Skandalon is the Greek word for offense which originally referred to the part of the trap to which a bait was attached. Offenses are baits on a trap and if we are not careful we soon get entangled in a whole lot of painful and negative emotions. Jesus Christ in Luke 17:1 says it is impossible for offenses not to come. Our days are laced with booby traps of offenses. There is no way we can avoid encountering them. What we can do is refuse to bite no matter how attractive the bait may appear. Even though it seems easier to roll over and mull over real and imagined offenses than to take charge of our lives and be pro- active, walking in offenses is not an alternative. No matter how hard it seems we must refuse to be trapped into bitterness, resentment, anger and hatred because once we are trapped we are out of God’s radar.

I was on my early morning walk about a week ago, taking in the fresh air, enjoying a few moments of calm, when I noticed it. I could smell it in the air. The aroma of grilled fish spiced with pepper and onions. I traced the direction of the smell, until I spotted the piece of fish. I was about to bite when my senses became alert, the following words dropped into my heart – “it’s a bait sitting right on top of a snare (trap). You’ll get caught by it and even if you eventually escape it, you will have the marks of the wounds inflicted on you for life”. I quickly cautioned myself. I held back. No I wasn’t going to get caught in the trap. No matter how delicious the piece of fish looked or smelled, I wasn’t going to fall for that trap. I told myself it wasn’t worth it.

What was the skandalon? Recent offenses from a friend. The enemy attempted to begin to upload them into the storage of my memory. I was really tempted to create space in my database to accommodate these corrupted files when I got the alert. It’s a snare. It’s a bait. It was so tempting to rehash the offenses and throw a pity party, you know the sort of party where you are an innocent victim suffering at the hands of ungrateful people, that sort of thing…. Once I swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker, I was doomed for anger, bitterness, hatred, strife, unforgiveness and resentment. These emotions would affect me spiritually and mentally and even physically. That’s where the enemy wants us, separated from God because of offenses.

Refuse to take up the bait and walk down that path offenses are designed to take you. It’s not worth it. Let it go. Don’t be entrapped. “Bait of Satan” by John Bevere is an insightful book on offenses and how to effectively manage them.

Don’t be “Skandaloned”. Walk in the Peace and Joy of the Holy Ghost!

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