This whole week I’ve shared about dealing with wounds, hurts, and offenses. It’s been a very cathartic experience for me and I hope it’s been a helpful process for you. Yesterday I shared about creating sell pile of hurts and offenses in order to redeem them and turn them into something useful that may help others. The best way to not to become hurt hoarders, is to limit what offends us in the first place. Some people will be offended at a drop of hat and others are more thick skinned, most of us are somewhere in-between. Working in or attending a church is rife with opportunities to be offended
- We did not like what the preacher said.
- We did not like worship or a certain song.
- We did not get the leadership position we thought we deserved.
- We don’t like certain programs
- We don’t like certain kinds of people the church reaches out to
- We did not get the backing we thought was there.
- We did not get the raise we wanted.
- We did not like someone’s choice.
- We did not like being left out.
This list is potentially endless and I invite you to share your ideas in the comments. I have my own pet offenses
Long standing members who leave the church without warning.
People who have an issue with me, but talk to everyone else
I deleted my commentary for both of these issues because even the mention of these two things bring bad feelings to the surface. See what I mean about offenses?
We, as ministers, and Christians have to limit and even should redefine what we are offended by if we are to healthy productive servants in God’s kingdom. It’s been preached that dead men, dead to the old way of self and crucified to our own flesh aren’t offended. I agree, if we were dead to self we would be offended less, but God did not create and off switch for offenses, He did create a process to deal with them and pathway to spiritual maturity Jesus said
He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come!
Offenses are like ticking time bombs waiting to go off. I am going to be offended, but the extent, the blast radius if you will, of my offense shows me more about my spiritual maturity than the person who offended me. I have a choice. Prayer is like cutting the wires to the bomb. Once we take our own lives before God and make the offense about my journey in Christ and my spiritual health, rather than the offender, is to cut the wire to the bombs ignition switch. So, I say we invert our offenses, placing the focus on our lives. Let’s be offended
- at our own ability to be so quickly offended
- at our own spiritual immaturity
- at our own propensity for pettiness
- at our own hurry to rush to judgement
- at our own self righteousness to hold an offense
- at our own weakness to take things to the cross
- at our own stubbornness to forgive
- at our own reluctance to resolve a conflict
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
Prayer and refection about my own spiritual maturity puts my life in light of God’s grace and mercy and ultimately diffuses my offense bomb waiting to go off.
How do you process through an offense?
When you are offended, do you tend to focus on you or the offender and the changes they should make?
Do you have an offense bomb waiting to go off? How are you going to diffuse it?