“It is impossible that no offences should come…”NKJV. Those were the words of Jesus to His disciples (Christians). Offence will surely come whether we expect it or not, whether we are prepared for it or not! Our attitude towards offence determines the effect it will have on us.
People offend God, fellowmen at one time or another. Some offend intentionally, while some unintentionally. Interestingly, whether you do what is right or wrong, somebody will be offended. The question is “what should be the Christian attitude towards being offended?” To a great extent we can not stop the offences that come our way, but we can control our attitude or response to them. A decision to work towards not being offended is a right step to take if anyone will have a Christian attitude towards offences.
Sometimes, what offends one will not offend another. This shows that we have the capacity to have the right attitude towards offences. Identifying some of the things that cause people to be offended will help one to know how to develop right attitude towards offences. One such cause is that people get offended when their expectation of somebody or something is not realised. Christians are to put their trust in God not in man or things. Trusting in God enables one not to be offended knowing that man is limited but God can still perfect the situation.
Assumption is another thing that causes offence. Dr David Oyedepo of Living Faith Church Worldwide says that assumption is the mother of frustration. There is need to have adequate and relevant information or facts about somebody, thing or situation before making finally decisions on them, to avoid unpleasant occurrences or surprises.
Pride also causes one to be offended even by trivial matters. Pride has root in self and the scriptures command Christians to die to self. A dead man can never be offended. Our perception of people and matters determines whether we will be offended or not. A Christian’s perception should be based on the words of God. John 16:1 says, “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.”KJV Having the words of God in us will enable us to think, feel and act as a Christian should think, feel and act.
There are examples in the scriptures of people who had opportunities to be offended but chose not to be offended. Joseph (Jacob’s son) had opportunity to be offended in his brothers but he chose not to be offended. He saw their actions against him as what God allowed in other to save their family from the imminent famine. Also Jesus was not offended by the actions of those who crucified Him but saw it as what must be done for mankind to be saved. Instead in Luke 23:34, he asked God to forgive them, that they knew not what they were doing.
Christians are to be like Christ in all things including towards offences. No matter how you try to avoid offences, they will come. Following the above attitude will always help you to overcome. Is there anything that can stop you from having this attitude towards being offended?
Hey there, how do you avoid being offended? Please share.
Image @Dreamstime by Dmccale