Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Choosing to NOT be offended!!

I am sure all of us can say that we all know someone who gets offended easily. Seems like no matter what is said, or how it is said, there is a risk in communication that may lead to someone walking away upset, hurt or misunderstood.

I use to be a person that got my feelings hurt easily. But to be quite honest, God showed me that it is not good to always wear our hearts on our sleeves or to be easily offended. One thing that I learned early on in ministry is that from time to time we just need to have thick skin. Sometimes we have to let things go in one ear and out the other. Other times we just have to let things roll off our back, so to say. If I could quote a not so christian saying right here to make my point,

 "We gotta know when to hold em and know when to fold em."  (Kenny Rogers)
Sometimes we just have to know when to walk away. Kenny was talking about gambling, but I am talking about life and knowing that there is a time to just walk away from always having hurt feelings.

Some people hurt others intentionally, but I have found that most people who hurt our feelings are not even aware that they do. Sometimes I wonder if offense is put on us by others or if we, ourselves, are responsible for being offended? When words are spoken, do you jump to conclusions and choose to be offended?

Taking offense is a choice that we each make...

PROV. 18:11 "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook offense."

God is saying that we have another choice other than being offended with others. Instead of allowing offense to harbor in our hearts towards people which in turn usually grows into anger, bitterness and resentment, we can instead choose to see past the words and actions of others. We can look into the heart.

What is really going on...are they just mean spirited or is there a hidden issue that is below the surface? Instead of being angry at the words or actions, can we listen and try to find resolve?

This past year God has seen me thru some things that has softened my heart towards hurting people. When we can see past the hurt, and even the hurtful words people often speak, we will be able to see their heart. It is the heart that God is most concerned with. We cannot continue to go thru life allowing others to offend us, it will keep us from seeing things like God sees things.

Words spoken (whether ill intended or not) is not what causes offense. Offense happens when we make a choice to allow words of others to take root in our hearts. It is our responsibility to stop words entering our heart and infecting it with anger, malice or bitterness. God is pleased when we make this choice to not allow offense to control our heart and our life.

This choice is a win-win situation. Instead of allowing offense to control us, we now control it. We can now do what Kenny Rogers was saying..."know when to hold em and know when to fold em"!

Let the words go, just let them go. Choose to NOT be offended!


Denise said...

Really great post.

bp said...

Thanks for sharing these wise words, Laurie. I know this is something I need to work on.

June Heale said...

Hello, your Mom introduced me to your Blog,& I am thankful she did. Reading "Choosing to Not be offended, I could see myself there sometimes. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with others. Often we perceive something that was not even intended with someone's remark.