I just love this site where we get to talk candid as women. We need that. Why? Because we really don’t most of the time and we need to about certain subjects. It’s hard to be candid and admit a fault or failure. Especially if you are a Christian. It’s hard to be a minister and live a life under the microscope all the time of your peers and family.
But I am human and I have feelings just like everyone else. That’s why the topic of offense is a great one to be open about. We all feel it. We all get offended. The Bible says that offense will come.
There is, I think, nothing worse than the feeling of offense. When you feel it you sort of feel un-empowered. You feel a bit tainted, guarded, and wounded. Maybe you even feel rejected, hurt and just plain ole angry. You may actually want to hide.
Have you been there? I have.
But do we talk about it? No.
When you are offended everyone can see it. Offense is like a binding cast on a broken leg only offense covers your whole life.
Let’s face it, for most of us when we get offended and are asked if we are, we do not admit to it.
We say that we are okay. That didn’t bother me. Or better yet, we let it simmer underneath in our conscious and we plan our escape from that person and say we are okay.
Oh, sorry. I was telling on myself. If you are honest, you get offended and do the same thing.
I Was Offended
Something offended me last week at church, of all places. It caused me to bring up old feelings and wanting to run. I was minding my own business and someone came up to me and in the course of the conversation, they said something that really just rubbed me the wrong way. It made me feel stupid and incompetent and misunderstood. I felt it was out of line and rude and just unnecessary what they said. Wouldn’t you know, I got offended.
Just sitting there minding my own business, offense came into my atmosphere. I’m sure this sort of thing happens to you too.
I didn’t ask for offense and neither do you. Usually offense comes upon our lives as an unwelcome visitor who then takes up residence. Sometimes permanent.
But, how do we, as women handle offense in our lives as the unwelcome guest. There are many ways to deal with it but here are three.
3 Steps to Take When We Are Offended
1.) Own It
Own the offense for what it is. Embrace that you are offended. Don’t live in denial. You don’t like it and you are stuck right there until you deal with it. Don’t dismiss the feeling of offense as nothing and try to move on. You can’t. Don’t lie to yourself. Admit that you are offended. You don’t like what someone did or said and be honest about how you feel. Why own it and be true? Because that is the first step to dealing with it in your heart. You can’t deal with what deals with you, if you do not recognize it. The word of God says that if your heart condemns you, God is not greater than your heart.
We know things in our heart can hurt and affect us. Own those things and deal with them. Don’t let offense fester inside.
2.) Forgive It
Be quick to forgive the offense. Jesus has forgiven us for all the sins we have committed and the ones that others commit against us. He commands that we forgive or our own sins are not forgiven. Sometimes you have to be willing to just let people off the hook.
That is what I had to do. This woman that spoke out to me probably didn’t realize what she said to me. She didn’t realize how it stung and hurt my feelings. But, maybe she did. It doesn’t matter. I had to tell myself that over and over in that moment and the moments after. I still have to let it go. Forgive and move on. We will come up against many, many things like this in our walk with God. Sometimes people just don’t realize what they say.
Our goal should be to look like Christ in every area of our life and sometimes that takes a lot of work. Sometimes it takes a lot of dying to self. When you think about it, what will keeping the offense serve anyway. Let it go.
3.) Kick It
Kick offense out of your life. Make a decision that you are not going to live a life of offense. You are going to strive to live in a pre-forgiven state. The word of God says, “a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.” Proverbs 18:19. That is some strong fortification. Offense causes us, as women, to become hard and brittle in our hearts. We don’t hear God clearly when we are offended. Refuse to entertain offense or anything else that will keep you from hearing the voice of God. Give it no place in your life. Believe the best in people.
It’s not easy. I had to at that very moment take control of the offense I was feeling and own it and realize this is not what I want to feel. This is not who I want to be.
The Danger of Holding On To Offenses
We are to strive to be the women of God that He created us to be and to shine forth His glory. Offense darkens that place in your soul.
My challenge to you is to take inventory of your life today and see who you are offended with and deal with that. Let it go. Ask yourself, is it really worth it?
Let us know in the comments below if you are hanging on to a time when you were offended, and share any tips you have for moving past offenses so you can get on with your life.