I am doing a Bible study by Joanna Weaver called “Having a Mary Spirit”. In it she shares something she learned from her husband, “I’m learning I don’t have to be offended. It’s my choice. It’s what i do with what happens to me.” That was a revolutionary statement for me. I can CHOOSE not to be offended.
It had never occurred to me that being offended by something someone says or does to me is my choice. Boy, is that empowering. It is easy for us to be offended or hurt by something some says or does, but ultimately we choose whether or not we will allow ourselves to be offended or hurt. Rather than reacting, we can take our feelings to the Lord and not lash out at others.
The only thing we have control over is ourselves. As much as we would like to have control over others, we don’t. We can’t control what others say to us or how they treat us, BUT we can control how we respond. We are always accountable for our words and actions. Through the power of God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we can choose to bear the fruit of His Spirit rather than the fruit of our own natural reactions. This means that regardless of what someone says or does to us, we CHOOSE to allow His Spirit to work in us so we can respond with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
It sounds too good to be true, but isn’t that they way of God? He sent His Son to save us and provide us with forgiveness for our sins, something that sounds way too good to be true, but that his how it is with God’s grace. He not only lavishes us with His grace but He empowers us to do the same to others – that is how people will see Christ in us.
I know it is easy to be offended by others because as people, we are imperfect, flawed and full of faults which causes us to treat people less than kindly. However, we aren’t going through this life alone, we are going through it with Christ’s Spirit living within us. CHOOSE for yourself today NOT to be offended but to respond with grace and love.