by Roxanne Parks on Youversion
Why Do We Take Offense? – Part 1
Years ago, I asked the Lord to show me all the places where I had an “offendable heart”. I thought this would be an exercise in Christian maturity. Little did I know. Never could I have realized the extent to which there are opportunities to take offense until I opened my eyes to see such. Today, I can recognize an “offendable heart” so quickly. In myself. In others. Taking an offense is rampant on the news, on social media, and in our homes. An easily offendable heart can destroy relationships.
Offense can be defined as something that outrages the moral or physical senses, the act of displeasing or affronting. Everyone is certain to feel offended at one point or another. The problem with living offended is that it doesn’t hurt someone else… it hurts you. Like unforgiveness and bitterness, offense is a poison that we choose to drink only hoping that the other person, our offender, will be affected. Just because we have the right to be offended doesn’t mean that we should be offended. I desperately want a life that is truly free and “floats above” an offense. At peace with all men.
Generally, we experience offense in two stages. Stage one is actually feeling the offense. This happens when someone presents you with an opportunity to be offended. Maybe your pulse starts to rise, your emotions may rise, and you may even get angry. Stage two is the resulting choice of whether or not to live offended. The latter is a choice for a healthy soul and a peaceful mind that leads to a more blessed life. The resulting life impact of an offensive situation is my choice. It may sting but the continuing pain of the sting is my choice.
Typically, when people find themselves tired, stressed, hungry/hangry, or lonely they may be more easily offended. I love the way that Lysa Terkeurst says, “A depleted girl can quickly become a defeated girl when she lets her emotions dictate her reactions.” Whenever I am living in my self-centered nature, I tend to be more easily offended which is the ultimate display of me living in the center of my smaller story. When I am walking in the “Bigger Story” of God’s greater purposes, then I am not as easily offended.
The Word of God tells us that love COVERS a multitude of sin, and it is to a man’s glory to overlook an offense. Scripture also reminds us that a fool is easily annoyed and that the prudent man overlooks an insult. We must not forget that each of us can inadvertently offend others as well. It goes both ways. Do I want to be the victim of the offense? Do I want to stay a victim of the offense? We choose if we want to drink the poison. Are you easily annoyed? Being unoffendable is a pathway to our own peace of mind. My pastor reminds us that “our lives are too short, and our callings are too great to be offended about something small.”
Consider how you respond to the offensive actions of others. Do you easily forgive and overlook the offense? Or do you choose to wallow around in being easily offended?
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.Proverbs 19:11
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.Ephesians 4:2-3
There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.Proverbs 6:16-19
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.1 Corinthians 13:5
Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.Proverbs 12:16
Lord, I want you to be my defender. I need You to help me quickly release any offense so that I may live a more peaceful life.