by Tim Greenwood

Back when I first began traveling in ministry, I seemed to have the opportunity to pray for some of the most vile and offensive people you can imagine. My every sense and sensibility was assaulted by things that offended them all day long.

One time in particular, a man came up asking for prayer for deliverance from drugs and alcohol and rededication of his life to the Lord.

This guy was absolutely filthy, greasy, gritty, and grimy, from head to toe! And stink! I couldnít get near enough to lay hands on him without my eyes watering and nose running from the blended smells of stale beer, hard liquor, vomit, feces, urine, and who knows what else!

The stench burned into my nasal passages forcing me to spin around to catch my breath. You could actually SEE little tiny things crawling on his clothes and hair! It was probably just my imagination, but I started feeling things crawling all over me!

So I began thinking to myself Ö
I donít feel like I should have to minister to this guy!

He got here late and Iím all packed up, ready to go home!
He shouldnít have come in here dressed like that!

He should have at least hosed himself down to get rid of the terrible smell!
He sounds like he is still half drunk!
Heís filthy and I have on my best suit!
Heís Ö Heís Ö Heís Ö

Then God called me by name saying, ďTim, refuse to allow your five senses to be offended by those that are brought into your path, lest it hamper your ministry.Ē

Then Ė I realized: That it didnít matter to God that my senses were being assaulted; That it didnít matter to God if what I saw, what I heard, what I smelled or what I touched was unpleasant. All of a sudden, I came to the realization that it wasnít about ME!

And after all that trauma and after all that griping and all that bellyaching, I laid hands on the man, prayed for his salvation, healing and deliverance and ministered to him as led by the Holy Spirit.

Let me ask you somethingÖ

Arenít you glad that God didnít get offended when WE were in our sins; when WE stunk in the nostrils of God; when He could not stand to listen to the trash WE were talking; when WE were so filthy that He couldnít touch us; and when seeing what WE did Ė caused Him such pain!

Arenít you glad God didnít (doesnít) get offended at us and arenít you glad He continued and continues to love us.

If you are a born-again, baptized, follower of Jesus Christ, then every person that crosses your path is EITHER a present or a future candidate for ministry! So what is their perception of you? Did they see Jesus in you the last time you crossed paths with them?

When we get hurt, we all seek someone to heal us! But some of us, when we get offended, seek someone else to hurt! But, Proverbs 18:19 says, ďA brother offended is harder to be won than a strong cityĒ

Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they who love your law: and nothing shall offend them.