(By Jennifer Leclaire) Less than a year ago I sounded the alarm about a destructive spirit that’s rising fast. It’s especially deceptive because the one who falls into its snare cannot see it. That not-so-subtle spirit is offense. I’ve been witnessing believers getting offended over slight corrections, unreturned phone calls and even the way certain people say “Holy Spirit.” I’ve heard about believers getting offended over new relationships forming, being asked to sit out travel trips, or not being invited into a back room meeting.

There’s an actual spirit rising that’s causing these unreasonable offenses. It’s Satan’s plot to divide believers in an hour of church history when it’s more vital than perhaps ever before that we unite on our common beliefs. Offense is dangerous because “a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and their contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Prov. 18:19). But love is not touchy or easily provoked (see 1 Cor. 13:5-6). We know that, “good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (Prov. 19:11). And the Preacher offers some really good advice: “Do not give heed to everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you have spoken a curse against others” (Eccl. 7:21-22). CONTINUE