Annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles.
If you haven’t been offended in life before, I’m just not sure that you are human.
There have been moments in my life where I have been offended by people who MEANT to offend me and by people who DID NOT mean to offend me. No matter the underlining reason, intentional or not, it is in MY COURT to accept offense or not.
In some of these instances, I have taken what someone had said about me or to me, (not knowing what they really mean’t), and let my thoughts run wild, leading me to burrow offense deep within my heart. “What did he mean by that?” “Why is she always hurting my feelings?” Maybe a few of those thoughts have run across your synapses?
By allowing other people’s words and actions to take root, you give permission for a seed of bitterness, a lack of self confidence, defensiveness, and/or a wounded spirit to rise up.
I don’t think there is a definitive solution to eliminating offense, but I do think there are things we can do to armor our hearts and change our outlook. I could go on and on, but for the sake of time, I really will try to keep this short!
Know Whose You Are
Our identity is not found in other people, in other people’s comments, or in our culture. It is found in God. If you’re looking for who God says you are, you can find it in the Bible.
God created each and every one of us to be unique and special. And you’re like, “pshhh he sure did!” Are you thinking of your coworker right now? How about your sibling? Your barista?! I get it! Haha we can all think of people that are very unique. Trust me.
Your style, your characteristics, your hobbies, your talents, your heritage, your race, your culture; yes, they make you unique but God says you are “His child”, and that security runs deeper than the depths of the ocean, or if that’s not your thing, a dope tattoo.
Ephesians 2:10 says in the Gina version… “you are God’s masterpiece. He has created you anew in Jesus, so you can do the good things he planned for you long ago.”
you are strong. you can endure. you are wise. you have the ability to make sound decisions. you are a risk-taker. you are a creative. you are bold. you are brave. you are kind. you are joyful. you care for the brokenhearted. you are forgiven. you are worth it. you have been given victory and can overcome any defeat.
Basically, you’re awesome and I’m only scratching the surface of what God’s word says about you. If you allow the words of other people, and the negative words or thoughts you even think about yourself, to take hold, you will keep yourself from your ultimate potential, and keep yourself from doing those good things God says He has set up for you.
So when you are about to snatch hold of an offense, remember whose you are. You just ain’t nobody ::snap; snap:: You somebody (uhh-huh)! The enemy will try to use other people’s words to offend you so you take your eyes off of God and others, only to put your eyes on yourself. What you dwell on is what you dwell in.
If he can distract you, he wins. Don’t allow the enemy to distract you.
Know Whose They Are
Once you take your perspective off of “you” and pick up the perspective of “God,” you see other people. If you know whose you are, then what does that make other people? Ekkk. That means, everyone else is also God’s child. I know what you’re thinking -that guy- that girl- PLEASE NO! But yes, it’s true. When we start looking at other people as if they are God’s child, which they are, it will change the way we interact with, and react to, friends, family, strangers, kids, etc. Um, your boss! You think about what you’re going to say or do- twice.
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” Matthew 7:12
“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.” Titus 2:7
Our ultimate example is Jesus, right? If anyoneeeee had the right to be offended, it was him! I mean, the dude was spit on and beaten! Have any of you been spit on? I actually have. That’s for another discussion.
Beaten. Left to die. Mocked while he was on the cross! Honestly, I read that and get offended for Jesus. But even in those moments, he kept his focus on God and prioritized others before himself. He also lived a life of forgiveness. Forgiveness is key to unlocking freedom for you and for that person. “Forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Jesus lived life unoffended.
There’s Always Something Below the Surface
Read between the lines. How many of you know that, sometimes, people can say one thing but are really communicating something else? All the men are like, “yes, women. All the time.” Remember, not all things that offend you are on purpose or intentional and if it is intentional, they have something else brewing inside of them. By reading between the lines, you can decipher that. When you discover the root issue people are dealing with, you gain insight that allows you to live with forgiveness and compassion.
We’ve all been in crummy spots. We’ve all said things that we shouldn’t have. We’ve all made mistakes and have hurt people. People are stinkin’ messy. But I’m thankful God died for messy people.
For God so loved the world that he gave, his one and only son, for you, for me, and for your neighbor that complains about your tree hanging over the fence. Yes, there will be moments of offense, but you will overcome them. Have compassion for the people around you. Stay secure, speak truth, stay humble.
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11