"Then said he to his disciples, It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come." (Luke 17:1)
Have you ever put your foot into your mouth, by saying he wrong thing?
Have you, despite your best efforts, tried to make every one happy, and yet you failed?
Have you ever taken what some one did the wrong way?
Our Lord teaches that it is "impossible" for us not to be offensive.
1) We are imperfect.
2) We are surrounded by imperfect people.
3) We live in an imperfect world.
4) And, we have an enemy that is almost perfect in the way that he makes war in this world.
Does that mean that we give up trying? No! The believer is to do the best they can to treat other people with grace, kindness, and dignity. Always!
But, know this, we will still fail at times, despite it all.
Many years ago, I stopped commenting upon a person's appearance. I thought that a compliment was a good thing, until I realized that I was not good at it.
My demise came one day, when Donna and I were shopping. The bank teller, that I saw each week when doing my banking, was expecting a child. Silly me, I didn't notice that she was absent the last time I went to the bank. We bumped into her at the store.
I thought that I would be charming. I said to her, "Hey there! You are looking good. And I see that you are still hanging in there."
Donna elbowed me in the ribs! There, in her shopping cart, was the baby! Poor thing, she was no longer expecting. I could have crawled under the shelving in the store. I made it a point to never comment on a person's personal appearance again.
Jesus did say, "...It is impossible but that offenses will come:..."
I have noticed that we are trending toward rudeness, perverseness, and hatefulness. It seems that so many people aren't even trying to get along, any more. Common decency is not so common, any more. I wish that were not so!
We live in a world where so many are working to offend God, their family, and society.
Keep trying to be like Jesus. You will fail, at times, but Jesus also said, "...but woe unto him, through whom they come!" Note the exclamation point at the end of the verse. I didn't put it there. Jesus did!
"Woe" means "sorrow"! Sorrow comes with offenses. So, eliminate as much sorrow as you can, today. Be kind. Be gracious. And treat others with respect, and "un-common" decency.
It's time to stop as much "woe" as we can.
From my heart to your heart.