Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.




Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Removing the Wall of Offense


Busting through the front door with his authoritarian, eight-year-old voice announcing to all within hearing distance, "We can't play at my house, my Mom needs quiet!"

I was within hearing distance and assumed this message was for me as much as my son.  This young man had been invited to our house to play, but somehow on his way to our home, he was sent with instructions.  I responded, "well, you were invited here and we will let your mother have quiet."

As I continued my house cleaning, the boys began to play and chatter.  In minutes, I stood at the threshold of making a mental choice.  Was the comment from my newly-found neighbor and friend going to offend me or not?
I could hear past exhortations, "If you CAN be offended, you WILL be offended."  I will not totally uncover myself with the immediate choice, but instead share the lesson God delivered.

I sent a light-hearted text to his mom and encouraged her to enjoy her quiet.  She texted back, "Oh, MY GOODNESS, I was afraid he would say that!"  She went on to explain her intent, which agreed with all that I had seen in her character.  We both laughed at the interpretations of her instructions by her eight-year-old son.  She did say she was NOT having NERF WARS in her house that day.

As I giggled through the text, I was so glad I had not allowed a wall to come between us.  My choice to not be Offended allowed our friendship to move forward without walls.

We each have a choice.  How many times is something said or done that  we are offended by and the "offender" never meant to offend?  If we know their character and their hearts, then why would we automatically assume they meant us harm?

What if we choose to NOT be offended...even if it was intended? Wouldn't that release us from harm?  Scripture talks about offenses coming in His name's sake...but is that usually the case?  It surely wasn't the case in this event....or in most cases where I see someone swell up like a stuffed toad.  You know it!  You have seen it! There you stand thinking, Oh my! did you just come for a fight? Then there are times that you try to dust off and just can't because you took the offense...intended or not.

I am praying that I will learn to extend more grace and refuse offense. I believe taking in an offense shortens life because you stop enjoying life.  I am also praying that others will trust what they know in me first and refuse to take offense, which would never be my heart's intent.  Like the old Coke commercial "What the World Needs Now".........let's say it this way, "Is Less Offended People,"  then maybe, just maybe we could show the Love of Christ to the World!


23 Joining in with more words:

Vee said...

True words...wise words. Glad that you and your friend worked through it and had a good laugh.

Pom Pom said...

You have a kind heart, Janette. Nerf wars. That's funny!

Debbie said...

I am finding REAL wisdom in your words here....I am glad for you too that you CHOSE how to respond to this. I have just been KNEE DEEP in these kind of circumstances...KNEW deep. But it is hard when they are INTENDED jabs and slights. But your soo right...doesn't matter. We still have choices to make. Thanks for the reminder of this.

Mom is in the hospital. She fell at my sisters while having a seizure and hurt her ankle. Not broken, thank God. But of course this presents even more challenges. I am "chosing" to focus on the good here. It could have been soo much worse, and now they are going to play around some with the meds for this. (seizures)

Have a wonderful day my friend!

Theresa said...

So true. One of my pastor's sayings is "as Christians we need to have thick skins", meaning don't be so easily offended.

NanaNor's said...

Wonderful post Janette! Love seeing how life gives us spiritual lessons. Thank you for reminding us of this truth today. I also purposely try to not take up an offense for someone else-as gals I think we have that tendency too.
Have a great afternoon.
Hugs, Noreen

Debbie Petras said...

Yes, I agree. We can't take offense when we hear something, especially when we don't know the context. You were wise to text her and have a good laugh.

blessings and love,
Debbie

Sally said...

Your post brings a specific moment to mind, from 25 years ago. I was immediately offended (never sure of the intention) and it changed the relationship as quickly. Looking back, after gaining some wisdom, the offending action had substance. In my immaturity I handled it all poorly. I'd like to say, today, I would do as you did. I pray that is so.

LDH said...

Oh! my comment vanished! Well, just saying that your kind heart and slow-to-anger character went far in this situation and ended with a laugh :)

Thoughts for the day said...

What a wonderful story and you taking a risk too was great. good job.

Farm Girl said...

Good post, timely as well. I have a situation right now and because I have just read this I will let it pass. I am so glad you wrote this today.
I guess sometimes when my kids are involved, I am a lot more easily offended. :)
Great post thank you.

Carol said...

Janette,
You are a wise, wise, and gracious woman of God!

Debbie said...

Excellent! I couldn't agree more. I won't say that I haven't fallen prey to the offense monster in my time. It accomplishes nothing and just stirs up feelings best left unstirred. I have found that a direct response, usually lighthearted like yours, is just the thing for most situations.

He's still working on me. To make me what I ought to be...

Amy said...

Good thoughts.

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Great post, Janette, and one we all need to take to heart. We do have choices, and choosing to be hurt and allow those feelings to interfere with a relationship is the wrong choice.

Christine said...

Wow... I'm pleased that you shared this with us. Another look at your heart, mind and soul.
I am so glad I found your blog!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Excellent. Excellent. Excellent, Janette!! You are such a wise woman... I am delight to find inspiration and challenge here in your words... from your heart. Thank you, dear one. blessings ~ tanna

Marla and Steve said...

You must have written this post just for me!

Since now I obviously have cancer, I have so many people make insensitive comments. For people that are very, very casual acquaintances or strangers, I wonder how they think it's polite to tell me the cancer story about their friend/sister/mother yada yada. Especially the tough to hear stories that end in death. I take so much offense in what I hear and the words stay with me all day. Steve says he's going to get me a T-shirt that says "Do Not Tell Me Your Cancer Story"

You're the best and this morning, as I head to chemo, your words are exactly what I needed to hear. I will try my best to have grace and refuse offense.

Love, Marla

Sarah (Nikki) said...

Boy...this feels like it was written for me. My sister and I just talked about that...when we're tired or needing to be alone we can blurt things out not in the nicest way but how imp. it is not to be offended when someone does that. It's just their being human.

travelintoadventure@gmail.com said...

oh - goodness this is a good reminder - our family is going through a lot as our father has cancer and we all (us kids) are trying to do our part to help out and it's diffcult to have no one get affended.. I've been getting look down on in more was then one and I am getting worn-out by it all and I am not going to take the easy way out and be affended .. but it's hard to be still and look forward with cheerfulness..but I do know this too will pass..so I am hanging on with gratefulness that I have not walked out or yelled out -- keeping it calm and real - thanks for the lift-up and the so kind reminder and funny moment.. "Life is good and we are blessed" hugs..

Brenda Lazzaro Yoder, said...

I just listened to a blogpost by Chuck Swindoll about offenses, and he reiterated what I have found to be the best practice - bless the person. Thanks for this honest post!

Maryann said...

To "choose" not to be offended, I think that is the key part to remember, we do have a choice. (FYI, I don't always make the right choice)I love how you handled this situation with humor, love when you share your heart

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

What a great entry Jeanette! You nailed it when you said, "we have a choice." We need to all remember that and make the right choice as you did. Thanks for the inspiration!

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Returning home tonight and catching up on a little visiting...

This is a great post -- and always timely! Life's just too short to waste time CHOOSING to be offended. I'm glad you didn't go there!

(I am, however, glad you went to stomp grapes!)

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