Scandalon- taking the bait

By Dave Henning / December 17, 2013

“And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.  Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” -2 Timothy 2: 24-26

In Chapter 5 of Healing Your Church Hurt, Stephen Mansfield notes that the Greek word for offense is scandalon– the small plate in the middle of an animal trap on which the bait is placed.  When we’re offended, we take the bait from the trap set for us and give ourselves to all of the raging feelings we exhibit in response to our ministry downsizing or vocation loss.

Our negative responses to our wounding come from our view that the offense was something that happened to us, that others did.  This apparently passive stance leaves us without remedy or power to make a change.

The truth is that we weren’t passive in the process of our wounding.  If we had a choice to take the bait, we also can exercise our choice to get out of the trap.  Understanding this critical point, Stephen asserts, is the beginning of being free.

Today’s question: What offense caused you to take the bait?  What do you need to do to get out of that trap?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The poisonous root of bitterness”

Special note:  the Christmas Short Meditation, “Do you hear what I hear?”, will post this coming Thursday.

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Dave Henning

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