There’s a saying in the English language called ‘walking on eggshells’. Another way it could be translated is ‘having to speak and act very carefully in order not to offend someone.’ You get the picture of a person having to walk very lightly on a bed of half-cut eggshells turned upside-down and if he steps too hard or makes one wrong move, everything will be broken!
We use this phrase when referring to interaction with people who are hard to get along with. Some wives have to walk on eggshells with sensitive husbands, some employees have to walk on eggshells with angry bosses, some children have to walk on eggshells with wrathful parents. No Christian should ever be a person of whom it is said ‘I have to walk on eggshells with him.’
If you are married, one test you can take to see if you are a person like this is to ask your spouse the question, “Do you ever at any time feel you have to walk on eggshells with me? Do you ever feel that you have to be so careful with your words and actions that if you do or say something wrong that a fight or argument will break out, or that we won’t be talking for some time?” The answer to this question can tell us if we are a person who gets offended easily.
A person who gets offended quickly cannot easily have fellowship with people, and almost certainly cannot be used to build God’s church. A person like this may find it hard to remain committed to a church for an extended period of time, and so may often be jumping from church to church, always looking back at how horrible the last church was (all that they felt was wrong with it) and how they were mistreated, or offended. At first they imagined it was the perfect church, but then after some time their hard hearts got offended (their sensitive egg shells were broken when someone walked on them too hard), and they decided it was time to move on.
If all of the disciples were like this, there would have been no New Covenant church! Jesus told them things like, “you of little faith” (Matthew 16:8), “how foolish you are” (Luke 24:25), and even “get behind me Satan!” (Matthew 16:23). Then there was one time Jesus said something so extreme that almost everybody got offended and left. He told them “you must eat my flesh and drink my blood” (John 6:53).
But the disciples weren’t ones whom Jesus had to ‘walk on eggshells’ with. He was able to tell them what they needed to hear all the time, and they humbled themselves and accepted it. That’s why there was hope for them, when everyone else left.
Their attitude was ‘Where shall we go? You have words of eternal life!’ (John 6:68)
The Lord desires disciples like that – who are so committed that He can speak anything to them through anybody, even if it’s a hard word, and instead of getting offended and storming off in anger to find another church, another marriage, another friend, they will endure and consider what words of life God is trying to speak to them through it. And it won’t harden their heart even one bit toward the one who spoke it.