i understand this is kind of controversial. i don’t doubt that there’s people that disagree with me. but i want to address it anyway: people are too easily offended these days. but i want to address another thing: i get too easily offended by people who too easily get offended.
so first off, let me address that first item. a little bit about myself, i grew up with the principle of discipline instilled in me from my parents and teachers, and i am oh so grateful for that. i’m also grateful that this discipline didn’t come in the form of physical abuse and paddles, but rather in the communication of urgency and intentionality. not saying i got discipline in the bag by now, but no one had to hit me to push me… they only just coached me and pushed me to work hard when i wasn’t doing something right. for instance, my drumline instructor. i think the most rewarding thing in high school was being on the drumline. every practice, my drumline instructor yelled at us. he screamed at us. he made us run and do pushups. heck, one time he threw a shoe at us (okay, that one is questionable). anyway, he called us out on our crap and made sure we didn’t leave practice without knowing how we could be better. but you know the crazy thing is? we LISTENED. we OBEYED. we didn’t take things so personally. we wanted to get better. we knew that at the end of the day, he loved us so much, and he wanted bring out the best and most excellent in us. (which is why my school wins championships every year…)
thus, i bring that kind of perspective to the topic. of course, that anecdote was a little specific, but here’s the essence of what i’m getting at. when people do or say something that i feel like could be an attack or shot at me, i admit my first inclination is, indeed, to feel offended. but then with all that i learned in my upbringing, my second inclination is just to not take things so personally (so easily too, i might add… of course you can’t expect someone to not ever take a single thing personally). 95% of the time, it wasn’t meant to be taken personally. the remaining 5% of the time, maybe it was a personal attack, and it’s okay to respond to it a little more. but my question is why are people taking things personally ALL the time? i think it comes from two things: (1) a short-sighted perspective, and (2) idolatry of yourself.
when you have a short-sighted perspective, you can’t see the world outside of yourself. life is all about what happens to you and how you feel as a result. these people have a low EQ. to these guys, i say relax!! understand the situation as a whole. there is way more going on in the world than what’s happening to you right now. have some empathy.
idolatry of self is so eloquently addressed by Paul in the Bible. when Paul brings up anything about “dying to the flesh” in Scripture, i believe the modern translation really is: “get over yourself”. (forgive me. ironically, this is the offensive-sounding part of me that’s about to come out). if you’re a Christian, the notion of getting over yourself should have crossed your mind by now. it’s not about you anymore. you don’t live your own life, it’s Jesus who is in you and in control of your life!! (Galatians 2:20). stop thinking that you’re entitled to anything. stop thinking that people need to hang out with you. stop resisting correction. also, stop hating people with your offended spirit… that very spirit of offense you carry in you is absolutely ruining not only your relationships with your brothers and sisters, but also, straight up, your own well-being. people that are offended easily are obviously hurt easily. they don’t guard their heart in truth and the soberness of Christ, but rather they tarnish it with made-up scenarios and fantasies of how they imagine things to be. why paint a pre-conceived picture of the situation and live in a made-up world? when you don’t know the truth, it always leads you to imprisonment to sin. let the truth set you free!! (John 8:32).
but here’s the thing… whenever i ponder other people’s sensitivity and their aptitude for getting offended easily, the Lord almost always leads me back to the state of my own heart and how i need to show SO much more grace to these folks. at the end of the day, i feel like the Lord is always telling me that i don’t know them. i don’t know how their upbringings have shaped them.. heck, i don’t even know how their DAY went so far. in other words, where is my sensitivity to people’s sensitivity?? of course, this revelation isn’t coming from a God who is justifying the spirit of offense. it is coming from a God who is revealing to me and convicting me that i am partaking in a similar spirit of offense. to be honest and fair, i will say that it really does suck when people misconstrue something i said or did, and all of a sudden i’m the bad guy. i’ve found that i don’t really get along with hyper-sensitive people in the long run. but why am i so offended if people are offended by me? ahh… that’s right, it’s cuz i stink too and i’m sinful. i need to not have even a trace of self-righteousness being proud of my ability to not get offended easily… why should i boast in that? let me boast in Christ instead. so basically, my final point is that i guess i kind of do partake in the same spirit of offense. that’s why i titled this post what it is. lol i guess it’s just one of those instances in life that make me realize (1) wowww… i suck, and (2) i absolutely need You, Jesus.
Lord, increase my disgust of sin while increasing my love for You and Your people! And may Your people live in unity without distrust and divisive sensitivity to one another!!