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Monday, July 21, 2008

Are you easily offended?

Psalm 119:165
"Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."

No, I'm not about to share something that is likely to upset anybody... Rather, I'd just like to share an issue that perhaps you deal with too.

About a month ago, one of the pastors of our church preached on 'offense'. He challenged us as believers to let upsetting things roll off- like water off a duck's back. He reminded that a mark of a solid who is founded in Christ and finds true solace in Him, is not offended to the point of sin.

Seriously, though- how many times a day are we really offended over such trivial things? If I am allowing the Holy Spirit to work through me on a daily basis (even in the little things), I will show traits of joy, patience, self-control and gentleness. How many times, though, am I grumpy, irritated, undisciplined and angry!?

For instance- case in point; I came home the other day to a plethora of emails and one in particular shook me up a little. I received a note from an friend that seemed a little on the 'arrogant' side and it just ticked-me-off. I mentioned it to my husband as I was reading it. Then I mentioned it at dinner. And then I mentioned it at bedtime- to which he turned to me (in his best loving husband way) and said, "Dear, you are allowing this to offend you too easily You have moved from the point of "irritation" to sin. Ask forgiveness and let it go..."

Oh, how right he is!

I was again reminded a couple days ago in the parking lot of my ease for being irritated. I had been waiting for a parking spot when I lady hurriedly tried to cross in front of me. I quickly stopped and allowed her to pass. All of a sudden her quick gait turned into a Sunday stroll and I waited and waited and waited. Then- wonder of all wonders- she turned her cart INTO the spot I was waiting for and parked it. And turned and looked at me with an irritated expression and begin to 'mouth' her annoyance. HER annoyance! Her big 'ole cart is in MY spot!

Why did I allow my offense to turn to sin? Sure, she was inconsiderate, but why wasn't my first reaction to show kindness or gentleness? I want to come to the place that I allow the goodness of the Holy Spirit to be free-flowing...even when my flesh is frustrated! Oh, that I might be a vessel of His faithfulness!


Katy said...

I read this post as I await my husband who is coming home late from work and I was quite annoyed by it...and your post is so true. I need to let it go. It isnt' that big of a deal...and nothing to be mad about in the scheme of life! Thanks for this! I am glad I just found ya and read this today!

Kate said...

I find myself that irritated way more than I want to admit! Beautiful reminder of how we are to imitate Christ. I need that reminder this week - as I prepare to pack for a trip!

Renna said...

Ouch! This is an area where I still struggle. I am basically an easygoing and laid back personality. It takes alot to ruffle my feathers, and yet...since recently hearing a message of offense preached, reading about it in God's Word, and contemplating it, I've been getting more than my fair share (or so it seems) of opportunities which have shown me just how NOT laid back I am! ;-Þ

I know I'm being tested in this area, and as Joyce Meyer would say, until I pass this test, I'm just going to get to keep taking it over and over again.

God's love to us flows freely, our love to others needs to flow as freely, for His love is in us!

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I've come across your blog, and I would have to say it's very timely. I have never heard the part about 'to the point of sin'. I have only ever heard it explained that great peace have they which love thy law and NOTHING shall offend them. My heart has been wounded by someone in the ministry who habitually preaches about the people who confide in him!! He doesn't say the names, but he discloses the details of the situation, etc. He always quotes this scripture and uses it as a justification for his exploits. Your insight has given me something to contemplate....This person actually says his job is to be a professional offender. Wrong. The gospel is an offense to some, but it is never a license to be rude, arrogant or holier-than-thou. I believe the weeping prophet said it best when he noted that our best righteousness is as filthy rags. We're all sinners, just some are redeemed, and some are not. Some of those that aren't will become so in time, and the remainder will not. It is because of Christ's blood, nothing that any of us have done, lest any of us vain earth-bounds should boast and feel we deserved it more than someone else!!
Now this passage makes sense to me. Never did before. Thanks so much. I love discussing politics and theology too. Glad to have found another kindred spirit out there in cyberspace.
Thank you for this post!