In our politically correct culture, offense is the name of the game. We get offended over every little thing. And I mean every. little. thing. But should offense be a part of the Christian life? The truth is that the Bible calls us to forgive the way Jesus forgave us. That means always and for everything. So if we’re being honest with ourselves, being offended is the exact opposite of that command.
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Recognize that offense stems from pride.
They say that the first step to overcoming a struggle in your life is to admit you have a problem. While many of us might point to the offending party as the problem, the REAL problem is our own personal pride. Truth be told, most people have no clue they offended us in the first place. So while we’re sitting around all hurt and bent out of shape, they’ve already moved on with their lives… happy and content. But let’s assume that they fully intended to hurt and offend you… wouldn’t it be wise NOT to get offended? Wouldn’t that speak volumes? In humility, we should let it go. Because in the end, choosing not to get offended makes us stronger.
Remember Who your defender is.
God is our defender. He is just and works on our behalf as His children. When we get offended, it’s easy to think that by letting go, we are somehow letting the offender off the hook. But that’s not how our defender works! God is working in each and every one of our hearts. He meets us where we are at, and deals with every dark corner of our lives… one corner at a time. Don’t you think He could work on your behalf? Don’t you believe He can change a person’s heart in an instant? Allow Him to do what He does best, surrender the offender to Him and worry about your own heart by choosing forgiveness.
Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. – 1 Peter 3:9 (NLT)
Choosing not to be offended protects not only your heart… but your relationship with God.
The Bible is clear on many occasions that we are called to forgive as Christ forgave us. We can’t expect to be in right relationship with God if we have bitterness and offense in our hearts. Not only that, but bitterness tends to grow. The longer we allow it to live in our hearts, the harder it is to abandon.
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled. – Hebrews 12:15
Offense is useless and ruins lives. I’ve seen far too many people in my life hurt and damaged due to the effects of offense. And ultimately, it’s usually the one being offended who ends up with most baggage.
We avoid certain people and places because we have allowed the hurt to take a hold of our hearts. How can we expect to accomplish our God-given destinies if we’re unwilling to let go past hurts?
It is important to protect your heart from offense because in doing so you are protecting your God-given destiny.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.