A Brother Offended

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

“A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Proverbs 18:19 KJV).

Today’s Scripture reminds us that backstabbing (betrayal) often has irreversible results.

Within the last few weeks, I have personally had to endure two backstabbings, so today’s Scripture is especially fresh in my mind. What grieves me is that both parties were professing grace Christians. Both gained my trust, and both played the hypocrite rather subtlety. One inflicted great damage on me spiritually and emotionally, which I cannot adequately express in words.

One was a “friend” of mine for just over a year, and the other a family “friend” for decades. Both of those relationships were highly distracting for my ministry, they still are, and they pose some difficulties for the ministry and me in the coming years. I was insulted, humiliated, and betrayed, and it makes it all the more painful that they claimed to be grace brethren in Christ. In short, dear saints and readers, I have a broken heart.

As today’s Scripture indicates, an offended family member—either physically or spiritually a family member—is “harder to be won than a strong city.” You can eventually conquer a walled city, but the upset human heart is far more resilient. Some broken relationships can never be restored. We do make every human attempt possible to “live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18), but this does not always come to pass. There are people who are stubborn and prideful, and while they claim to be Christians, they persistently mock Christian charity (even after being repeatedly admonished). They make fellowship with them impossible, so we must avoid them in order to keep the situation from escalating.

Saints, we may lose all of our “friends” for the Lord’s sake—even professing grace Christian brethren will forsake us. Let us not be surprised, but let us rejoice that the Lord is glorified in that. Saints, since our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ lost everything to provide our eternal salvation, let us be willing to lose every relationship in this life for Him.