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I remember exactly where I was the first time someone quoted Psalm 119:165 to me. I had asked a girlfriend to pray with me about coping with a constant source of offence that poked and prodded me incessantly. I didn’t want to become offended and succumb to the bitterness, cynicism or anger that often marks offended people. My friend quoted the King James Version of Psalm 119:165 to me and it resonated deeply. I wrote down the address, but when I looked up the psalm later, I found the word “stumble” instead of the word “offend”.
I researched the word and discovered the original Hebrew language referred to an offence that causes someone to stumble or stumbling over an offence.
Until recently, I had not spent much time on social media. I’ve heard the statistics about how damaging social media can be to a person’s mental health, and to be perfectly honest—I’ve experienced some of that damage myself. So, I stayed away. But lately I’ve been intentional about spending time on Facebook and Instagram because I want to engage with people and let them know about my book and my podcast. After all, my book is about discovering the joy of acceptance—and social media can intensify feelings of isolation, depression and rejection. My podcast is about believing and speaking truth—and social media can fill our hearts and minds with lies. It seemed like social media would be a perfect place for me to offer a message of hope.
As soon as I started to engage on Facebook, I felt the familiar and unwelcome poking and prodding of offence. I cried out to God, and he reminded of the verse my girlfriend had quoted: “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
Oh, how I needed to be reminded of that wonderful promise. Perhaps you need to claim that promise as well. When caustic social media posts poke and prod you toward offence, keep your eyes on God and keep in step with his precepts. Then you will experience great peace.
Longing to Belong: Discovering the Joy of Acceptance is now available for purchase on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Walmart.com, Booksamillion.com and Christianbook.com. It’s also available for download to your Kindle or from the Apple store for your iBooks app. Or visit my website to purchase a copy at shawnamariebryant.com
This week’s scripture: Psalm 119:165