Friday, August 9, 2013

Choosing to Not be Offended

WARNING: This may be offensive to some.

It's interesting to me how easily offended we are.  Mostly I mean women.  I know we are in general emotional creatures; we have hormones that tend to fluctuate (uh em... I mean rage), we are sensitive in a way men simply can't understand.  But ladies, why are we so easily offended?  Our toes are so easily stepped on.  Our feelings are so easily crushed.  Our hearts are so easily shattered. AND goodness knows our soapboxes are ENORMOUS!  Maybe I am stepping up on mine now but I hope that I am speaking in love and that it falls on soft hearts and open ears.

Let me first start with some scripture just for a little context and perspective.
A person’s wisdom yields patience;  it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.Proverbs 19:11
Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble. Psalm 119:165 
But he said to me,“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12:9-10
These things are not easy, I'm not saying it is, especially in the midst of trial, insecurity, or "being wronged" etc. But we are souls created for community and if we constantly allow ourselves to be offended then we are building a wall that will not be easily broken and ultimately we will be left lonely in this world.
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.Proverbs 18:19 
My husband likes to say, "People are doing the best that they can."  I have struggled with this so much in the past few years and only recently is my heart softening toward the idea.  This idea though is a turning of ones heart away from selfish feelings and a sense of justice always needing to prevail. 

Think of what has offended you most recently.  Was it just a random passing comment, a compliment that you found a way to manipulate into negativity, was it someone else's inability to see your perspective, were you overlooked?

Some common examples that come to mind are:
Do you buck up anytime unsolicited advise is spoken your way? (As women we do this offering of advise constantly but I think more often than not we rear up when the same advise is offered our way.)

Are you struggling with something someone else isn't and let their joy build up to where you think they are deliberately flaunting it in your face?  News Flash:  They aren't!  They are just happy about a blessing in their life.  Rejoice with your friends. 

"You don't work" - but you are a stay at home Mom. But if someone says, "You don't work"  does your heart flare? 

Someone says, "You are so skinny" - if you are thin do you think that it is a rude thing to say? You have to know they are just trying to compliment you.  Why turn it?  Even if you are thin for a medical reason or it was a source of bullying when you were younger.... they aren't bullying you now why let old insecurities burden friendships or relationships now.

Were you inconvenience by someone's thoughtlessness and left to stew in your own pity party?  

Here's a little funny:

(You know why things are funny?... cause they're kinda true)

So all in all, we need to CHOOSE to not be offended. Because when our focus is Christ we are spurred toward love.  We see the wonderful grace and mercy we have been given and we walk in that truth. Let's step down from our soapbox(es) toward each other into community.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak,slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
James 1:19-20

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