How to Live Unoffended

Are you offended right now? About anything? With anyone? How do we know if we’re offended? Well, like a lot of things, living offended produces offensive fruit: bitterness, resentment, mean-spiritedness, anger, insecurity, retaliation, coldness, a critical spirit, an inner seething that starts to percolate at the mention of a person or event. Some of us have lived offended for so long that we don’t even realize that we’ve been carrying around the offense like it’s a pet rattle snake…even causing others to stumble by getting them to join in the offense nurturing with us.

So, what do we do if we’re offended, and how do we go forward living unoffended?

Here’s what has worked (and is presently working) for me:

  1. PRAY. Talk to God about everything all the time (Philippians 4:6) –tell Him the whole mess. Recognize the trap you’re in. Ask Him to take a good look at your heart and show you what’s there. And own it.
  2. FORGIVE: Be a quick forgiver. Most offenses happen with people we’re close to… our sisters and brothers in Christ. It’s critical to keep short accounts and deal with the matter immediately. You can choose not to and walk away in coldness, distancing yourself from the offender. But that will not set you free from the trap. And trust me, you want to be free of the trap. So, be brave and forgive, and let go of the offense.
  3. REFUSE to take the bait: Deny yourself—the right to take up the offense— and take up your cross and follow Jesus instead (Matthew 16:24). This can be hard to do when we’re hurting from the offense. So, only after you’ve talked it over with the Lord, share the situation with a trusted, godly, praying friend who has your back and your blind side— one who won’t nurture the offense, but will strengthen you in the Truth of Scripture. I’m so grateful to my close posse who keep me focused on Truth I need to hear.
  4. REJECT the fruit of hurt and anger: Declare God’s truth over your life and your circumstances. Philippians 4:13 is TRUTH we need to use: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” That’s not just a cute Bible verse to sign off on your emails with. It’s a SWORD…a weapon of defense reminding you that through Christ and his Spirit living and active in you, you can do the things you don’t want to do and cannot do in your own strength. The Holy Spirit will strengthen your faith and help you step out of the trap and walk by faith.
  5. PRAY BLESSING for the those who’ve offended you: And I mean pray for them and over them…the way you’d pray for yourself or your family. 1 Peter 3:9 holds a beautiful promise for us who chose to be brave and bless, letting go of the offense and forgiving the offender: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” Sister, Girlfriend, Brother… you’re called to be a blesser! Quit flushing your blessings down the toilet and start praying for those who’ve insulted, hurt, or offended you!

Life’s too short, y’all. Let’s start practicing living unoffended. Remember who the real enemy is and don’t let Satan trap you into taking offense. Shake it off, step out of the trap, forgive, and walk free. You can do it. For further reading on this subject, I highly recommend John Bevere’s wonderful book, The Bait of Satan.

“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV)

I love y’all!