“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”
I chuckle at that little saying. How nice would that be if that statement were true!?
It’s easier to heal a broken bone then to heal a wound so deep, caused by something someone said that deeply offended us, isn’t it?
The biggest killer to one’s happiness is an offense.
It can literally turn a great day into an awful day, week, month or even year(s).
Regardless of who we are, our age, our gender, our relationship status, our religion, no one is exempt from offenses.
Human nature desires to be accepted by people. No one wants people to think the worst of us.
The problem with social media perfectly identifies to what lengths people go to in order to portray the “perfect life”, the “perfect baby announcement”, “the perfect engagement” “the best wedding photo” , “all of their successes” , “all of my friends” and of course, the “perfectly angled, greatest lighting, perfect caption, best makeup selfie anyone ever saw”.
We all want people to think we have it all together to some degree or another, were all guilty of it.
However, we all have experienced a Facebook comment, Instagram message, the lack of a Instagram “like”, an offensive phone call, a racial slur or a sexist remark that offended us.I think some things that offend us hold some sort of truth, especially when its uninvited criticism and we react from it.
In that case that’s where we need to fully reflect, give ourselves a good look in the mirror and tackle the issues we are too prideful to admit that we have issues.
We then have to humble ourselves and eventually be thankful the person pointed out or flaw.
However there are cases where we get offended because things are said that couldn’t be further from the truth and its…offensive!

Aside from getting offended when it is or isn’t justified, we are all guilty of being on the other end.
Instead of being offended, we are the ones that are offensive.
We all have potential to criticize someone subconsciously, under our breath, in our minds, to someone else, or we said it out loud.
I believe we reap what we sow. Life is about giving, not what we can get.
I think we call need to celebrate the successes of others and put a halt to comparison.
There’s so much hate, everywhere, it’s all over the news, its awful.
I think friends, church members, families, strangers, acquaintances and even enemies should try and be more encouraging, uplifting, compassionate and understanding towards everyone.

I think simple challenges like telling a friend what they’re good at, giving away something to the needy, like someones posts on social media, write a kind comment or sending someone a funny picture can completely change someone’s mood. It’s not about being fake but being intentional.
This generation, especially, we have all given others a measuring stick and have literally allowed everyone a governing vote on how we are doing in life.
We have tricked ourselves into thinking, if we can get this person to “like” our photo, if we can get “this many” likes, then I am doing something right. Right?!
I think that doing that allows us to be more offended because were not letting God have the measuring stick.
My last post was on identity and finding it in Christ.
If we only care and are concerned with what the creator of the universe thinks of us, then we don’t need to give everyone else the power to measure our success.
I am at fault for allowing people to determine my accomplishments, my success, my talents, abilities, qualities and even mental state.
After accepting truth, God’s truth, it allowed me to  be free from the potential offenses people pose when they don’t think I’m good enough.I think another way we get offended is when we see people treat others a certain way or say things to them and we wish so badly we received the same behavior and words.
Even if “that” person apologizes, even if “that” person finally notices who you truly are, even if “that” person finally believes you, nothing is going to change about you, because you’ve simply already. been. you. They didn’t notice, or they didn’t apologize which is offensive.
However, I’ve learned there is no reason to be offended because there is not better version of myself then what I’ve been been.
I don’t need affirmation from the one’s I so desperately wanted to see me in a good light. It doesn’t mean once I get an apology that I will suddenly be the best version of myself.
I chose to forgive and let go and I put all of my energy into other productive things.

Anyone struggling with being offended, this verse always gets me every time I read it.
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” – Colossians 3:13.
Allowance: To grant. Give margin. Provide leeway. Leave a gap. Create space.
The bible is basically telling us to create a space in our life and our world for other people to make mistakes.
Here’s the hard part, even if people don’t make allowances for our mistakes, we have to make allowances for them. Harsh.
God extends endless grace to his believers and so should we.
Since God see’s everything, as we draw closer to him and become more Christ like, I’ve learned and still am, to see people how God see’s them.
If we really were able to see the brokenness someone experienced in order to utter such offensive accusations, words or actions, we wouldn’t be as offended.
I am no longer as offended. It’s hard and I have to work on it every minute of everyday, but it’s worth it because it correlates to my last post about becoming more like Christ.
I know over time, apology or not, it will get easier to the point where I don’t run the hamster will inside my head of “why would they say that”, “where did they get that from?” , “how dare they” , “how could they!?”…

A mistake I have made in the past few months is letting my offenses take control over my life. For example, being afraid to share an accomplishment because I know “so and so” is judging me and scoffing at me. “They’ll think I’m this or that”, the list goes on.
I’ve learned rather quickly that I can’t let people’s offensive words or actions prevent me from perusing my own dreams.
Some people may be jealous or simply cannot accept one’s accomplishments, but I cannot let that hinder my potential.
Another mistake I have made is waiting for an apology which may never happen. It’s a harsh reality to face, but it’s so true.
In this dark season of my life I have received some apologies, some huge that made me weep from seeing God work through certain people and soften their hearts.
Others I have not, and may never receive an apology from. It’s easy to feel better and more grounded in myself when I do get an apology, then all my doubts, fears would be eliminated.
However, those fears and doubts need to be eliminated by God not based on someone apologizing. Someone’s remorse does not define who I am, whether I am right or wrong, whether I am good enough or not.It’s good to be offended, it’s then where we can humble ourselves and work on what’s needed.
It’s even better when we get offended when someone throws our past in our face, takes bits of information to conform an opinion, lack compassion, hate, anger, harsh words, rude words and says ridiculous things that could not be any further from the truth.
It’s there where we really learn how to extend God’s grace, just as he has for us.
It’s  been a tough lesson to learn, some days I fail and I give into being offended. Other times I’m strong.
The best feeling though, was forgiving those who offended me, I literally felt God’s peace, I instantly didn’t feel as angry, I saw myself more clearly.
Again, I was able to put all of my energy into helping others, doing productive things, building relationships, rekindling friendships and taking on new hobbies.
I’m no longer choosing to be offended or be offensive. I’m unoffendable.

 

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