Friday, October 30, 2015

Choosing To Be Unoffended

By: Sarah MacKinney

A person's wisdom makes him slow to anger;
it is his honor to overlook an offense.
Proverbs 19:11

When I read that verse I feel the big "C" word. Yep, conviction. I think of the things that I get offended by and I realize how petty I can be and how much time is wasted by being offended by things that don't matter. In some ways, I wish I were more like my husband. He is the best example of "turning the other cheek" that I know. We recently encountered a situation with an individual that I was fuming about; but his response was, "I'm going to overlook this, forgive and move on." There it was again, the big "C" word. If he was able to get past it so quickly, then shouldn't I as well?

I believe that our main goal as Christians should be to live and love like Jesus. To show others who Jesus is by how we treat each other, what we say and the example that we set. But how can I be a good witness of Christ if I am always offended? Sometimes we feel like we have the "right" to be offended. Can anyone relate? But then I think about Jesus and all the things that he had the "right to be offended by. He was mocked, ridiculed and scorned but He never let bitterness consume Him.

I realize that there are big things in life that legitimately hurt us, I am in no way minimizing those. We have all experienced serious wounds that take time to work through and process. But speaking from my own heart, some of the things that I allow to get under my skin, some things I allow to play over and over in my mind about how I was wronged; are of no importance in light of eternity. They cut you off in traffic, be offended. They didn't compliment you on your outfit, by all offended. Your spouse left his dirty clothes on the floor again, be offended. So many times we let bitterness and offense take root in our heart when it would have been wiser to just pray about it and ask God to help us let it go. I know this is a practice that is easier said than done; but if the Bible says it is to my honor to overlook an offense, wouldn't I be wise to try a little harder?

If I want my life to represent Jesus, I can't pick and choose which qualities of His I want to imitate. I can't model His kindness and patience and choose to exclude forgiveness. I can't decide to be loyal and caring but deliberately choose not to forgive. None of us will ever be perfect like He was, but we can do our best to live a life that represents Him well; which includes overlooking offense and not letting bitterness and anger consume our hearts. My prayer is that we as Christians will do our best to live in harmony with each other and that we will live out Ephesians 4:2-3, "With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, be eager to maintain the Spirit of unity in the bond of peace."



  1. "If I want my life to represent Jesus, I can't pick and choose which qualities of His I want to imitate." This is so good.

  2. I agree with you that it is vital as Christians to not hold onto anger and unforgiveness! Not always an easy thing, though, especially when we are treated unfairly. Christ showed how we are to forgive, like he did on the cross! What a beautiful example we have!
    Blessings, Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

  3. Excellent,Sarah! We all need this reminder that we have a CHOICE in how we respond to others. Thank you!

  4. Choosing not to be offended, it is not always easy, but you are so right. It is often the little things that we let get under our skin and we need to be quick to forgive!

  5. Excellent advice, however it does not give a christian the right to say whatever mean thing they want, expect the other christian to not be offended, and then try bathe themselves in God's grace in an attempt to look like the "better" christian. Doesn't work that way. Sometimes it's almost impossible to turn-the-other cheek when you're being bullied. Sometimes you need to take care of what belongs to God - namely yourself!

  6. Excellent post. However keep in mind perceived offenses have different severity levels. And sometimes they don't just come from the "un"christian, they come from fellow-christians. Some "christians" think they can speak to you without a filter, expect you not to be offended, and then try to set themselves up as the "bigger" or "better" christian by falling back on God's grace. You can't abuse Grace. Doesn't work that way. Sometimes the offender needs to realize the hurt they've done and ASK for forgiveness. This can only happen when the offender can see their own flaws and not be in denial of them. And sometimes, as in the case of being bullied, the offended christian needs to take care of what belongs to God, namely yourself!


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