You probably read my earlier image/post and were like “Whatever, Jess…almost impossible.” Breath; you’re not alone in this journey of living wholehearted (Thanks Brene Brown for making that word so radically awesome) and free. It’s hard and it takes serious amounts of work, however, if we can focus our energy towards becoming unoffendable vs. getting over offenses, we actually become highly productive instead of reactive to the world and it’s ways.
In order to become unoffendable, we need to understand what an offense is and then what the Bible has to say and applying it practically.
Webster’s definition of offense:
“Annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles.”
Notice the two words we will focus on:
“perceived” and “oneself”
In a nutshell, being offended has everything to do with how you perceive yourself and then how you perceive the offender.
To live unoffendable let’s talk about YOU!
1. Understand that offense begins with areas you are most insecure in.
If you feel like your being excluded, then you will see, hear, and respond like everyone is excluding you. When someone didn’t invite you to that hang-out (because they forgot, etc.) it affirms the insecurity that you’re not wanted or belong and BOOM, you’re offended at them for a way you feel.
The sting of the offense might come but allow yourself to feel the pain and then decide to not let it settle or apply more meaning other than “it hurts”. A wise man once said, “It is the mark of an educated (trained mind) to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle
Entertain the sting/pain or the “ouch” moment and then move on. It does not deserve your time nor attention. You’re far to purpose-filled to be pain-filled by offense, so be ruthless about your insecurities and then incredibly devoted to God’s truth in those areas.
Jesus talked about offense in Luke 17 saying “when they come”. The offenses ARE coming and the more you grow, gain success, expand your thinking, dream, take risks, the more potential offenses will come. Jesus also said, “you shall forgive them” again and again and again…well, you get the point.
Insecurities are the other side of pride’s coin; it’s your belief that you’re not good enough in areas. Pride says “we are better than them” in areas and it’s the same coin that goes with us in every walk of life and will jingle loud in your pocket with every season of growth.
May I be honest? You’re not good enough. Life with Jesus was never designed to be about “good enough” because once we accepted Him, He became our “More Than Enough”! Shake off that worldly thinking, leave self-pity behind and go dwell in God’s goodness and love over and for you.
To live unoffendable let’s talk about THEM!
2. Believe the best….even if it’s really the worst.
Ever had your intuition radar go off the charts with people? Yeah, me too and it’s the worst deciphering someone motives and intentions until one day a verse smacked me in the head and my heart and mind changed.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble (honoring), whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
When people were the worst or the truth was coming out, my flesh wanted to scream, “I told you so” to everyone who I shared my heart (which was a mask for my offense) with. Even though who and what they were was truth, God was asking me to literally go-down the list of each values in Philippians 4:8.
God: Was it true?
God: Is what you’re thinking noble (honoring)?
Me: **Wide eyes and blank stare.
Even though they offended me, I still had an obligation to HONOR! It was not. In fact they were being ripped to shreds in my mind. Regardless of their actions and words, I still had a commitment to honor them in my mind by remembering they are God’s creation and deserved the highest respect and honor. The fight to honor in our minds will always prevail in our words and actions.
Once I got past the noble part, then there was…right…pure…lovely…admirable….then excellent and praiseworthy…UGH!
Soooooo HARD, right? The truth is where we send our thoughts, we land our energy (physical and emotional).
Believing the best in the middle of the worst will keep your heart free from offense and your life happy. Don’t stop there! Once you are believing, then start speaking the “excellent and praise-worthy” qualities over that person, too that person, but mostly over the situation that happened.
My prayer for you is to remain both resilient and soft in a world that continues to settle in resentment, bitterness and un-forgiveness.
Believe in you friends,
PS – Stay tuned for my next blog talking about the other part of Luke 17 and “going to your brother/sister”.