Act 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
Mat 17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
As much as it is essential to maintain a pure conscience before God, it is equally important before men. One of the prerequisites for seeing God is being pure in heart. Purity of heart entails a conscience that is void of offence towards God and toward men.
In the passage above, Jesus demonstrated purity by ensuring the law of the land was kept without any offence. Being a son of God, one would think he should not pay a tribute to the worldly government, but he did show himself as an example to follow for living a pure life void of offences with God and man. He told Peter to go catch a fish and get the money in the fish’s mouth to pay the tax, to avoid offending them.
As a believer seeking to live with a pure heart, you must guard against the offence of men. You are not to please men but you are to do everything through God’s enablement in you to avoid the offence of men. Jesus would have committed no sin by not paying the tribute and would still have maintained his relationship with God. However, he paid the tribute to avoid being the source of offence to the people. Offending them might bring a stumbling block in the way of those who would have believed in him.
Apostle Paul said in Act 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. Also, we that are strong should bear the infirmities of the weak and not please ourselves. Some truths we may have discovered may still be standing as a stumbling block before others that are weak but a heart of love will help us not to insist on our rights thereby offending some.
Wherefore, if meat makes my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. 1Cor 8:13 What are you doing that may be a stumbling block to others? Think about these things and repent. We can only live a pure life by following the examples of Jesus Christ who is always void of all forms of offences. Therefore, whatever Christ will not do, we must not do them so that we can be void of offence.
Prayer: Lord, help me to keep a conscience that is void of offence before you and before men all the days of my life.