Guard your thought and life
One place Satan seeks to engage and defeat a believer is in their thought. Satan lies a lot and he is so great at manipulating events, making them look more serious than they truly are. If you give Satan permission to invade and manipulate your thoughts, he can defeat you. The Bible says, “Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life’s consequences” (Proverbs 4: 23, CJB). The Expanded Bible (EB) translation says: Be careful what you think [Above all that you guard, protect your heart], because your thoughts run your life [life flows from it]. Also, the scripture says: “do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27).
Take No offence
Offences, both real and unreal, will come; but you will have to confront them with the truth of God’s word. No offence can stand the test of the truth of God’s word. The easiest way to get offended is to live making an assumption about everyone’s intention, filling in the gap as to why others acted or spoke the way they did. A lot of scriptures counsel against taking offence, for example, James 1:19 says: “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger”. The antidote for an offence is LOVE: Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). See footnote for more scriptures on not taking offence.
Make excuse for others and let it go
How much can you make excuse for others? Peacemakers know how to make excuses for others. What does it mean to make excuse for others? It means you defend others against Satan’s lies and act in direct opposition to Satan’s suggestions by doing what is the truth. You choose to act in love. You might safely conclude: the person did not see you, they were in a hurry, they needed to catch up with something very urgent, they might be going through something in their own lives. You might even take it a step further by telling yourself: “Even if they did it intentionally to hurt me, I choose not to take it personally or take offence. I choose to forgive, put it behind me and let it go”. The Bible says: Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others (Ecclesiastes 7:21:22). Gain the scripture says: Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening] (1 Corinthians 13:7, AMP).
Are there times you need to point out an offence, telling a fellow saint their fault? Sure Bible makes room for that. But you don’t want to make that a habit. Here is what the Bible says: With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesian 4:2-3). Again the Bible says: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector (Matthew 18:15-17).
Don’t be an instrument of offence
It is not enough to tell you not to take offence. I will also counsel against becoming an instrument of offence in the life of others. You do not have to take others for granted because they are Christians and not expected to take offence. Everyone deserves to be treated with love and respect. No matter how saintly people are, they are still humans. Don’t ever deliberately set out to hurt other people’s feelings. Instead, be considerate, putting yourself in the shoes of others. Let love be your standard for relating with others, never preferring one above another.
The Bible clearly provides a guide: For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding (Romans 14:15-19).
Pray for yourself and Others Always
It is the end time. If there is any time to be watchful and prayerful in our relations with others, it is now. Believers ought to do more praying for one another than talking about one another. We need to spend more time praying for ourselves and others against Satan’s onslaught of offence and pride. The bible is clear about what we should do: “The time is near when all things will end. So keep your minds clear, and control yourselves. This will help you in your prayers. Most important of all, love each other deeply, because love makes you willing to forgive many sins.” (1Peter 4:7, ERV).