and cover the multitude of sins. Lord these words seem like they wrote themselves and I don’t really understand them . Lord reveal your truth despite my ignorance.
In Jesus Name…
Authors Note: As mentioned in John 3 the world is born into condemnation. It is my belief that to show the world the GOSPEL or GOOD NEWS it is our job to show them Grace and Truth that is embodied in Christ. He came to save the world not to condemn it. So may we live in love and truth in a way that draws others to the cross and to confession not to condemnation and judgement.