Why is it that in your safest places – your church, your family or with your friends – you can experience some of the deepest pain? It’s most difficult to deal with that hurt, because you have certain expectations! Shouldn’t these the people have your back? Aren’t these the people who should know better?
You see, an enemy out there wants to see you fail, see you hurt and see your relationships destroyed. And one of the major ways he works, is through offense.
Offense is presented to us all the time. There are always opportunities where you can be hurt or take something in the wrong context. There is always a chance to get upset and think, “Man, I CAN’T believe she would say that!”
I want to quickly share an example of this. On my old radio show, a caller named Hilary asked me how to deal with a certain offense. In this instance, she was concerned because her family joined a church and every time the church invited them to events they had to decline, because of their financial situation.
Hilary felt the leaders in the church were offended by her family’s rejections. And, on one Sunday in particular, the pastor made a comment during his sermon that seemed to call-out her family, specifically. In this situation, there were not one, but two, opportunities for offense.
In the first one, the pastor (and maybe other members of the congregation) were offended when Hilary and her family rejected their invitations.
After hearing the comment from the pulpit, Hilary and her family assumed these comments were certainly meant as an offense to them, and were hurt.
In both instances where the offense occurred, the situation was particularly painful simply because it came from the ONE place where you would expect love and understanding. How could this happen, in a church setting, of all places?! The short answer is, everyone makes mistakes. In Hilary’s situation, simply sitting down with the minister and confronting the issue would solve the entire problem! Just go in and start with, “Pastor, I love and respect you. I heard a comment the other day and I want to make sure my family hasn’t offended you in any way…”
Or, from the very beginning, when Hilary thought her family’s failure to participate in certain church functions had been viewed negatively, she could’ve sat down and used that same script to clear the air and stop any misunderstandings… before they started.
In fact, that script could help you start a respectful conversation to clear up a TON of situations. You might want to write it down to keep handy. See, if you don’t confront issues like this, they don’t just go away. In fact, they pave the way for MORE opportunities to find offense. Then, before you know it, the relationship is so full of bitterness, everything that other person does presents an opportunity for offense.
And you don’t need to hold on to that! Sometimes people choose to take offense because of past issues. We tie personal rejection to comments that really have nothing to do with us, personally. I don’t mean to call you out, but here’s the truth: You, me, Hilary, even her pastor… ALL do this same thing! We fall victim to opportunities for offense.
The only way to work past it, is to choose to forgive and not take offense. Forgive people every day, even for little stuff. If you don’t, those past issues will follow you and tweak your perception of reality, just like it did with Hilary and her pastor. Choose to NOT take offense! In 99 times out of 100, it has nothing to do with you directly.
I hope this helps you to identify and work past obstacles in your life. I’d love to know your thoughts about today’s message! Leave your comments on any of our social media pages!
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In great faith,
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