‘God Bless You': Offended by God – Devotions from the Road of Life

by on March 9th, 2015
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“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33, King James Version

A recent news story related the uproar caused by a teacher banning the phrase “God bless you” following a sneeze. He lowered students’ grades and generally seems to feel that a sneeze is a bad enough disturbance without the addition of a phrase following it. Later reports indicated that the class in question was using the blessing to deliberately cause a disruption, a sad indictment of the faith level of those students.

While I am saddened by the story, it was the response from viewers that most shocked me. The most appalling was a woman who announced that she doesn’t say “God bless you” to people because she knows that some people are offended by the word “God” and she doesn’t want to offend anyone. Well, she has offended me but worse, she has offended God.

Newsflash, folks! Jesus warns people who don’t acknowledge Him in public as to the consequences: He will not acknowledge them to His Father.

If an announcement of being offended is sufficient to stop behavior, then please take into the record this list of some of the things that offend me.

· People who use God’s Name in vain, particularly as a vulgarity;

· People who think that anything they don’t like should be outlawed;

· People who are rude or mean to others;

· People who use public vulgarity in place of a decent vocabulary;

· People who ridicule those who believe differently from themselves;

· People who claim to want “diversity” and “tolerance” when what they mean is they want people to agree with their behavior;

· People who don’t understand the difference between believing a behavior is wrong and believing a person is of value (otherwise known as “Hate the sin but love the sinner”);

I’ll be expecting people stop cursing, blaspheming, mistreating others and hating so as to avoid offending me. (Yeah, right!) The plain truth is that we live in a fallen world. All of those things I listed (and many more) are evidence of our sin nature. Every time one of us does something to hurt another, we are acting out of sinfulness.

One way to fight against this sinful nature is to aim to draw closer to God. That can’t happen if we feel ashamed of Him. If I let the opinion of those who claim to be “offended” by the mention of God create a chasm between Him and me, I forfeit my right to the joy of His presence. I am yielding to sin.

Take time today to examine your stand on God’s name. Do you use it as a prayer? A curse? A celebration? Claim Him publicly so that He will acknowledge you the same way.

Jesus, I thank You for Your promise of claiming me before Your Father if I will claim You before men. Keep me focused on You and the things of Heaven, rather than the petty bickering of earth.




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