by Roxanne Parks on Youversion
Why Do We Take Offense? – Part 2
Taking offense starts with my response to others, and my response is my choice! Last I knew, I will be a human being until I die. I will live with humans, marry them, birth them, work with them and have them as bosses and as neighbors. I call this our common ground: the human condition. Just as our human bodies hunger and thirst, so do our souls. But our soul requires spiritual food and water. Upon accepting Christ as Lord, we are given a new nature through the indwelling Holy Spirit. But, unfortunately, we remain living in the “human condition” often described spiritually as living in the “flesh”. Since our enemy wants to kill, steal and destroy all relationships, it is easy to understand struggles with offense caused by people we love. It is a completely different ball game when dealing with the guy that flipped you off driving down the road. But I am now more aware whenever I take offense as this is not how we want to live.
If we are on a continuous search to be offended, then we will always find reasons for such. Being easily offended or irritated leads to poor responses stemming from our self-nature. We all want love, acceptance, worth and security but those things can only be truly fulfilled by Christ within. We live fully when we live from our new identity in Christ.
The main reason people live offended is unfulfilled expectations whether they are unspoken, unmet, or even unrealistic. We are often offended when others don’t behave like we want them to. Each human is intentionally designed to be different. We have different personalities, viewpoints, and experiences all leading to different rationale and behaviors. Even my children, growing up in the same home, live with completely different personalities and viewpoints.
It is easy to see another person acting like a brat, but it is not easy to see it when we behave like a brat. It is easy to see when others are irritable, easily offended or even blamers. Yet so often we don’t see that we have it within ourselves to behave the exact same way. We can see the splinter in another person’s eye, yet we cannot see the log in ours. With an unoffendable heart, one chooses to quickly forgive and release the offense. God doesn’t ask you to forgive to heal the other person. God asks you to forgive to heal you. This quick forgiveness sets you free from the burden that comes with an easily offendable heart. It is a shame for one sinner to throw a stone at another sinner. We all live from an inborn sin nature, which is a bit messy. We all need grace and mercy for those days when we are not our best. We don’t need to be provoked by offenses that can bind any of us. We don’t need to live defensively either. Life is full of adventure with other humans. Let’s extend lots of grace as we are all navigating the human condition.
How are you responding to other humans when they act differently than you think they should? Are there scenarios where you easily take offense?
Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you— for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.Ecclesiastes 7:21-22
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.Matthew 7:1-5
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.Proverbs 10:12
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,Romans 3:23
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.Ephesians 4:32
Lord, I want to forgive quickly even when people “know not what they are doing.” I need you to be my refuge and strength in times when I want to have an offendable heart.