You choose to be offended.
(I’m interrupting my homemaking series to add one post to our cancel culture series.)
Have you noticed that being offended is almost seen as a virtue in our culture? Everyone is “triggered” or angry about something.
Let’s be frank. Being offended is not a virtue. Nothing to be proud of. It’s a choice.
”Offenses will come” to be sure. We probably all have daily reasons to be offended about something. Someone posts a political post we don’t agree with, or displeases us, causes pain, annoys us, or is rude or thoughtless.
Maybe we are overlooked, unappreciated, disrespected. Maybe we think someone should have done something for us (or not done something to us), should have said more or said less.
But hear me out… it’s our choice whether we let real (or perceived) wrongs affect us or not.
We don’t have to be offended.
Choosing to be offended, holding on to an offense, or even taking up another person’s offense, is what Satan uses to keep us enslaved and entrapped.
Did you know that two greek words for offend/offense in the Bible are “skandalizio” which means to entrap or trip up and “skandalon” which means to snare?
Skandalon was the name of the stick trigger of a bait-trigger trap like the picture above. The stick part of the trap had bait strategically attached to it so when an animal took the bait they were either struck or captured.
Offendedness is a trap, and the bait is set by Satan. It’s something you already crave because he’s tricky like that…just like a hunter baits for an animal. If you take the bait, you take the results as well.
Here’s another choice…instead of being offended, you could overlook, or choose forgiveness, kindness, love, or offering a blessing.
Self-centered offendedness does not bring forth the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Don’t agree? Think of the last time you were offended? Was your judgement perverted? Were your thoughts loving? Did you give the benefit of the doubt in your offended state? Don’t we love to ascribe evil motives when we are offended, as though we can read others minds and hearts and motives? Aren’t we quick to judge wrongly when we are offended? How many times have we justified our sin against the person who has offended us, as though we get a free pass to live detached from scripture if we have been offended.
“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:13-15
Anything a person says or does is a reflection of them alone. Remember that when someone does something rude, unkind, or callous. Also remember that being offended and holding onto an offense is purely a reflection of our character.
Notice the correlation between lack of love, the rise of hate, and offendedness in these verses
“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.“ Matthew 24:10-12
When people are far from God, offendedness is a substitute religion firmly grounded in the soil of self-righteousness and self-worship.
We see the affects of offendedness in churches, marriages, families, organizations, and communities.
We see the reactionary nature of every interaction with the offending person: the anger that’s clutched onto like a precious possessions, unable to be controlled by the Holy Spirit’s peaceable, reasonable, sweet fruit in those moments because they are so full of their own desires.
With self held high and God’s Word held low, their judgement is jaded, their love cold or indifferent, and their spiritual growth stunted.
They are caught in Satan’s skandelon because they were enticed by carnal desire and took it hook, line, and sinker.
They need a Savior to release them from their bondage. We need a Savior to release us every time we are tempted to grab onto an offense.
Thankfully, we have such a Savior. Repent. Receive forgiveness, and go on to forgive as you have been forgiven.
In fact, if you are a believer, forgiveness is the virtue God calls you in these situations.
Have you allowed yourself to live in offendedness?
How long have you been carrying a grudge?
What personal sin have you justified in your offended state? Who have you sinned against? (They have the right to be offended by you and your sin, but whether they are or not is a reflection of them.)
If you are a believer, we should be hard to offend, apt to give the benefit of the doubt (when there is doubt), and quick to forgive.
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble (or be offended); for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.“ 2 Peter 1:10-11
“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Ps. 119:165