I learned as a young adult, that if you are going to be easily offended, people won’t disappoint, they will offend you and offend you often! What I have also learned is most the time the person doing the offending, including myself, is often totally clueless that we have offended someone.
Our oldest son Steve, is blind, he was born that way. Do you know how often I hear someone tease someone else about being blind? For example, when they can’t find something that ends up being right in front of them, they jokingly say “Oh my gosh, are you blind?!” Everyone laughs. Now I could be over sensitive to that, let them know I have a blind son, and accuse them of not being sensitive to people with disabilities. We all have things we are a little more sensitive to, stop right now and think of what that might be for you. Maybe you struggle with your weight, maybe you’ve been divorced, possibly more than once, maybe you are struggling financially, your political views differ, maybe the color of your skin, your religion, maybe you’ve lost a child or were never able to have a child… unfortunately the list is endless of things we can be sensitive about. I can tell you in the example I gave about being blind, I would be the first person to laugh, along with our son. We didn’t raise Steve to be offended by things of that sort, prayerfully he’s not offended by much of anything.
First let me say no one can offend us, unless we allow them to. Not always, but often when we ALLOW ourselves to be offended, it’s because we are only looking inward instead of outward. The other person is often talking or acting out of their own knowledge or experience. You are receiving it based on your knowledge and past experiences.
When Steve was around 4 years old he was in a Christmas play at church. The teachers and the kids helped him on stage and led him where he needed to stand. He was looking good in his little navy suit and he sang his little heart out with the other kids. After they were done, the kids starting walking to get off the stage. Well, Steve just started walking with the other kids, with no one helping him. He walked right off the stage, tumbled on the 4 stairs before hitting the ground. Steve couldn’t see but other than that he was a normal very active little boy. I could tell immediately he was ok. This was at our local church, so most everyone knew he couldn’t see, the whole audience gasped and then I know several people immediately looked at my husband and I for our reaction… we were laughing almost to the point of crying. Steve jumped up laughing just as hard as we were.
Our kids, our families, our co-workers, neighbors are always watching how we react or over react to ANY situation. Especially when they know it’s something that we maybe a little more sensitive to and they know the person talking is clueless! Please don’t misunderstand… with my personality type, the last thing I want to do is offend someone or in any way be insensitive but I also LOVE talking with people, so I know I am occasionally going to put my foot in my mouth! I want to give grace and mercy to others and pray they give me some of that much needed grace and mercy as well!
Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
Seriously look for opportunities to give grace and mercy away, so that it might come back to you multiplied!!