OVERCOMING OFFENSE

Getting offended- People look at this so lightly but it has the power to control your whole life if you let it. There are so many people who end up where they are today because they got offended at some point in their life, which can alter the original path they were on, their success, and their happiness. When getting offended, you stop making progress. You see so many people jump from job to job, relationship to relationship, and I guarantee you if you ask them why, they will tell you a reason as to why they weren’t getting treated right. Why THEIR feelings were hurt.

Well guess what- It’s not always about you.

Putting the focus of our emotions on ourselves is prideful. Not taking offense means taking humility. It comes hand in hand. Have you ever been in a situation where you are arguing with someone and you KNOW you are right? And all you want to do is keep fighting to PROVE that you are right? There is so much effort put into these arguments and we need use that same effort to walk in love, because it isn’t always easy, but rewarding. Offense is just a blessing blocker. The devil knows this and uses it to his advantage. When you are walking in love, satan can’t affect you. He needs to get you OUT of love and by doing that, he uses offense.

It is so easy to just say “don’t take offense” when in a situation that can really tick us off, but it goes much deeper than that. There needs to be a root. A secure foundation to stand on. It is simply LOVE.

God tells us to walk in love no matter what. There are so many people leaving churches, holding a grudge against people, etc, but God didn’t change his instructions just because you got offended.

“But you don’t know what that person did to me!” … Do you know what they did to Jesus? Jesus was taken prisoner, beaten, mocked, and crucified. Through it all, he did not take offence. Jesus PRAYED for the people putting him to death. If that doesn’t speak loudly, I don’t know what does.

Luke 23:34- Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they’re doing.”

People spend too much time looking for a reason to love, instead of making love the reason. That’s where we have it backwards. We look for something someone has done first in order to have a reason to love them, instead of loving them from the beginning.

Needless to say, love is the foundation that holds everything together. Just like a house built on sand, a life without the foundation being love will soon fall apart. It is about having the right mindset and making sure your heart is in the right place. Your mind needs to be made up of how you are going to react to trials that come your way. When you let yourself get offended, you are giving up your power.

You have the choice. People have the right to their own opinion and you have the right to ignore it. You may not be able to do anything about the way you feel, but you have total control of the way you react.

Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense.

HURTING PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE.

Insecurity;

Not sure or certain/ Lacking stability/ Troubled/ Lacking Self-Confidence/etc. The list goes on.

There is every kind of “self help” book that will try to uplift you and teach you how to find the true “confidence” in yourself and what not, but not often do people talk about the negative affect it could have on you just being AROUND insecure people.

When a person feels insecure, they want anyone around them to feel as low as they do and will do anything in their power to make you feel at their level.

HURTING PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE.

I have been in situations where I thought I could just love the person back to security. I thought I could just love the person back to having them love themselves. To be honest, I thought I could fix their problems… Turns out, I am not God & by trying to take on this task, it ended up affecting me in a very negative way. There is a fine line of when God can USE you in someones life and when you try to BE the solution in someones life. Once you try and do that, you are walking on dangerous territory.

Insecure people will always point out everything you don’t do, but God sees everything you DO do!

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb, I knew and approved of you.

I would always look at people who were in abusive relationships (both mentally and physically) and wonder “Why can’t they just WALK AWAY. It’s so simple. The fact that they are settling is absolute nonsense!” Which sounds harsh, but that was simply my thoughts because I didn’t understand. I didn’t realize, until now, how easily it is to get stuck in that situation. There are a lot of ways verbal abuse can start and it can be hard to miss the first sign because the “abuser” can disguise it with “love.” For example, they can constantly point out things that are wrong with you, things you need to work on, etc, but then cover it up with letting you know they still love you regardless of that. So then, not only can they be convincing you that you have all these issues to work on, but they trick you into believing you are lucky to have that relationship with them. A lot of the time, this causes the person(the victim) to hold on tighter to the relationship because they have now lost all their self worth… one “put down” at a time.

(This is not saying that the “abuser” is a terrible person because they are not. There is a root to where this all started. Maybe they went through something in their childhood, or maybe they have suffered with major rejection all their life. This behaviour is not being excused but rather explaining that their behaviour is coming from something deeper. Something that caused them to want to hurt other people simply because they are hurt.)

When people are in these relationships, it is like they get trapped in a bubble and you can’t see the big picture. You can’t see the TRUE picture, because as long as you remain in it, you are blind to it. You need to fully walk outside of this “bubble” to see what you couldn’t before.

Get out!

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is walk away. And once you do make the decision, the most important thing to remember is to keep looking forward because your future has no room for your past.

I can’t help but think of the story of when God told Abraham to leave everything he had, and promised to bless him.

Genesis 12:1-2 The Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you.”

It took a huge leap of faith for Abraham to leave everything he had and trust there was going to be a reward in the end, but he did it… and it was worth it.

In Zachariah, God promises to give us double for your trouble. So whatever you are going through, go through it with a Godly attitude, keep looking forward, and get excited… Because the reward is coming!

Zachariah 9:12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope, even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

Isaiah 61:7 Instead of your shame, you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace, you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

LETTING GO TO MOVE AHEAD.

One of the hardest things to accept is that not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever.  There are people that God will bring in our lives for the long term such as family, spouse, close friends, etc, but then there are people God will bring in for a season to help you through a certain stage in your life and make you grow. Just as iron sharpens iron, God can use people to do that for you as well.

The tough part is letting go. If God didn’t move people away, we could become too dependent. Their presence might limit our growth. You need to be big enough to know when someones part of your life is over… even if it does hurt. When a person walks away and you think you can’t live without them, that is God saying “It’s time for you to go to a new level.” The only thing you should be dependent on is God.

I can’t help but constantly think of this verse when I am going through my own trials in my life:

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

It doesn’t say IF, it says WHEN. 

I think my favourite thing about this verse is that God isn’t just saying we are going to struggle and that is it… He is giving us the choice to profit from it. We have the choice to change our test into a testimony or to let satan win.

In Corinthians 10:13, it says that God will never let us go through something that is beyond our ability to bear. This verse always helps strengthens me through hard times because if God said I can bear it, I am not going to question that. If anything, I am going to worship and thank him through the trial, not because I enjoy suffering, but because I know God will use what Satan wanted for harm, for good.

In the future we can’t become unless we overcome.

Romans 5:3 Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.