Are you easily offended or would you say you have tough skin? All of us are given multiple opportunities throughout the day to be offended; however, we must decide if we will take up an offense or not. Just in traffic alone, there are multiple opportunities for offense and that’s without verbally communicating with the other person (although some drivers do verbally communicate with others and you don’t have to be a proficient lip reader to know what they’re saying).
Michael Hyatt sais “If you are going to survive- and fulfill your God-given calling- you must learn how to handle criticism and overlook offense.” Is that possible?
Matthew 18:7 says “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!” Jesus tells us point blank, offenses are inevitable. In fact, in the NAS says “For it is inevitable.” So if offenses are inevitable, then how are we to avoid taking ownership?
It all boils down to perspective. James 1:2-4 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” So not only does Scripture tell us offenses are inevitable, but now we read we’re supposed to consider it pure joy. I don’t know about you, but when I get offended, it doesn’t feel like joy. But James tells us the Lord uses those things to shape us into His likeness.
This is where life gets interesting. God isn’t saying pretend the offense didn’t happen. He is telling us to choose to learn from it. Choose to allow it to make you a better person, not destroy you. Is that easy to do? No! Is it impossible to do? With God all things are possible [Matthew 19:26]. If we are alert and aware of the enemy’s schemes, then when an offense comes our way, we’ll recognize it as the enemy’s attempt to kill, steal and destroy us [1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10]. Once we recognize it for what it is, we can choose to avoid the bait and move on in life. When we do this, we are walking out Proverbs 19:11 “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” When we overlook an offense, we mess with people. They don’t know how to deal with it, because it is so different from the world’s entitlement mentality. Doors open and opportunity is given to share about the goodness of God and what the enemy meant for evil has been turned into good. Now how is that for Kingdom strategy?
Ask God to make you keenly aware of the opportunities presented to you today to be offended and then walk in His strength and impact the world around you.