Our Best Defense Against Taking Offense
Although the Tennessee Titans and their new quarterback Marcus Mariota play in Nashville, this post is not about football. It is about not being offended by the words and/or actions of others.
Heaven knows that we all have many opportunities to be offended with people everyday. As human beings, we don’t exactly treat each other with gloves of kindness. We all sometimes slip up and say and/or do bad things to other people. And when we do somebody wrong, those of us who are Christ-followers we are called to humbly acknowledge it to them, and then to do our best to make it right. Love is being willing to say “I’m sorry.” And a sincere apology usually releases the person we have done wrong to, from the torment of being offended at us.
But what is our defense against offense when someone hurts us and refuses to say “I’m sorry.”? What if they say they were right to say and/or do what they did? In that case it is very difficult not to be inwardly tormented by a spirit of taking offense. However, if we allow the torment of offense to get a hold on our heart, it will make us seethe with anger, resentment, and bitterness and eventually drive us to retaliation and revenge.
So what can we do when a spirit of taking offense is pounding down our heart’s door?
1) Pray, pray, pray and then pray some more! “Lord, help me not to take this offense at this person and what he did to me!”
2) Bless, bless, bless and then bless some more! “Lord, I ask you to bless (name of person). Bless his health, bless his finances. Bless his relationships. Bless his family. Bless his activities. Give him your peace. Heal his hurts. (You get the idea.)
3) Confess your struggle with offense to someone you trust. Have them pray over you and rebuke the spirit of offense from you. If necessary, get several people to help you do this.
4) Refuse to think bad thoughts about the person who has done you wrong. Fight to drive anger, resentment, bitterness, revenge, and retaliation out of your mind and heart.
4) Don’t surrender. The spirit of offense can be relentless. However, though the help of the living, resurrected Jesus you can overcome it and drive it out of your heart. Don’t give in to offense. Keep resisting it until you overcome it!
Here are a few quotes to help you win the battle against the spirit of offense:
“Don’t let hard lessons harden your heart.” — Carlos A. Rodriguez:
“To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.” –David A. Bednar
“Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.” –Rene Descartes
“We cannot choose who offends us, but we can choose how to respond when we are offended.” –Moffat Machingura
“Getting offended is the bait of Satan for the believer.” –David McGee
When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger. — Epictetus
“When things start to get rough, you find comfort in your faith. Knowing that no matter what, you can dust yourself off and be okay.” –Marcus Mariota