When was the last time you were offended?
A situation will have popped into your head. Maybe it happened this morning, maybe last week. But something will have come to mind, because the truth is offence is part of being a human. Words can be misinterpreted, people can disappoint us.
Real talk- I have a real problem with not being invited. I guess no one likes to be left out, but if an invite doesn’t come my way I can’t help but experience a pinch of rejection.
Maybe you’re easily offended by other things like when people don’t ask how you are, or cancel their plans with you. Perhaps you aren’t easily offended at all but for the more sensitive souls among us (no shame, I’m with ya) taking offence can really hold us back.
If you’re chained to the offences of others, cracks in your own self-esteem and relationships with others can quickly start to appear. This is something I’ve noticed in myself. I can go from ‘I didn’t get invited’ to ‘They don’t like me. What have I done wrong? Urgh I don’t care. Actually, I really do. Why don’t they like me?!’ in about 0.5 seconds. It’s crazy how a tiny offence can grow into a whole idea about what others think of me, and what I think of myself.
So, I’ve set myself a challenge. If you’re like me and struggle with offence, why not join me…
Next time someone says or does something we don’t like, let’s give it to God STRAIGHT AWAY.
Don’t take that offence and analysis it and nurture it. Let’s cast it on our Savior and be free from it. For the sake of our friendships (and our own sanity…) let’s decide that we don’t own the offences that come against us and they aren’t ours to keep.
I know that sounds idealistic. Of course, there will always be times where insult occurs, especially with the people closest to us because their opinion and words tend to matter to us most. I’m not saying in those situations that you should pop on a cheery façade and push down the hurt. That’s not authentic friendship and its certainly not a healthy way of dealing with insult.
Instead, give the offence to God straight away and then be honest with your loved one about how they’d made you feel. That way you’ll be able to talk to them from a place of love and strength rather than resentment and anger- because that’s when we tend to say things we reallllly do not mean.
I just want to add a little disclaimer: There are things people will do to us which are WAY more offensive than others. And there are times where we’re actually called to be offended, to be stirred by an injustice. When we see, someone hurt, neglected or bullied we are called to feel pained for them. But in those cases, we need to use that energy to act, to strive for change rather than sit and stew on that anger, because it will grow to bitterness and that won’t help anyone.
Let’s be fired up about what breaks God’s heart but let the little things go to make room in our hearts to love our Lord and others well.
Offence: ‘annoyance, displeasure, or resentment’ (freedictionary.com)
There will be things which cause annoyance and displeasure but we have control as to whether these grow into resentment.