2 Corinthians 6:1-10

1We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

It has been said that we live in the United States of the Offended. This is not without cause as it seems that many in our country take offense easily. If you do not agree with another’s “sexual orientation” then your are homophobic. If you do not agree with another’s religion then you are narrow minded. If you do not agree with another’s political stance then you are wrong. Social Media is screened for offensive posts, which many times are deleted and the one who posted it finds their account locked for a time. Listen, I am not trying to call out any one individual, social media outlet, or public official.  I am just saying that some are easily offended, and others are afraid to offend lest they be ostracized by society.

I have my political views, and if you ask me I will be glad to have an adult conversation with your about them. I believe in the absolute truth of scripture which determines my stand on the social issues that our culture is battling today. Yes, I believe that there are those in leadership who use their positions to push their personal agenda for their own gain. However, it is always my prayer that I continue to love others whether or not I agree with their lifestyle, actions or beliefs – even while I refuse to condone sin as I share with them the life changing message of the Gospel. Each person is an eternal soul. This life is short. Eternity is forever. I am concerned that many have come to the point that we are more concerned with being right than we are with being compassionate.

In our passage today, Paul is speaking about how the life of the Christian should exalt the grace of Christ. In verse 3 he tells us that we should be not be offensive for the sake of the ministry of the Gospel. Then Paul goes on to give us the characteristics of a grace filled life. The cross is offensive (1 Cor 1:23), but it is proclaims the power, grace and love of God though the finished work of Jesus Christ. Our purpose is to point others to that cross. When they stumble, we show the compassion of Christ by expressing His love. When they see it as foolishness, we boldly stand on His wisdom.

I am not saying that we do not stand up for right, and against injustice. Nor am I saying that we are to remain quiet bystanders while the rights we enjoy erode away. What I am saying is that when they become the enemy then we have missed the point. Ephesians 6:12 identifies who it is we are fighting against and it is not your neighbor, the member of an opposing political parts, or the person who is living in a sinful lifestyle. It is Satan himself who is walking around seeking to devour. When we give in to the temptation to make a person the enemy then Satan rejoices because he has accomplished his goal of diverting our attention away from the Gospel.

Today as we Refocus our hearts and minds on Christ, I want us to remember that our goal is to preach the Gospel. My payer is that if anyone finds offense in me, let it be in the cross of Christ. Don’t get so consumed in the temporal things of this world that you miss the opportunity to be a minister of Grace!