Is It Possible to Live Unoffended?
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” MATTHEW 19:26
Today, I am asking myself this question: Can I live unoffended? I can definitely become offended. I think people should do things one way. They do the opposite, and I feel offended. Life as a Christian seems an enormous opportunity to live offended. I mean, someone wrongs you, and you know they should have checked with Jesus first and reacted differently. I feel like that offense is justified, right? Or you worked really hard for years at a job or volunteer position, but as soon as your performance dropped, you noticed everyone you thought was your friend disappeared. Apparently, they didn’t love you for you, just what you did. I can be offended now, right?
I know the Bible says, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 God says it makes sense to not jump to being angry and offended. It even brings us glory. Why can’t it be my initial reaction if it’s so glorious?
God says it makes sense to not jump to being angry and offended. It even brings us glory.
Even if it isn’t our natural response, we can learn to live unoffended. We can choose a better response. No, it does not come naturally. But neither does true love or politeness. Name anything we want our children to display, and I’m pretty sure it will be something you have to repeat and work at for years. It all comes down to a choice. After choosing right for a solid while, that choice becomes your initial reaction.
First, we must recognize the negativity of offense that covers us. Second, when we feel it, we must tell our mouths to shut, giving us a second to respond rationally, not emotionally. Now, humanly speaking, it may make more sense to be offended and let your mouth reflect this, but let’s bring some wisdom in here and let God have a say. We just can’t do it without Him. We can’t love well or live well without letting God have every part of our being and life.
I recently finished reading John Eldredge’s latest book, Get Your Life Back. One of its best action items is when it reads, “Give everything and everyone to God.” Say it out loud, “I give _____ and _____ to you, God.” Breathe deep and ask God for a better response. Don’t let feelings rob you of the glory God has for you at that moment. You may have to do this several times, for several days, for several months. Whatever it takes! Keep choosing and seeking God’s wisdom and give every offense to Him.
God, I give You my heart and every situation in which I have harbored an offense. (Be specific here, name it out loud and hand it over to the only One who can truly make a difference.) My worth comes from You, not those around me. Your love is the source that makes me love well. Fill me today so Your glory is what others see when they are near me. Amen.
1. What is my first response when someone makes a poor choice that affects me?
2. Do I believe God has a better way to live? Do I believe with God this is possible?
3. What is one thing I can do today to choose an unoffended life?
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