AN "OFFENSE-PROOFED" LIFE

Psalm 119:161-168 (text: v. 165)

  "I'm offended!" "You offended me." "I resent that." No victorious Christian will talk that way.
    Meaning of "offended"-- To cause resentment or wounded feelings; To make stumble.
    REASON people get offended-- It is a matter of CHOICE.  People choose to allow themselves to get offended. 
    CHARACTERISTICS of offended people--  "touchy", "short-fused," hyper-sensitive, spiritually immature and full of pride. Humility cannot be offended. You can only offend someone's pride.
    Many of our troubles come by allowing ourselves to get offended. Pride is what keeps us in trouble. "Only by pride cometh contention…" (Prov. 13:10).
    Pride says, "I have a right to be bitter." Once a person has been offended, if they harbor the grudge of the offense, it will turn into a DUNGEON of bitterness. Proverbs 18:19 says, "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the BARS OF A CASTLE."  How true. 
    It is amazing how much abuse a politician can take without getting offended, but how little it takes to offend the average thin-skinned Christian today. They are offended at the slightest ENCROACHMENT upon their "rights" or personal space. 
    The LORD JESUS CHRIST was never resentful at the way He was treated (1 Pet. 2:19-23).
    What are the elements of an offense-free life?
I. DAUNTLESS IN PERSECUTION (v. 161). 
    A. David was treated badly; had his life threatened; was falsely accused; deserted by his wife and his son lead a rebellion against him. 
        1. Who were the princes? They were sons of the king--men of high position. The basic idea of the word prince is official authority.
        2. Men of resolute purpose. The idea in the word persecute is pursuit, such as in the hunting of animals; always indicates hostile intent. 
        3. Men of unjust cause. The Psalmist was innocent. Offenses usually  come when people think they've been treated unfairly or falsely accused. "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely…" (Mt. 5:11).
    B. He did not stand in awe of his persecutors. He is awed by God's Word.
        1. Because God's Word subdues our fear of persecution (v. 161)
        2. Because God's Word rejoices the heart (v. 162).
        3. Because God's Word inspires praise to God (v. 164).
        4. Because God's Word instills peace in every situation (v. 165)
        5. Because God's Word sustains hope in the inner man (v. 166).

II. DELIGHTED BY THE PRIZE (v. 162). You cannot rejoice and be offended at the same time. 
    He rejoices like one finding great spoil. 
    A. Spoils of war do not come easily or casually. Finding precious truths of God's Word takes hours of labor, prayer, and study. Sometimes you must "fight" in some crisis of life before a spiritual truth is discovered. 
    B. "GREAT spoil…" --The blessings of God's Word are greater than anything ever taken from any battle victory on earth. 

III. DIRECT IN POISE (v. 163). He is straightforward about where he stood. 
    A. What he hates (Note the double negative "hate [intense dislike] and abhor [to bristle/shiver; detest, loathe; contempt; sickening]"
        1. Religious lying--False doctrine is lying (Jer. 14:14).
        2. Some are offended when you expose religious lies. 
        3. Tobacco industry lies; Liquor industry lies; News media lies
    B. What he loves (vs. 163, 165, 167)-- God's Word-- "Thy word is TRUTH…"  He loved God's Word "EXCEEDINGLY" (v. 167).

IV. DEVOTED IN PRAISE (v. 164). Seven is God's number of completeness-- He either had set times to praise God or He praised God all the time.
    A. You cannot be offended and be praising God at the same time. 
    B. Praise God for your critics.
        1. If your critic is wrong in his criticism, then he has a problem. If my watch is broken or has a problem, I don't get upset at the watch. I try to repair the watch. (ILLUS.-- David and Shimei--2 Sam. 16:5-13).
        2. If your critic is right, then the problem is yours. You should be grateful that the Lord used your critic to point out a problem in your life.

V. DELIBERATE IN PEACE (v. 165). Matter of FOCUS-- Peace is the result of focusing on God and His Word (cf. v. 161; Isa. 26:3).
    A. Knowing God is working all things together for my good gives me peace.
    B. Jesus said, "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended" (John 16:1). People who have a Scriptural view of themselves cannot be offended by what others may say.

VI. DUTIFUL IN PRECEPTS (vs. 166-168).
    A. Obey Malachi 3:10, you won't be offended by preaching on tithing.
    B. Obey 2 Cor. 6:17, you won't be offended by preaching on separation.
    C. Obey 1 Cor. 6:19, you won't be offended by preaching on drugs/tobacco.

CONCLUSION: The blessing of living a life free of offense. It is up to you. If you get offended it is your own fault. 
    The key to an offensive-proof life is your relationship to God's Word: