Saturday, July 19, 2008

Continued Bullet Points on Offenses

  • It's time to get back to our bullet points on the subject of being offended and offenses.  If you missed the first two posts, you can go here first and then here.
  • When we are offended, we have two choices.  We can hold on to it and cherish it, or we can surrender it up to Jesus.
  • We humans have a great ability to hold on to our hurt feelings.  Again, when we've been offended, our human response is to cry, "What about me?!"  "I can't believe they did that!"  "They'll pay for that!"  Remember, those are our human nature responses; through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can choose different responses.  These will be discussed in a future post.
  • When offended, our human nature wants to either have the person who offended us apologize or pay for what they did.  
  • Often times, a person doesn't even realize that something they did was offensive to us, so it never enters their mind to apologize.  They probably won't realize we were offended until the next time they see us and we decide to make them pay.  Then, they are oblivious as to why we are treating them with such disdain, anger, rudeness, or coldness.
  • Sometimes, when people feel someone is treating them in the above manner (coldness, with disdain, etc...)  they may even say, "Have I done something to offend you?"  Many times, we (the easily offended party) will not use this opportunity to speak the truth in a loving way so that the air can be cleared.  Instead, we often say, "No."  And then....we get mad when they can't read our minds and apologize for the situation/words/actions that caused our hurt feelings.
  • We often walk around keeping an offense ever before us.....waiting for the other person to pay.  If they don't know they've offended us, they are oblivious to the torture we are putting ourselves through.  Don't you see?  They are free, and we, who are offended, are bound to the offensive situation and person.  We let the offense grow in our minds and in our hearts by continuing to feed those thoughts.  Those thoughts then grow to bitterness, anger, and hatred, and pretty soon, we feel that we have so much invested in the situation that we can't seem to get over it.
  • The above are what happens when we are offended and choose to hold on to that offense. However, there is another option (surrendering it to Jesus), and we'll have some more bullet points on that later.
  • Having our feelings hurt all the time should be an indicator to us that we are not spiritually mature.  God wants us to grow up in the areas that we are immature in.  Remember that saying, "God accepts us where we are, but He loves us too much to leave us there."  There is a better way!

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