Happy April to each of you lovely ladies who take the time to read our blog posts here on She’s Intentional. Being intentional about the way we live is the underlying theme for everything we write about, from faith and love to health and fashion.
This year, the word intentional has been even more important to me as I seek to grow and make changes in my life. I want to live, speak, and act intentionally with a purpose in mind. When we understand where we’re headed and that the choices we make, no matter how small they may seem, can alter our direction, we proceed much more carefully, and each movement becomes intentional.
With this in mind, it’s important to understand that offenses will come as we navigate through life. Some offenses are real and hurtful, and others perceived or fictitious. How we respond to these offenses matters. And what we allow to offend us matters even more.
This is an area of our lives that deserves intentional scrutiny and action.
Have you ever met someone who was easily offended?
I’m going to assume you said yes.
Have you ever had someone apologize because she was afraid she might have offended you?
Again, you probably said yes.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably been on both sides of this. I’ve often found myself saying “It’s ok! I’m not easily offended.” It’s surprising how that one, simple statement can visibly put others at ease.
We live in culture where everyone is offended about something all the time! Unfortunately, this easily-offended spirit is even found in the church.
Why is it so easy to take offense to something said or done?
Sometimes we can get offended about things that have absolutely nothing to do with us!
Why do we allow our feelings to get hurt over things that really don’t matter and may not have been directed at us in the first place? Perceived slights and innocent comments shouldn’t have the power to stir up anger or cause us to stumble.
One reason is that our eyes are too often on ourselves. When offenses come easily to us, we’re probably guilty of giving ourselves the attention that belongs to the One we’re supposed to be living for. The things people say or do, directed at us or not, often seem bigger when our focus is on earthly things. But in light of eternity and the God who has done more for us than we could ever deserve, it’s a lot harder to get offended. I’ll take it a step further: when
Proverbs 19:11 tells us, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” (NIV)
Getting offended is a tricky thing. While we may feel justified in some circumstances, it’s dangerous to let ourselves nurture and maintain an offended spirit.
Offenses are a trap.
They come to trip us up and cause us to stumble. Our enemy will use every tool at his disposal to cause us to us fall. He’ll try to convince us that something someone did in either innocence or ignorance should make us angry. He knows that offenses often lead to bitterness, and bitterness can completely derail the Christian.
He knows that if you become accustomed to being offended, the day will eventually come when you’re offended by God. And that time will probably come when you think He’s overlooked you and is blessing someone else, or when your life takes a turn you weren’t expecting, or when you don’t get the answer you were hoping for
If you don’t think it’s possible for you to be offended by God, remember Jesus’ gentle reminder to John as he sat in a prison awaiting execution: “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” (Luke 7:23)
In a world that is offended over every little thing, the Church needs to focus our attention on Jesus and decide that the only way we’ll be offended is for the sake of Christ.
To overlook offense is to our glory. It’s a badge of honor to those who follow Jesus.
I challenge you to take a look at the things you’ve allowed to offend you or easily provoke you to anger. Lift your eyes to God and ask yourself if it’s really worth all that energy and emotion. Then, be intentional about the way you allow those things affect your life.
Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
Make the decision to be unoffended, and I promise you’ll have much more peace and