Walk Away From the Bait
It is inevitable that, in a world of increasing harshness and cruelty,
you will at some point be hurt.
But if you fail to react with love and forgiveness,
if you retain in your spirit the debt the offender owes you,
that offense will rob your heart of its capacity to love.
It seems that those of us who are performers get our feelings hurt easily and become offended. In the opening of this chapter I shared how this has been true in my life and in the lives of some of my friends. When I asked a number of women their thoughts on this they offered some great insights on why as performers we are so easily offended. Their responses are listed on page, 166. Check them out.
The bottom line is this: Satan knows exactly how to trap us. “He too longed for stardom and he knows just how to bait us. He dangles before us hurt feelings from being criticized, ignored, or slighted. As soon as we take his bait, snap! The trap closes and we’re caught.” (p. 167)
Jesus told a story for every performer who is easily offended. Peter had asked Jesus, “Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21-22) Jesus responded with the following story.
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
If you haven’t already, read Matthew 18:23-25). In Jesus’ story, a servant owed the King the equivalent to twenty million dollars. That’s a lot of money! Realistically, especially at the time of Jesus, this debt would be impossible to pay back. However, the king graciously forgave the debt. After receiving such a generous gift what the servant did next was unthinkable! He went to his fellow servant who owed him the equivalent of twenty dollars, and demanded to be paid. When his fellow servant was unable to pay back the small amount of money he owed, the first servant had his co-worker thrown in prison. When the king heard, he was furious and had the servant with the debt forgiven thrown in jail to be tortured. What’s the point of Jesus’ story? His point is crystal clear. Jesus calls us to forgive!
The grace glimpse taught in this parable is:
Grace offers me the option to not take Satan’s bait
The Greek word for offense is skandalon, from which we get the word scandal. “It was originally the part of the trap to which the bait is attached, hence the trap of snare itself.”[i]
On pages 170-172 I offered five questions you can ask yourself before you take the bait:
- What is the truth in this situation?
- Is there a trigger involved?
- Why is this so important to me?
- Is God trying to teach me something?
- Do I need to lay down my expectations?
For Next Week
- Read Chapter 9 in Freedom From Performing and complete the Daily Dose of Grace.
- Write this week’s Grace Glimpse on an index card and tape it to your mirror. Every time you look at it remind yourself that you do not have to take Satan’s bait.
- Read over the escape plan found on page 173. Write a prayer to the Lord describing your willingness to forgive someone that has hurt you. Then pray a prayer of blessing for that person.
Group Discussion – Answer one or more of the following questions and leave a comment.
- Why do you think it is so easy for performers to get their feelings hurt and take offense?
- Which of the five questions listed to ask yourself before taking an offense has been the most helpful for you personally?
- Think back to a time when you forgave someone who hurt you. How did forgiving that person help you?
- What was your favorite part of this chapter, and how did God use that in your life?
[i] W.E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1940), 131