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 couldn't 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 ...
I don't feel like I should have to minister to this guy!

He got here late and I'm all packed up, ready to go home!
He shouldn't 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!
He's filthy and I have on my best suit!
He's ... He's ... He's ...

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

Then - I realized: That it didn't matter to God that my senses were being assaulted; That it didn't 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 wasn't 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 something...

Aren't you glad that God didn't 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 couldn't touch us; and when seeing what WE did - caused Him such pain!

Aren't you glad God didn't (doesn't) get offended at us and aren't 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, "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city"

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