Offenses, Leadership By Example, and The Reward or Punishment for Influence

Offenses, Leadership By Example, and The Reward or Punishment for Influence

My first son has the chance to influence his little bros and sisses in right or in wrong – by example. He can make our parenting job easier or harder. And he can get rewarded by God for leading his generation in righteousness or be punished for leading his generation in disobedience.

It is similar in spiritual leadership – when you make disobedience appear successful, you become spiritually responsible and accountable for those who imitate or follow your disobedient influence. God is a great accountant and He knows how to trace rewards and punishments for good seeds of influence and bad seeds of influence.
– This is why James 3 says that masters, (or leaders) have a greater condemnation.

James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. KJV

James 3:1 Be not many [of you] teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment. 2For in many things we all stumble. If any stumbleth not in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. ASV

God was saying that not too many people should put themselves into position of leadership or teaching without God telling them, because they might cause people to be offended with their words.
What is “Offense” Really?

Today we use this word “offense” as if it means emotional insecurity or perceived disrespect. This word as used in the bible actually means to stumble, and in a disobedient step off the path off God.

Definition of Offend:

  1. to cause one to stumble or fall
  2. to stumble
  3. to err, make a mistake, to sin
  4. to fall into misery, become wretched

This is a major problem in the Body. People see the Word “offense” and think it has something to do with emotional insecurity or perceived disrespect rather than “stumbling off the path of obedience” to God.

Hosea 14:9b …for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

I encourage you to reread all of the Scriptures you know that say “offense” and put the words ” stumble off the path of obedience” or “cause to stumble from the path of obedience”, or “stumbling blocks to obedience.”

When Jesus said:

Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 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!

He was saying that if you cause a small believing child to disobey and stray from obedience to God, your punishment is so great, it would be better for you to drown in the ocean. He was saying that a lot of punishment is coming on the world because they cause people to stray from obedience to God. Whoever allows themselves to be the messenger or example of disobedience is going to be punished horribly.

When Jesus said:

Matthew 11: 4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see : 5 The blind receive their sight , and the lame walk , the lepers are cleansed , and the deaf hear , the dead are raised up , and the poor have the gospel preached to them . 6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

He wasn’t rebuking John the Baptist for being emotional or asking a bad question, he was encouraging John to stay on his path of suffering in obedience, because JB had an important role in making a way for the Messiah, AND a share in the reward for the miracles Jesus was doing. He then went on to say JB was the greatest man ever born of a woman – he wasn’t rebuking him for perceiving disrespect or being emotional. He was in essence, letting him know his cut of the rewards for his obedience.

He was saying : “Look I’m healing the sick, raising the dead, and preaching the gospel to the poor. You were sent to prepare the way for me, so if you don’t back down and don’t back out of Obedience you will be very blessed.”

When you see the word “offense” as loss of emotional harmony, the devil will attack you and put roadblocks of conflict on your path of obedience to Gods will. Then you will leave the path of Gods will because of the conflict, keep the emotional harmony, smile and say “I’m not offended.” However, you really are offended, because you stumbled off the path of obedience to God.

Understanding the real meaning of “offense” brings great clarity to many issues of life. It will help you to find and stay completely on God’s holy path for your life regardless of the tricks, compromises and conflicts the devil puts on your path

As a leader, your main goal is not to cause people to stumble off the path of obedience. It’s not just words that can cause people to stumble from the path of obedience, it’s also your example.

Words are just the beginning. People do what they see, especially if they see people in positions of power and success doing them.

– This is why Proverbs says if a leader listens to lies, all his servants are wicked.

Proverbs 29:12 If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.

As a leader by example, if you even listen to a lie, all your servants become wicked and twisted from righteousness.
– This is why repentance is more necessary in the Church than in the world. God heals the land when HIS people repent and lead by example. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray , and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

It’s not necessary to get sinners to stop doing this or that. It’s necessary to get so-called believers to obey, pray and walk in self-sacrificing holiness instead of compromise. That’s when God is released to heal the land. God didn’t give unbelievers the authority, He gave believers the authority.
– This is why it’s important to obey God and lose money fame and influence rather than disobey God to gain money fame and influence “for God.”
When you try to outsmart God in this way, you get punished even more harshly for spreading corruption, even if you still look good in the eyes of the masses. The influence and money you gain “for God” by disobeying Him is actually a negative for you and for everyone under your influence.

Real Faith Is Obedience
I used to think people that were supposed to know the Word didn’t know the Word. Now I realize that many Christians know the written Word of God AND know the voice of God, but just refuse to obey Him in order to have success in the eyes of people.

I have seen, heard and experienced many people who know exactly what God wants Biblically, AND have clear direct instructions from God, but choose to do the opposite, in order to have temporary success.

It’s actually human nature NOT to make smart decisions, but to go with what makes you and others comfortable emotionally. I’ve been guilty of this myself. Just a few days ago, I had a decision where I could cut down the data on my cellphone plan and save cash every month. Even though I didn’t need unlimited data, and hardly used it, it was difficult for me to make the smart decision. Why? The stupidity of my emotional comfort was the reason.

Ask any business person, most people make decisions 80% on today’s emotion, even against hard facts and clear evidence of long term benefits. A product that is better, and saves customers money every month is actually hard to sell, because it makes people change when they don’t want to change. The same thing works with spiritual decisions.

But Abraham sacrificed Isaac, and passed Gods test to give up temporary success for permanent success (Hebrews 11:17-19). That’s real faith.

Jesus endured the Cross and got permanent success and reward (Hebrews 12:2). He didn’t disobey God for the temporary experience of success and making people comfortable. He didn’t Jump off the Cross to stop the Earthquake and get a round of applause and thanks. “That earthquake was really shaking things up Jesus – thanks for stopping it, you’re the man!”

A man that is working for his wedding day works hard and suffers long with no problem, because his wedding day stays on his mind (Genesis 29:20). If he thinks only about avoiding his suffering today, he quits. Then he gets sad, scarred, and looks for a prostitute instead of a wife.

Spiritually it’s the same: in order to really obey God, you have to have more faith in the Eternal Joy Set Before You (by meditating Gods ETERNAL promises and rewards) than you have in the temporary reward from pleasing people and making a temporary profit.

Genesis 29:20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.

Skillful Disobedience to Avoid Suffering is Dangerous

People follow what appears to be successful. But in leadership, the more skilled you are at disobeying God and making it look successful, the more Blood is on your hands. It may help you to avoid temporary suffering and loss – but you end up spreading disobedience, apostasy (falling away from the faith), and Tare Seeds across the body of Christ. Without public repentance the damage continues. At least with public repentance you can slow down the spread of Corrupting the Word of God.

True repentance and obedience to the Will (Logos) and voice (Rhema) of God even in difficult losses creates eternal joy and infinite rewards, both naturally and spiritually.

One Response

  1. […] Offence is an issue of obedience to God based on your affection for  man’s ways over His Kingdom. An offense is a stumbling block off the path of obedience. (I talked more about this common misunderstanding, and the effects of it here). […]

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