Are You Offended?
Take a close look at the daily news and social media. Listen to the words your friends are using in conversations, and how they describe the events unfolding around us. There is one word that has risen to the top of our moral code and it is the word offense. This word has become the driving force behind every movement and argument we see dividing the people of our country. We see words like sin, evil and darkness downplayed in our society while we see the word offense exalted above all others.
No longer do we gauge wrong and right by biblical morality or even lawfulness. Instead we consider things acceptable only if they pass the offense test. The great, wise governing question of our time has become, did that offend you? If a person or group of people is offended by someone’s words or actions, the accused offender must be ousted and punished by all. We must make a public mockery and example of the person who has offended. Gone are the days of taking responsibility for one’s own thoughts and reactions. Gone are the days of peacefully disagreeing on any issue. Offense has become the ruling standard in the court of public opinion.
Did you know that offense is a personal choice? It is your choice to be offended. It is your choice to give value to another person’s opinion, however ugly, unkind, or even wrong it may be. Offense is the lure of the enemy to keep you locked in anger and bitterness. Anger is mentioned in the Bible over and over again. Why? Because an angry person does foolish things, makes foolish decisions, and becomes thought of as nothing more than a fool. That may sound harsh but it’s exactly what God says.
No one can walk through this life in a constant state of offense and not succumb to anger, which then leads to sin. An offended person is allowing their flesh to govern their emotions, not the Spirit of God. You might be thinking, “Bill, you don’t know what that person said about me. You don’t know how much that person hurt me! I have a right to be offended”
My response to you would be this: Jesus suffered slanderous insult, was unfairly accused, wrongfully sentenced, made a mockery of, and never once responded in offense. He never uttered that word and He never reacted in anger. Who are we that we should determine we have a greater right to be offended, a greater sin has been committed against us, or our feelings are more relevant than the Savior of the world? We have lost our ability to use perspective, and self-control in dealing with issues we encounter.
If offense has become your default reaction to the situations you face, you are not in the driver’s seat of your own emotions. You are being tossed about, allowing other people’s actions and words to dictate your happiness and your peace of mind. Pray and ask God today to free you from this way of thinking. Commit to reading your Bible, and learning how to respond in Godliness, wisdom, and self-control.
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By Bill Wiese, author of 23 Minutes in Hell