Saturday, July 12, 2008

Continuing Thoughts

Okay, just for the record, it's just not fun being sick in the summer. I've had a headache and felt nauseated and lethargic for a couple of days; I think it might be this awful valley air, but.......enough whining already! We're headed out to a swim meet invitational today, so I thought I'd post another few bullet points on the subject of being easily offended before I leave.
  • The Webster's Collegiate Dictionary says that to offend means "to cause hurt feelings or deep resentment. Offend need not imply an intentional hurting, but it may indicate merely a violation of the victim's sense of what is proper or fitting."
  • Most of the time when we say we are offended, we mean that someone has done or said something that has hurt or annoyed us and that has caused us to feel angry.
  • Many times people who are easily offended want to hold a grudge against the person they feel offended them, whether or not the offense was intentional. Do you see where this can get tricky? Someone may genuinely not know that he/she has done something that as offended you, and yet you may hold something in your heart against that person.
  • I don't know about you, but if I am around someone who is easily offended and who always seems to have something going on with this or that person, it does a couple of things in me. First, it makes me feel that I should be careful around that person, therefore, inhibiting trust in that relationship. Secondly, it makes me wonder what is it in that person causes them to always be offended. Also, a relationship with a person who is easily offended begins to feel like it takes too much work because you always have to be careful of everything you do or say because that person may take it the wrong way. These are relationships in which people feel they have to walk on eggshells, so to speak, and those types of relationships aren't real because too much time is spent on being careful not to say or do the wrong thing.
  • Being offended and being "easily" offended are two separate things. 
  • When basing our lives on the truth of God's word, there are things that will (and should) offend us, but being "easily" offended usually results from our sense of selfishness, insecurity, shame, low self-esteem, believing the worst about another (making negative assumptions), and being negative in general. 
  • Easily offended people are usually critical people.
  • When we allow ourselves to be easily offended, we are really saying, "What about me? What about ME?"
  • Years ago, when hurt by someone very close to me, I wrote this in all capital letters in my journal: "BUT WHAT ABOUT ME?!!!" After venting my anger writing that screaming phrase, in my spirit I heard this gentle rebuke and wrote it down: "Gena, when you gave yourself to me, you gave up all rights to yourself." Yes, God called me up short on that one! What my feelings had really been saying was, "IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!" God allowed that hurt so that I would begin to grow up in that area.
That's all I've got time for this morning. I hope it makes sense; I'm not usually up and typing this early in the morning!  I have some more thoughts on being easily offended to come.  Have a great one!  :-)

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2 Comments:

At Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 9:27:00 AM PDT , Blogger Jason Hicks said...

Gena-

Thank you for such a wonderful post. We have learned over the last year, that true friends allow us to be real and honest and be ourselves. We are going through this problem with another friend, and really thought it was us, but God is starting to show us, through blogs like yours and His Word, that maybe it isn't something we are doing.

Thank you!

Jason

 
At Monday, July 14, 2008 at 3:01:00 PM PDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I feel like I try so hard not to offend that I sometimes fail to lead as strongly as I need to. I know it's important to avoid intentionally offending people, but having to carry that fear is so tiring and I think it distracts us from where we're supposed to be going. I just don't see Jesus spending a lot of time apologizing for offending people ("Sorry for turning over your table and kicking you out of the temple!" "Please forgive me for calling you a 'white-washed tomb'--I was having a bad day.")

 

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