Dealing with Offense and Offended People
Ourselves. I have had numerous occasions to become hurt upset offended and so forth… yet I would imagine the person I aspire to be or hope that I am… to not be the type of person that has hate and anger towards others. I mean who in their christian walk does want that sort of thing to hang on to them?
The bible teaches us to use Jesus for our template on our character – our behavior – and our actions… no I will not quote the standard WWJD at you… oops I think I just did.
Sorry – Anyway with that in mind – let us examine ourselves and think of anyone and everyone you have ever met – heard of – dealt with over the course of your life.
Is there anyone in your minds eye you are now beating with a stick or kicking over a cliff? That my friend is the key to spotting the people that have hurt you and you have issue with still.
Joking aside… it may be a regret about how things were left between the two of you – pain and hurt in a small to great way when you think of them or even their name.
That is what your looking for. “Joe…” your saying to your computer now… “How in the world do I deal with that issue, its been years… or I just cant face that person.”
The first part is easy, it sounds like a Jedi Mind trick but its more simply called Faith and Forgiveness.
As a christian you have a thing called faith… its a muscle some people seldom use. Well this issue amongst all others will get more workouts dealing with this sort of issue that even believing for most else in your life.
You need to take your faith… and believe by faith that you forgive them. Go to God in your prayer time and ask for help working things out in your heart over the hurt and pain and say “By Faith – I forgive XYZ and the hurt that was caused Right or Wrong. I want to forgive them” If you deal with that every single time you go to God in prayer until you really find that you can forgive them and leave the issue in your mind and have peace about it… then you can truly forgive them and move on.
Forgiveness is not just words.
In my wife’s family they have a tradition on dealing with forgiveness, say your sorry even when your not until you mean it… and even if you don’t forgive someone right away tell them you forgive them.
I wont lie to you – even in simple cases of something small its difficult to do. Your hurt wants to cling on… My wife has nearly got me trained now… to accept her apology even if I don’t want to at that moment and vice-versa of course.
So it may take time and a lot of faith and effort on your part but if you can start working on it… its like the Sycamine tree and its roots – you may have to dig down to sort them out and even turn over that soil a few times to make sure you got it all out… but if you can work on it you will find that it heals… something wonderful grows in its place.
The Un-offendable man…Its possible – just possible that you will learn to deal with these sort of issues early in life so that you end up becoming some sort of abnormal person that goes through life without getting hurt or upset by anyone. Yet it is very unlikely that even if that is your intention that you would succeed for long. People have a knack to rub anyone the wrong way given enough time. But in reflex if you train yourself you will be able to forgive people and move on…
The Pompous man… You have been probably imagining this person in your head the whole time… going around to every person that has ever even looked at him the wrong way and walking up to them – getting right in their face and saying “I forgive you for hurting me and being offensive” walking away while the other person is confused and a little angry. The act of forgiveness is not a blanket license to become Mr. Super Christian in everyones face and going over and telling people that so and so hurt you but you forgive them… then going to the next person and telling them the same thing… So and So hurt me but I forgive them.
That is not forgiveness that is spreading hurt and offense under the guise of forgiveness. IF YOU ARE A TRUE CHRISTIAN YOU WOULD NEVER EVEN MENTION TO ANOTHER ABOUT THE HURT AND OFFENSE SOMEONE CAUSED YOU IF YOU TRULY FORGIVE THEM. Sorry for shouting but seriously. Stop the pious Christian act and using forgiveness as a cover story for running around to everyone and vomiting on them your bile.
Proverbs 17:9 (King James Version)
9He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
Proverbs 17:9 (Amplified Bible)
9He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.
This is YOUR subject covered here… this is your example and help if you just pay attention.
To COVER a transgression is a Godly trait. to COVER IT…. COVER. It means to hide it – not to tell anyone else – work on it forgive it and forget it. COVER IT.
An offense or hurt right or wrong is a matter FIRST between you and God. You have to deal with it to even keep your relationship with God right. Secondly between you and the person that hurt you right or wrong. Go to them and talk to them if you so desire and need to (IF YOU DON’T NEED TO GO TO THEM EVEN BETTER) forgiveness can be done long distances and great gaps of time apart from the issues and people involved… if its real forgiveness.
Thirdly between you and your heart… forgive this person deep down so much that the next time you see them your more likely to bless them with a gift – a car – money – because you love them in your heart so much that you even want to show your outward man that you truly forgave them.
Lastly – in your mind forgive them. Do your best to forget even what was the cause or slight that made the offense happen in the first place. Cast Your Cares Upon the Lord. Cast away your thoughts of the hurt and offense and bitterness and think on good things about the person – think on ways you can move passed everything. Then and only then can you move on with your relationship with God and others.
“Some things are unforgivable.” Really?!? Seriously?!!?
Jesus bore every sickness and sin on His body for your sake and you can’t forgive someone for forgetting to say hello to you? Or forgetting to give you a card? You honestly can’t get passed something someone said to you in love that you took for judgment against you?
If God who forgave the ultimate amount of offenses and transgressions against anyone EVER… can forgive us of our sins how much more so should we forgive others that hurt us… AND MEAN IT!!!
You baby. You infant. You simple minded fool. How arrogant are you to not be able to forgive any transgression against you by anyone else ever??
There are people in modern day ministry that were raped, molested, sold into prostitution, sold into slavery, and worse… that forgave people that hurt them and have the testimony of a fruitful life of serving God to back it up. They may share briefly where they came from but they use that to help others and bring them to the saving knowledge of God and His forgiveness. They do not go around repeatedly rehashing the crime or offense against them and their life like a broken record even in the guise of forgiving the people involved.
Worse yet – there are people that are so called christians that did these sort of things while wearing the name of a religion while they did unspeakable things to others. Do not hear me the wrong way. I wish that those sort of people were rounded up and burned alive on public display. Yet for you and your own growth and to get passed the injury you have to forgive them.
You did hear about the tribe of cannibals that ATE the christian missionary – then generations later they contacted the family of the missionary and asked for forgiveness from them because they wanted to move forward passed the major hurt they caused them.
If you forgive someone that hurt you – and they may have even hurt you on purpose. It gives you the grace to move on and not look back while they remain bitter and spiteful.
Now. I am talking to you now. You there reading this page by accident but curiosity took over and you can even feel the offense and hurt justified or not that someone else caused you. You do not own that hurt. Its not yours. It belongs to Jesus. You have to let it go and let God start dealing with you on how to move passed it.
Jesus bore our sickness and disease and was bruised for our transgressions… and by His stripes we are healed. That price was paid not only for our price we owed God – but one another. We were already sinners, what is a transgression? A hurt or offense caused by someone you trust. They transgressed passed a line. They crossed a boundary.
A sinner is on the unforgivable side already – yet God forgave them. The transgressions are for the things we do even after getting salvation. Offenses towards God and each other.
Isaiah 53:1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Let it go. Correct your behavior in the eyes and sight of others if you have used forgiveness as a blanket excuse to slander or spread hurt and offense in the ears of others. Then tell yourself that you want to by faith forgive the hurt done to you and grow up… move on. Get on with the things you have to do in life.
Then and only then will you be able to fulfill all that is in your lifetime to achieve.
The test may come suddenly one day when you run into that person. Or someone mentions that name or even the event. And if you can look them in the eye and say ” I handled that situation all wrong. What happened hurt me because I took it the wrong way and I abused that hurt and spread it to others. Forgive me for what I did.” Or better yet. If you can face them and smile with a genuine smile and shake their hand and not for a second remember even what it was that you were ever upset about because you dealt with it years ago then you can see now that you did forgive them honestly and truly.
Some young eager christian moving to a new country to do mission work will meet you on the train, chat and share about the amazing things God is doing in the world… and if they mention the place of hurt and bitterness in innocence to you… and you vomit and spew offense and anger all over him about it… its a good sign that you did not forgive. Perhaps then you need to start again with the first post.
To a point this post is not about anything specific or anyone specific. But I felt that I needed to write this out just in case someone somewhere may happen upon it and need this issue dealt with to some degree.