Oh, so you’re offended?

I once had a cat named Bella.  No, this is not a limerick.  

Mischievous, demanding, playful.  And easily offended.  She knew how to keep a grudge and to exact revenge with precision.  The minute I was ready to leave for work, she’d reach for my ankles and deftly place a run in my pantyhose, then sprint away to an inaccessible place while I fumed.  Never underestimate the intelligence of animals.  

Bella1

Exhibit A.   Ms. Bella, doing what she did best: get into mischief!

I thought of her this week.  Sometimes my behavior mirrors hers when it comes to being offended.  No, I don’t put a run in anyone’s pantyhose or bite or scratch up their hands.   😉  But I do catch feelings unnecessarily.  Feelings that do nothing to build me up, or the “offender.”

I say it to my shame.  

You know things are out of whack when you see someone’s posts in your Facebook news feed and feel what I like to call a “grrrrr” in your spirit.  That difference of opinion, that spirited debate, those unsaid words or actions left undone–they churn something up on the inside that shows up on the outside as a grimace.  A squeezing or rolling of the eyes.  A tightness in the body.  An unspoken “Hiss!  Boo!”  

The grrrrr.  

I know some of you can relate; others of you might be too spiritual to have these fleshly fits.  👿

 willy-wonka-wilder-2

I went back to the book that helped me deal with offense and forgiveness, John Bevere’s “The Bait of Satan.”  These words hit me:  “It is not a question of opportunity to be offended, but what your response will be.”

Luke 17:1 gives Jesus’s definitive statement on the matter:  “It is impossible that no offenses should come.” 

So, how do we avoid the destruction that follows being offended?

  • Don’t let the grrrrr in your grudge grow.  Bevere notes that the Greek word for “offend” is “skandalon.”  It’s the part of a trap for animals on which the bait is positioned.  Recognize when a trap is being set.  Then, if you don’t take the bait, you can’t be trapped.  If you decide not to be offended, even if the person did you wrong, you’ve begun the journey to wholeness and healing.
  • Choose the high road. The air is fresher and you’ll be in better shape.   😀  I love Anita Matthias’s take on the high road: 

“Overlook lots of things. Blow things away with the breath of kindness. When spoken to harshly, you don’t need to retort in kind.   Return a gentle answer or none at all when someone gets irrational through tiredness.”

  •  Forgive and live; lie and die. You’re lying to yourself if you think harboring a grudge will do anything positive for you.  It’s a slow spiritual and emotional death. “Banish bitterness, rage and anger, shouting and slander, and any and all malicious thoughts—these are poison.” Ephesians 4:31
  • Have great expectations of God, but limited expectations (or none at all!) of (wo)men.  Misconstrued expectations often lead to offenses being taken. “Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.”  Colossians 3:12
  •  Do a Bible study on bitterness, resentment, and offense.  I did, and it got me clothed in my right mind.  “A person with discretion is not easily angered; he gains respect by overlooking an offense.” Proverbs 19:11.  Word!
  • Decide to be thankful and to seek the good in the situation.  Bitterness and gratitude cannot coexist.

Do you get that “grrrrr” of resentment and offense often?  How do you handle it?


Comments

  1. This is so practical and full of wisdom. I wish I could make it required reading for everyone! Thanks Ali

  2. Great post. Helpful tips and reminders. The other reminder I give myself frequently is to ‘assume positive intent’. Regardless of the impact of the other person’s words or actions, usually that was not his or her intent. And even if it was, not dwelling on that helps me to move on

  3. When I get those grrr moments I just have to stop and pray for God to help me and change my attitude. People will never see things the same all of the time. Even those that want the same things. Look at our government that will be a good example. lol I always pray for God to help me forgive or change my attitude quickly! Very well said Ali. love you

  4. Oh such great wisdom here. I know that “grrrr” feeling. There are times I get that feeling and for some reason I keep going back to what gave it to me. But God is usually nudging at me and keeps me from responding in that moment and helps to change my attitude. It can be HARD though.
    {Hugs} to you Alison.
    Beth recently posted..Three Word Wednesday: An Honest HeartMy Profile

    • Hugs to you too, Beth! It’s hard because it is spiritual warfare at its worst. The enemy loves to keep us in that “hedgehog zone”, all prickly and annoyed inside. None of that is of God. When He nudges you to go back to the source, it’s to show that the enemy is behind all of it. He’s a defeated foe!
      Alison recently posted..Oh, so you’re offended?My Profile

  5. That’s funny because I had a grey cat named Bella too! She was mean! She used to hide behind the couch and fly out and scratch my legs as I went by! Eventually I moved west and couldn’t take her with me, and she got a great home.
    I know what you mean, though. I feel that feeling sometimes. Like my claws are coming out. It’s mostly Facebook!
    Tamara recently posted..This Is Big, People! Big!My Profile

    • I think our Bellas must have been related, Tamara! And her claws were always out. I still have scars on my hands from her. And she loved to bite! And slap! LOL But she was an object lesson to me in God’s love. When I considered what I put up with regarding her behavior, it made me appreciate what God puts up with when it comes to my sour attitudes from time to time.
      Alison recently posted..Oh, so you’re offended?My Profile

  6. My children are desperately hoping we will get a pet soon…this is the 2nd post I have read today that has kept me firmly in the “no pet” camp! ;)-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted..You Never Know Unless You TryMy Profile

    • Oh no! I know how your kids feel about your “no pet” stance. I was the only one in the house who wanted (and got!) a pet. My mother gave in despite her doubts, and regretted it because I’d have a week (or longer) of mourning if a pet died, got sick, ran away… you name it. But you might have better luck… Bella was a handful, but I loved her to bits. Even when she put a beat down on me. LOL!
      Alison recently posted..Oh, so you’re offended?My Profile

  7. Girl, I am too (what was it again?…*scrolls back up to get the exact wording*) spiritual to have those fleshly fits. DWL! As much as I try to keep it at bay, sometimes those grrr moments pushes itself straight to the forefront with pursed lips and side eyes…lol. The bible is so true. We are gonna be offended, but I like how you lay out our appropriate response. It’s amazing how a gentle answer can totally change a situation. Great post Alison
    Hope recently posted..Summer in Review: Hectic + Unstructured = ChaosMy Profile

  8. LOL re: the side eyes and pursed lips. Yes, we do go there from time to time. Grateful for grace that covers a multitude of sin. And the soft answer is the bomb. Diffuses all sorts of foolishness at once and for all.
    Alison recently posted..Oh, so you’re offended?My Profile

  9. Such an amazing post Ali! Choosing the high road is the better choice every single time!
    Michelle recently posted..How to Tell If Your Cat Loves YouMy Profile

  10. Yes, when idiots break into your house, don’t let it steal your JOY! Personal praise report for the day! Thanks Alison!
    Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady recently posted..A Review of Les Mills BODYPUMP 87: “I Got A Crush On You”My Profile

  11. I get that grrr feeling sometimes, and I just close out of Facebook and try to focus on other things. You are so right about forgiveness – do it for you, not for the person being forgiven. Holding a grudge gets you nowhere – I try to remind myself of that when I feel offended.
    Dana recently posted..It’s not crap if you collect itMy Profile

  12. This is right on point. I am definitely faced with times of being easily offended. Sometimes the offense is real though. Maturity is shown when you are able to rise above the offense but it’s definitely something that’s a work in progress.

    Ali, I gotta tell you. I seriously have issues with this which is why I tend to shy away from people. I keep people at a distance often because I feel like if you don’t engage, you can’t get hurt.
    Michelle recently posted..My 5 Favorite Skin Care ProductsMy Profile

  13. I had a dog named Bella. Excellent points you made on handling the grr. And no I’m not to spiritual that I can’t relate. That grrr has a way of coming up when I least expect it.
    Wanda recently posted..Book Tour: Christians With Pervasive Issues by Annie BrownMy Profile

  14. I love the high road quote. I will breathe and think of this post when I am knee deep in a “grrrr” moment.
    Eva recently posted..First Comes Love… Like It Or Not – Barbie’s Getting MarriedMy Profile

    • “Knee deep in a ‘grrrr’ moment.” I love it. Thing is, sometimes I’m neck deep. Yowser! It’s good to remember that that high road brings great benefits that the low road never will.

  15. Inspiring post, Alison! When I’m feeling like that, I ask God to take the hate out of my heart. It’s so easy to get mad and angry with life’s tribulations. Then I have to remember that negative energy is so not good.
    Kimberly H. Smith recently posted..Humpfree: The Humpless CamelMy Profile

    • Yep, it sure is a bummer to remain in a negative mindset, Kimberly. It literally sucks the joy out of life. So not worth it! God’s good in reminding us that He’s not here for the hate, and neither are we!

  16. I love the Beveres. Lisa and John are awesome writers who always hit the nail on the head! Hahaha at the “too spiritual to have fleshly fits”…yeah right! Someone may have offended us, but WE’RE at fault if we allow that offense to cause bitterness to grow in our hearts. No one puts it in us, we put it in our hearts ourselves. Thanks for the reminder Alison, to NOT have a fleshly fit! Lol!! Have a wonderful week!
    Michell recently posted..Mastering YOU Monday…time for a check-up ladies!My Profile

    • Yes, at church we’re doing John Bevere’s series on honor. Interesting take on the subject.

      Michell, the devil is such a liar that we end up thinking we’re justified in holding a grudge. What a crock! I admit falling for it, but as the years go by I see myself getting less and less gullible to that bait of satan. We are all works in progress!

      Going to check out Mastering You Monday now.
      Alison recently posted..Ask Away Friday with Mrs. Tee: Love, Life, and LaughterMy Profile

  17. This is an awesome post! You are so right! There are so many things that can contribute to that feeling in your spirit. It is the reason we have to offer ourselves as living sacrifices on a daily basis. Prayer and studying the word always helps us to see ourselves and situations as God does so we can make changes and I love it! I also sometimes talk to another believer. My real friend who is a believer and my husband always know just what to say to validate my feelings but get me to lower my guard to see God’s answer to a situation if I’m too stuck in my feelings in any particular moment. It’s so true that iron sharpens iron! This was a great reminder, Allison! Thank you!
    Brittnei recently posted..You are my SUNSHINEMy Profile

    • Love that “iron sharpens iron” scripture, Brittnei. Hearing the truth spoken in love by another believer can make a huge difference in our approach and perspective. The enemy would have us all caught up in our emotions and thoughts that we can’t clearly hear what the Lord would have us receive about whatever is offending us. Thankfully, God makes a way through the clutter in our souls and puts His finger on our pride and bitterness. And then we can get back in right relationship with Him.

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