Offense is a familiar theme in the human experience, even more so when studied within the context of the Holy Bible. Biblical passages frequently address the issue of offense, presenting teachings on how to handle offense, the pitfalls of becoming resentful, and the significance of forgiving those who cause you offense. Below, we will explore the biblical perspective on offense, touching on these critical aspects and providing a comprehensive understanding of the topic.
What Does the Bible Say About Offense?
Offense, according to the Bible, is an inevitable part of life. However, the Bible advises its followers not to cause offense unnecessarily. The Bible places a high value on peace and unity among individuals, reinforcing the importance of avoiding actions that may trigger offense. The Bible also emphasizes personal responsibility in offense scenarios. It teaches that we might not have control over the actions of others, but we can manage our reactions, ensuring we don’t harbor resentment or retaliate out of spite.
Who are the Offenders According to the Bible?
In the Bible, there’s no specific archetype for an offender. Offense can be caused by any individual; irrespective of their standing in society, friends, family members, or even church leaders. The Bible often spotlight leaders and authority figures, reminding them of their influence and the potential harm if they use it poorly, thereby causing offense. Essentially, the Bible teaches that all individuals must hold themselves accountable for their actions, as anyone can potentially cause offense.
Why Does the Bible Advocate Forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a prevailing theme throughout the Bible and plays a significant role in its teachings about offense. The Bible encourages forgiveness for many reasons, one of which is to prevent the buildup of bitterness and resentment, which only harms the individual holding onto it. Secondly, the Bible emphasizes God’s continuous forgiveness towards humanity and asks us to imitate that mercy with others who offend us. This cycle of forgiveness is seen as a means of demonstrating God’s love and grace and contributes to peace and unity among individuals.
When is it Appropriate to Confront Offense According to the Bible?
The Bible advocates confronting offense in a peaceful and respectful manner. However, it encourages believers to assess the situation before initiating confrontation. If an offense leads to sin or disrupts the harmony of a relationship, confrontation may be appropriate. The goal is to restore the relationship and promote understanding, not to feed one’s ego or satisfy vengeance. The Bible recommends humility in such situations, urging followers to confront offenders with grace and love.
Where Can We Apply the Bible’s Teachings About Offense?
The teachings of the Bible about offense can be applied in almost every aspect of life. Be it within families, amongst friends, at work, or within social circles. The principles of avoiding unnecessary offense, dealing with offense in a healthy way, forgiving offenders, and the wise confrontation of offense, are universally applicable. The Bible’s teachings are not limited to religious settings but are designed to enhance the whole of human interaction, making for a more empathetic and understanding society.
Below is our full list of bible verses on offense (King James Version – KJV) provided in ranked order.
Most Popular Bible Verses About Offense
“11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.”
“21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.”
Related Themes: Arguing
“19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”
Related Themes: Strife
“15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”
“3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”
“2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
“16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”
“16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
“18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”
1 Peter 2:23
“23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:”
“19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”
“1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
“1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”
“5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
“7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”
Related Themes: Addiction
“16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.”
“9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.”
1 Corinthians 10:32
“32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:”
“12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:13 But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.15 Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.”
“165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
“1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!”
2 Timothy 2:24-26
“24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
1 Peter 2:8
“8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”
Related Themes: Destiny
“12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”
“26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
“23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
1 Corinthians 13:5
“5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;”
“17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
“32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
“10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”