How to Move Past Offenses and Get On With Your Life

| March 23, 2017

What to do when we're offended

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.

3 steps to take when you're offendedWe 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.

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34 Comments

  • Reply Heather Hart March 23, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Several years ago, my pastor preached a sermon on offenses that stuck with me. It was on knowing the difference between perceived offenses and intentional offenses. He said most of the time, the person who offended us never intended to, so instead of viewing it as a malicious act, we should offer grace. There is definitely truth in that, and it goes right along with what you wrote here. I love your steps!
    Heather Hart recently posted…Candid MomentsMy Profile

  • Reply Stephanie Carter March 23, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Thanks Heather. Offense is horrible and sneaky….. see now you added another layer perceived vs intentional offense. Wow that is huge. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Debbie Erickson March 23, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    It’s happened to me…it hurts, but when I began giving it to God and letting go, I’m better able to deal with it. Thanks, Stephanie, for your post.

    • Reply Stephanie March 24, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      Your welcome…we do have to just let it go everytime.

  • Reply Lauren Gaskill March 24, 2017 at 9:12 am

    I love your “kick it” piece of advice. That is sooooo important when we feel like we’ve been offended! Jesus doesn’t want us to harbor negative feelings toward others, even if we feel we’ve been slighted. Great post, m’dear! <3

    • Reply Stephanie March 24, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      Yessssss kick it….we have to. Thank u for commenting.

  • Reply nylse March 24, 2017 at 11:48 am

    I’ve heard it said as grow duck feathers – let things roll off your back. Somehow that analogy works for me. Can’t go through life holding on to every slight – perceived or otherwise.

    Thanks for the tips. Followed you on Twitter.
    nylse recently posted…Abimelech – The 7th Judge with the Asterisk Next to His NameMy Profile

    • Reply Stephanie March 24, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Thank u. I haven’t heard that saying in a long time…that is still good advice.

  • Reply Jenna March 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    It would be quite a different world–and a different Church–if we all followed this! It would definitely help us be more unified.

    • Reply Stephanie March 25, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      Yes it would be very different world.

  • Reply Andrea March 24, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Sometimes the best thing we can do is to give it to God and then let it go – as hard as that may be

    • Reply Stephanie March 25, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      That is all we can do really. Trick is remembering it.

  • Reply Donna Reidland March 24, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Great post! Thanks for sharing it.
    Donna Reidland recently posted…“Self-Righteousness, ‘The Shack’ & Cosmic Over-Reactions” March 24My Profile

  • Reply Sheila Qualls March 25, 2017 at 12:42 am

    I’m nowhere near where I should be with this, but I love your advice. Feeling offended can pop up out of nowhere. I love your tips, especially “Kick It.” I am working on this one. : )
    Sheila Qualls recently posted…My Life is Falling Apart and I’ve Never Felt So GoodMy Profile

    • Reply Stephanie March 25, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Hey… I am a firm believer that we all are in process. As women I don’t we ever arrive but just come in personal reach. Thanks for commenting you are closer than u think.

  • Reply Terri March 27, 2017 at 8:52 am

    I know the feeling. I struggle with past offences coming back on me, I need to pray for this person every day, hurts can run deep.

    • Reply Stephanie Carter March 27, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      Yes… please just let it go.. it is not worth it. People sometimes dont even realize what they are doing and if they do …..we just need to forgive. You can do this!

  • Reply Amy Christensen March 27, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Being a mercy shower, I have a tendency to not take offense very easily, but it has happened. I think these tips you gave are wonderful. Your article should also make us think about thinking before speaking. We need to be careful what we say and how we say it, because we don’t always know what others are going through or where they are coming from. Thanks for sharing. – Amy

  • Reply Andrea March 27, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Sometimes the best thing I can do is to let it go, give it to God, and get over myself 🙂

    • Reply Stephanie Carter March 27, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      Yesssss…. love that get over ourselves.. yesss. We can be our worst enemy sometimes.

  • Reply Karen Del Tatto March 27, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Stephanie, Thank you so much for this post. I confess that I have been feeling quite offended of late, with the same people over and over again. But something you said really spoke to me,

    “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.” Especially, “sometimes it takes A LOT of dying to self”. I never thought about it that way. You are so right!

    I leave your blog edified and blessed. 🙂
    Karen Del Tatto recently posted…Alone on a Desert HighwayMy Profile

    • Reply Stephanie Carter March 27, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      Awesome..!!!! thank you so much… then the blog did its job. LOL… just die already is what I tell the ladies I coach.. just die.. let Jesus kill that flesh nature so you can really be used.
      It is not easy but so worth it.

  • Reply Marcee March 27, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks you for sharing your story. As I was trying to get over a recent offense, God reminded me how I was once in the offender’s shoes. Many years ago, I would have said and acted the same way, BUT for His grace.

    • Reply Stephanie Carter March 28, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      So cool how God does that…. shows us ourselves and we learn. Glad you were reminded. Isnt He just so faithful. and Lovessss us so much.

  • Reply Amy Hagerup March 27, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    One thing that helps me when I get offended is to remember that God loves that person and died for them too. And I am also a sinner. That helps me to forgive them.
    Amy Hagerup recently posted…The Antidote to Being Too Busy: 10 Tips for Becoming More FocusedMy Profile

    • Reply Stephanie Carter March 28, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      Yes all our sins are forgiven by the blood of Jesus even the sins committed against us.. powerful. So who are we to hold anything against anybody.. they are forgiven too.

  • Reply Maria Hass March 29, 2017 at 1:02 am

    I’m memorizing this. Own it. Forgive it. Lose it. It seems simple but the root of bitterness starts in not doing these steps in these orders; we try to lose it without owning it and that’s why it festers. Thanks for bringing clarity to this issue!
    Maria Hass recently posted…One Thing I Learned from MandyMy Profile

    • Reply Stephanie Carter March 29, 2017 at 11:03 am

      Your welcome. Yes we do not want to own offense. That is the first.. to really say Yes I am offended. Now what?

  • Reply Kristi March 29, 2017 at 1:26 am

    These points are excellent but I really love this challenge!
    “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?”
    Kristi recently posted…Me, a Prodigal?My Profile

    • Reply Stephanie Carter March 29, 2017 at 11:03 am

      Thank you. Yes we need to ask ourselves that and just admit it. Stop hiding. First step to healing.

  • Reply Karen Woodall March 29, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    So important to do that last step… kick it… let go and move on. If we don’t then the truth is that we really haven’t forgiven, have we?

    • Reply Stephanie Carter March 29, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      That’s right.. need to be sure we just let it go and move on.. yess thank you

  • Reply Aimee Imbeau March 30, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Often, offenses come with all of our inner chatter. We think that others think negatively about us when in fact, they probably aren’t thinking of us at all…and if they are, it’s usually nothing bad. Taking our thought life captive under Christ’s authority is key. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.
    Aimee Imbeau recently posted…What I Found At His FeetMy Profile

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