The Test #4 Am I Easily Offended?
How dare you!? Don’t you know who I am!? I don’t want to hear this, it’s
offensive! I don’t want to see that, it
upsets me. You’ve insulted me. You’re causing me psychological harm.
Somehow our culture has turned
into one where people are easily offended. It’s like there is a competition to see you
can get more morally outraged at the lightest things. It’s rampant in the church. In the fellowship of believers we are to have
unity, forgiving one another, bearing each other’s burdens, being long
suffering with one another. Instead at
the slightest provocation, he didn’t shake my hand, they stopped playing the
music I like, she’s preaching too long, they take up an offense and leave the
congregation. The thin skinned are bound
to sin. Sin is any behavior that deters, damages, or destroys right
relationships. If you find yourself to be easily offended there is some growing
up you need to do.
When Christ is in you, the Holy
Spirit has taken up residence within, transforming your mind in a process of
maturity that empowers you to follow Jesus. A disciple, a Christ follower, a
Christian, by definition, is to be like Jesus.
The gospel reveals that through faith in Jesus’ atoning work, your sins
can be forgiven and a right relationship with God can be initiated, that is
Jesus selfless gift to you. Your part is
to realize that you need this forgiveness and reconciliation to get you out of
the mess you have made. Your part is to
believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, and following Him is your
path to living your life to the full.
Your part is to commit, you surrender your way, the old way, of doing
life, to learn how to do life God’s way, you bend the knee, making a sacred vow
to live as a servant of God. Your part
is to simply ask, to ask God to receive you as one of His own. God hears the prayers of those who diligently
seek Him. The Holy Spirit takes you up
on your invitation to open your life to Him.
Now Christ is in you, moving you, compelling you, teaching you,
convicting you, empowering to be a lover, to live a selfless life, to become
everything that God created you to be.
Christ in you is a way of acknowledging that God is sanctifying your
life, as a result you are growing deep, growing up, and growing fruit. Proof that Christ is in you is in the fruit.
Galatians 5:22–26 (NIV)
“…the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and
self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ
Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we
live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become
conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Have you done your part? Have you
acknowledged, believed, committed, and asked?
Life in all its fullness awaits your decision. Now is a good time to
grab the gift God wants to give you. Take it, it’s yours, with love.
You’ve undergone that yearly
physical check-up, the blood work, the x-rays, the meeting with the physician
all in order to detect if your body is in need of some assistance. If it is
wise to keep your appointment for a physical exam, how much more so a spiritual
2 Corinthians 13:5–6 (NIV)
Examine yourselves to see whether
you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is
in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover
that we have not failed the test.
This self-examination consists of five questions: “Am
I Truthful? Am I Honest? Am I Pure? Am I easily offended? Am I selfish?” (E
Stanley Jones, Victorious Living, p 28). As a disciple you daily practice 7
spiritual habits. You read and study
scripture, you pray, you enjoy fellowship, you serve by using your gifts and
graces for others, you worship giving God his due, of course obedience from the
heart is indispensable Then there is
contemplation, the 7th habit of a disciple, and you will need to
have that heart-to-heart discussion with God to answer such questions. We’ve considered the first three
questions. Those teachings are on line, www.hbcc.life,
on You Tube channel HBCC Life and on Facebook HBCC Church.
Today we will lay the groundwork
for each of us to answer the question “Am I easily offended?”
In the Church there are people who
regularly fail this test question. They
are ready to write off another believer over the most insignificant of
perceived slights. (Why Easily Offended People Are A Waste
of Your Time - Level Up Stud) When someone pushes
your button you need to ask yourself why you are getting upset. Take it as a
challenge, as a growth lesson, find out why you are offended.
Many times, being offended stems
from things we have ingrafted into our life during childhood. I had a relative that was very thinned
skinned and therefore easily offended.
When you would disagree with his opinion, he would get angry with
you. The reason for this is because in
childhood he had learned that to be wrong was to be bad. The bad get punished. So, he associated someone that disagreed with
him with being accused of being wrong that justified punishment. Subconsciously he didn’t want to be punished
so he became upset, often lashing out in anger, often finding something to
blame you for in order that you get punished and not him. Finding yourself easily offended may be
because of something that infected your soul in childhood.
Let’s talk about my favorite problem
child, me. I discovered that I was
easily offended when things didn’t turn out as I planned. I would get angry at myself for not being an
expert plumber, or carpenter, or painter, or mechanic, or computer whiz. I would get mad at myself if I made a
mistake, missed the sale, made a bad investment. When people would leave the
church, even if they did so because they were moving for a new job across the country,
I would take it personally. The Holy
Spirit revealed to me that I was insecure in myself and was always looking for
the validation from positive results to confirm that I was good. I had
agreed to a lie that if I am good, people will love me and not leave me. Perfectionism is a prison. Thank God for sanctifying grace, the grace
that transforms, I am still a work in progress, still learning not to take
things personally, still learning that my lack of expertise has nothing to do
with being a good person, still learning that its not all about me. You might be thin-skinned because you don’t
recognize who you are with Christ in you.
“Misery loves company, and so when
someone gets offended easily, it might seem like they’re just trying to bring
everyone else down with them” (10 Truths about
People Who Are Easily Offended - Learning Mind (learning-mind.com). A person can be thin-skinned because
they are in pain. They may be so stressed out that the straws that break the camel’s
back seem to be raining down from the skies and they just can’t take it
anymore. The slightest thing that doesn’t go their way sets them off. You may be easily offended because you are
Another example of the easily
offended person is the miserable constant complainer. they are always
criticizing, bringing out the negative in every situation. “Hey, congratulations on winning the
Lotto.” “Thanks, but know I have got a
huge tax bill.” They tend to compare and
get offended when someone has it better than them. They are more concerned over what they don’t
have than the blessings God has freely placed in their lives. They are unhappy
in the circumstances of life. Things
just aren’t the way they want and its colored everything they see. Something has sucked all the joy out of their
lives. They harbor a discontent.
Some easily offended are actually projecting their
own unconscious faults on others. What
they see in others reminds them of their selves, they don’t want to see it, to
consider it, so they take offense that you dare remind them of their own
issues. Someone says something that is
bigoted and prejudicial, and you get angry because you too are bigoted and
prejudicial, just on another issue. Could
it be that you are easily upset with others because they are like a mirror to
The biggest reason people are
easily offended is because of entitlement.
The world owes them everything. There
motto is “I deserve this!” Everyone is
on this earth to serve them. So, when
things don’t go their way, they take offense and often unleash a fury in order
to bully you into doing what they want. I was at LAX, the jet had a problem so
they had to use a smaller jet which meant people were going to get bumped. The lady next to me was having a hissy
fit. I was congenial and speaking in a
calm respectful voice. Security took
that woman away and I got first class seats. I’m always trying to be cool under
fire, God is helping me and sometimes I need a lot of help.
Are you easily offended? Then ask yourself, “what am I really
responding to?” Contemplation is the 7th
habit of a disciple. The practice of contemplation helps you get behind the scenes,
into the depths of an issue. When you
find out what’s really wrong, it will lose its control over you, and you will
learn to overcome it.
Colossians 3:13-14 (MSG)
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress
in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet
strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to
forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave
you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic,
all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
When Christ is in you, you make allowances for
each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you (Colossians 3:13 NLT). “Bad-tempered. touchy, and quarrelsome
religious people” seem to do more harm to the Church than any enemy outside the
Church (E. Stanley jones,
Victorious Living p. 32). When
Christ is in you, you are a lover. Love “puts up with anything, trusts God
always [for the outcomes], always looks for the best, never looks back, but
keeps going to the end” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
Finding yourself in behaviors that are inconsistent with love means the
Holy Spirit is inviting you to partner with him to change your ways.
When you’re the one being insulted, when you are
offended by what is said remember Proverbs 19:11
Proverbs 19:11 (MEV)
The wise are patient; they will be honored if they
Overlook their transgression, in truth the offense
they’ve given you, is most likely all about them. Be kind, be considerate, but speak the truth
in love, and don’t take it personally. Curb
your angry retort and overlook their rudeness.
God will reward you for handling their discourtesy His way. Remember: “Pagans do, what pagans do.” Remember: “The immature do, what the immature
do.” Patience, longsuffering, bearing
with others, living at peace with one another, are all empowerments of
God. Let the small stuff go, most
everything is small stuff. When it comes
to the big stuff, remember who forgave you and what you were forgiven for.
Is Christ in me?
I know that Christ is in me when I see myself moving in the direction of
not being offended by what people say, what people do. I know I am maturing in the faith when I
forgive the offense when it is directed at me. I know that I am in the
refiner’s fire when the Holy Spirit points out an issue that needs to be
addressed. As long as I am advancing in the faith I know that Christ is in me.
Post a Comment