Millennial Monday: Offense is a choice… let’s not choose it!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Guest bloggers have been filling in for regular Millennial Monday blogger Emily Howsden while she has been on maternity leave. Emily’s next blog will be Sept. 10.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that we are a generation that loves to be offended. People are constantly taking things to heart and allowing comments to get to them.
By doing this, we create a hardened heart toward the “accuser,” and each comment tops the last while eating away at the relationship. This is not the lifestyle and the heart that Christ exemplified, nor is it the life that we as Christians are called to live.
I, too, have had to learn to drop offense. A couple of months ago I was having a conversation with someone about investing in good quality clothes. They told me I was vain because I cared about what I spend my money on and how I present myself.
I am not someone who cares what people think or say about me – at least not anymore. When I was younger, that was all I cared about. My pride was through the roof, and it was a long and difficult process to leave that at the foot of the cross.
It is something I have to be intentional about every day. So someone saying I was vain was a shot to my heart.
But pointless comments are not worth the emotional investment. When we know the truth about ourselves, there is no point in allowing your feelings to be destroyed and your relationship to be ruined by what someone says.
Unfortunately, we too often care only about ourselves. We operate out of “me, me, me” and justify it by just “being aware of our emotions,” feeling “attacked,” or being “called out” while making ourselves the victim.
Our easily-offended mindset and actions are far from Christ-like. In the midst of being accused and preparing to be crucified, Scripture tells us that Jesus did not even allow mocking to get to Him.
“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
We are to let go of things and have a heart of grace, giving kindness away like candy!
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (Prov. 19:11).
Selfishness and lack of humility are evident in our actions – or lack of actions – toward others. We rarely actually listen to others. We pop off answers and either take a reply offensively or end up making an offensive comment ourselves. But by simply taking time to connect in a relationship with the person in front of us, we show we value them and care about them, reducing the chance of offending them.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
The act of not being offended isn’t natural, but it’s what we’re called to as Christians. As I mentioned before, there is no point in holding offense against someone and ruining a relationship with them.
We are to look at and treat others as brothers and sisters in Christ while honoring them by not holding what they might say against them. I can guess that none of you reading this have been mocked and accused while being led to crucifixion. But I bet that if we were, none of us would go through that while keeping our mouths shut, even proceeding to die for those people.
Therefore, when the cost of caring is significantly less for us, we are to go against human nature and, instead, show grace and kindness.
People have forgotten that being offended is simply a choice. But so are joy, grace and kindness!