Yesterday, I found myself offended. If I were to tell my side of the story, I am sure everyone would agree I was completely, totally in the right. (Okay, that was a joke.) You see the issue with taking offense is really not about the other person, it’s an issue with my heart. I have to own my action of taking offense. It really doesn’t matter if the person I perceived wronged me was wrong or not. The question is, what do I do with my heart?
Honestly, it took me a moment to realize that I was offended and then my next question was what do I with this offense?
- Recognize the lies of the enemy. The enemy was quickly there to help me nurse and rehearse the offense. He readily came to remind me how this person has hurt me before and didn’t really care about me. When that didn’t work, he turned the lies on me. You are not qualified. This is why this happened. All lies. If your thoughts are accusatory, either toward yourself or another person, you are believing a lie. The enemy’s name is accuser of the brethren. Refuse to listen to the voice in your head that accuses you or someone else.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your heart issue. I find that when I am offended, the root of the problem is a past wound and I am filtering the current situation through that old wound. Yesterday, in the check out line at Walmart, I asked God to show me why this situation had offended me. He spoke very gently to me and said, “You still desire the approval of a father.” Once the lie is exposed, I can speak truth to the lie and meditate on the truth. “I am accepted in the beloved and I have the approval of my Heavenly Father. I am the daughter of the Most High and He is well pleased with me.”
- Ask God to heal your heart in this area. Sometimes our hearts are liked clogged drains. God wants to snake out the crud of our hearts so that life and love can flow freely. Ask God to reveal the crud in your heart then ask Him to snake it out.
- Don’t get discouraged if you find yourself offended again. Yesterday, this offense caught me off-guard. Generally in situation like this, I try to see the situation through another’s point of view and give them the benefit of the doubt. When it arose yesterday, the enemy was once again there to accuse me of not being as free in this area as I thought. He wanted me to feel defeated. However, I must celebrate the small victories. In the past, it would have taken me a few days maybe weeks to get over it. But yesterday, I was able to recognize it and then begin to take steps to guard my heart. Within the hour, I was healed from the offence. That’s victory!
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we do not have the luxury of being offended. Our time on the earth is but a vapor and we have a mandate to push back the darkness, heal the sick, cleanse the leper, and raise the dead. Let us shed offense and run our God given race.
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. (Psalm 133:1-3 NIV)