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!
Posted by Janettessage.blogspot.com at 5:10 AM