Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh My Goodness? Did they really say that? Really? I'm so offended!

There is nothing like to Holidays for a person who is harboring a spirit of offense. Thoughts can swirl through our mind if we aren’t careful, stealing our joy and attacking our self worth.

“They didn’t eat my pie! They ate grandma’s pie, but didn’t touch my pie. What is wrong with my pie? Am I a bad cook? I thought my pie was good! What is wrong with me, can’t I even make a pie right?”

“I am not having Christmas with THOSE people. Do you hear about what happened last year? I’ll show them. They can spend Christmas alone this year.”

“A sweater? Really? My brother get’s an I-pod and I get a sweater! Seriously! What the heck? I deserve way more than my brother. Who is the one who helped cook dinner? Who is the one who is always there for them? And I get a sweater! This is ridiculous!”

Offense. It can ruin our Holidays, or really our anydays, but only if we let it.

It is so easy to get offended; I speak as one who knows this ALL TOO WELL. When people hurt our feelings, or don’t meet our expectations, oftentimes our immediate reaction is to get offended. The sad thing is that over time, each of these seemingly small offenses add up and up and up and eventually can build into a huge wall of resentment that completely separates us and forces us into an inner angry state that follows us around wherever we go.

So what do we do when we get offended? Surely we don’t just let people walk all over us? Of course not! First of all we have to look at the offense. Is it something worth spending our mental time and energy on or is it simply something that we have built up in our minds into something way larger than it actually is (such as the pie incident or the Christmas present that didn’t meet our expectations). Or is it something that needs to be addressed. Sometimes things happen in our family or with our friends that genuinely do offend us and need to be addressed appropriately. They are things that we do not need to ignore and things that will not just go away because we pretend they didn’t happen. However, once they have been addressed, forgiveness is the next step. Unforgiveness hardly ever hurts the one who offended us and much more often becomes a seething splinter within ourselves. And lastly, when we are offended, oftentimes it is because whatever the person said to us, unfortunately, they were ALL TOO right. They said something that we know to be true, but SOOOOO did not want to hear. In this case, sometimes all that is needed is to humble ourselves, and take the correction.

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 “…my grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure, in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

1 comment:

  1. This is such a good thing to talk about before all the family gatherings, presents, etc. It takes a lot to take an honest look at the heart. Thanks for this reminder.