Living Unoffended

Living Unoffended

Living Unoffended

Who has become offended at someone or something? All of us, right? Every person, including you, has or will at some point jump to an offensive state. Whether it’s a situation with your spouse, a co-worker, or let’s be honest even a complete stranger – we are so quick to jump to an offensive state. I am just as a guilty, but as much as this has happened in the past, I want to make an effort to live unoffended.

This topic of offense has been one God has been speaking to me a lot about. I have learned the more I put my story out there, the more backlash and negativity I will have to deal with, which causes me to want to take offense. But, scripture tells us not to take offense. Why? Because when you enter an offensive state, you enter the natural realm, leaving the spiritual realm, which will hinder you from walking in the Spirit. The enemy loves when offenses take place because they immediately separate you from one another. When you are walking in offenses and unforgiveness, you can’t be walking in love and unity. Right?

Before moving forward on living unoffended, let’s back up a few steps and first start with what an offense is. An offense is defined as ‘an annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles’. Whew, that is a mouthful! Just as Luke 17:1 says, “then he said to his disciples, “It is impossible that no offense should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!”  Meaning, it’s inevitable that offenses are going to happen, but it’s how we handle them that is important.

There are a lot of things that can cause you to become offended including putting expectations on other people. The more you expect, the greater the potential offense. If I expect Colby to greet me at the door when I come home, and he doesn’t, then I immediately enter an offensive state. This is a very simple example, but I believe is just as important. And guess what happens when that offense takes place? It then has a domino effect as I try to communicate with Colby or anyone else who I have become offended with. Which is why expectations have to be removed! And when they are? Then the offense won’t take place.

Another reason one might get offended is because they are prideful and selfish. We want things our way and as humans, we are afraid to admit that we are wrong. Pride causes us to view ourselves as victims. Our attitude becomes, “I was mistreated and misjudged; therefore, I am justified in my behavior.” It keeps us from seeing personal character flaws because the blame is deferred to someone other than ourselves. We immediately think there is nothing wrong with us and put all faults on the offender. When we humble ourselves before others and Jesus, then we prevent any offense to take place.

I could go on and on as I list reasons why people get offended, but at the end of the day the truth to remember is this: the best way to live unoffended is to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus fully.

The part you might not want to hear? Offenses determine where you are spiritually and reveal the condition of your heart. The more mature you are in Christ and have a heart like his, the more likely you are to follow the leading of the Spirit of God, and the less offended you will become. When an offense tries to come in, instead of responding with emotions, you will be able to respond with grace and love.

I say this all the time, but it’s up to you to choose how you will handle your situation, including how you will react when an offense comes. Will you deal with it before the Lord or will you stay in an offense state? The choice is up to you! You might be thinking, “oh Caroline, you don’t understand this situation and what xyz did to me.” You are right, I don’t. But at the end of the day God instructed you to not take offense and Holy Spirit will help you no matter what situation you are in. You are not alone in this! Always make the choice to seek him and his guidance.

How are you going to respond next time when an offense comes? What offense have you taken recently that you are ready to repent of? What steps are you going to make to live unoffended?

 

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6 Comments
  • RebeccaJo
    Posted at 15:09h, 07 February Reply

    I cant even begin to tell you how the timing of this post was for me.

  • Lindsey
    Posted at 06:33h, 08 February Reply

    I saw this post right after an argument I had with my husband because I was feeling offended. I’ve been feeling that way a lot since our baby was born 1 year ago. After 2 years of infertility and growing very close, I feel so offended that he doesn’t want to help more at home or give me any time to rest.. I am saving this post for a frequent re-read because this hit home! Thank you!!

  • Lauren
    Posted at 10:27h, 08 February Reply

    Awesome truth, Caroline. I’ve been digging into my own emotions a lot lately to figure out why I get offended or defensive at certain things or certain people. A lot of it has to do with my own struggles, which means the change starts with me! Thanks for sharing, girl. ?

  • Lindsay Tankersley
    Posted at 08:27h, 09 February Reply

    Wow! This is one that hit me in the chops! haha A few things I have to say. #1: man you nailed it with the part saying that we tend to get offended when we don’t get our way. YES. I am a control freak and have realized lately that I’ve been trying to control Rob and what he does and then I get mad when he doesn’t respond to it. I have been trying to back off a bit and let some things go, because not everything is really that big of a deal. So…that is a work in progress for me, but I am really trying.
    #2: I feel like people get offended because they choose to be offended. Like, if someone makes fun of my husband, yes, I am going to go to his defense and back him up, but at the same time, I know that the negative things they’re saying are not true and I know where I stand, so I wouldn’t get offended because I know the TRUTH about him. Also, giving in to the “bullies” only makes it worse. It allows them to keep doing it. This may sound really dumb but I use this yellow dress example. I used to have very blonde hair. I have never been a fan of the color yellow…to wear…but I had this pastel yellow tank top in high school that I’d wear under shirts and things. I loved it. It was very appropriate but also very comfortable. No one ever made fun of me to my face, but I’d make fun of myself sometimes because of my pasty white skin and my blonder hair…the yellow just didn’t look right. So I came up with this scenario. If I am sitting at a restaurant waiting for my mom to have lunch and some girls I know see me wearing my yellow tank top and start making fun like, “pasty white girls should not be wearing that color. I can’t believe that she’d wear something like that”, etc. I could very easily start crying or yelling at them or trying to defend myself like, “oh, well I’m only wearing this because my mom bought it for me and I’m meeting her for lunch and don’t want to hurt her feelings” or I could just sit there and ignore them and think to myself..I look darn cute in this outfit and my mom will love it too! That’s confidence in myself and who I am.

    I know that was very long winded but this topic is strong on my heart often too!

    Thanks for posting! 🙂

  • Carissa
    Posted at 09:01h, 17 February Reply

    I want you to know that this very post inspired and reminded me not to be offended. I got a comment on one of my old blog posts and it was pretty hateful. At first I was taken aback and I got a little angry. But then I remembered this post and I prayed that she find some peace from whatever she was feeling that led her to that comment. I’m not around the IG community as much but I still get your posted delivered to my inbox and I’m sure thankful you put this out there.

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