Is Being Offended A Choice?

Posted in Attitude, Choice, Forgiveness, Offense by PCraig on June 29, 2017

Are you a person who gets easily offended? You probably wouldn’t want to admit it if you are, so here’s a test to see:

  • Is there someone you having a hard time with right now?
  • Did someone say something to you that you didn’t like even though it was true?
  • Do you feel justified in taking offense?

There are two kinds of offended people:

  1. Those who have truly been treated unjustly or with cruelty.
  2. Those who believe they have been treated unjustly or with cruelty.

The second group have convinced themselves that they are justified in feeling like they do, even if the conclusion was drawn from inaccurate information. Some get offended because of gossip, “Well, I heard that…”, while others make assumptions, “I imagine they intended to do…”

How many of us have ever had a conversation with someone, and what you heard them say and what they really said was two different things? Often offenses, if allowed to stay in your heart will produce more sin. God is so faithful; He has the Holy Spirit within us to reveal to us our sin.

We can spend our whole life blaming others and being bitter or we can choose to trust God to work in and through us to bring about His plan and purpose. If you choose to stay offended, you will wander in the wilderness until you repent, forgive and let God put you back on path again.

Prison left Joseph with an opportunity to get bitter or better. He chose to get better and even used his prison experience as an opportunity. God is all knowing, He knew what Joseph’s brothers would do with him before they did it. When he had the opportunity to pay back, instead he chose to not take offense and offered forgiveness. (Read Genesis 45) I love Joseph’s story and attitude!

If you are offended and don’t take care of it, it will follow you and come up again and again. Many people float from church to church because their roots don’t go deep, leaving them so weak that they find themselves unable to endure any hardship or persecution.

God calls us to live in family, in unity, and to learn to work through our problems with each other, dealing not only with their flaws but our own. Part of being in a church family has greater expectations of spiritual growth than our earthly families require. Unfortunately, spiritual growth is not a matter of time or more learning, it comes through obedience.

It is usually not the big things that shake us but the little things. The enemy tries to pervert our attitude about the real issue to deceive us. The real issue is not “have you BEEN offended?”   The real issue is, “did you choose to TAKE offense?” No one has the power to MAKE you offended. The ONLY way you can be offended is to TAKE offense.

Would you want God to forgive you in the same way you have forgiven others? According to the Scriptures, this is exactly how we will be forgiven. Our debt of sin was overwhelming, but God gave us salvation as a free gift. Many people cannot receive healing, comfort or deliverance all because they would not release others and forgive them.

Make no mistake: God is a just Judge and He will see to it that justice is done. God avenges us, it is unrighteousness for us as believers to seek to avenge ourselves. When we try to correct wrong done to us we become the judge, trying to take God’s place. Jesus likened the condition of our heart to soil. The ground can only produce what is planted. If unforgiveness, offense, and anger are planted, then instead of God’s love, another root comes up, the root of bitterness.

Some steps to healing and freedom from an offended spirit:

1) Admit you are offended and hurt.

2) Open your heart to the Lord’s correction or discipline for you.

3) Forgive and release the person from everything they have done.

4) Stay open and tender to the Holy Spirit’s voice and obedient to His Word.

5) Choose to not let negative thoughts reign in your spirit. Just like you can CHOOSE offense, you can choose to not be bound by it

Life’s too short to spend it all knotted up in a ball of offense. Get free today! Your wife wants you to, your husband, your friends and everyone around you. Let go of offense and let God be God!

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Sticks And Stones

Posted in Mind, Offense, Relationships, Words by PCraig on February 23, 2017

Like many of you, I grew up on the school playground saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Most of us learned really quickly in life, however, that it was a lie. As a matter of fact, some of us have gotten over broken legs, arms and ankles way faster than words spoken over us.

If that’s the case, then how careful should we be about what we say over another person, such as our spouses, children, family members, friends and colleagues? In today’s reading of the One Year Bible from Proverbs 10:11 it says, “The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain.”

I wonder, does that describe you? Do people think of you as a wellspring of refreshing words that bring them life?

Take some time today to evaluate what is coming out of your mouth. Even better, consider it before it comes out of your mouth. Because once it hits the airwaves, there’s no taking it back. And the damage it can bring to your relationships is far worse than any stick or stone could cause.

(Pray Psalm 19:14)

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Betrayed By Those Nearby

Posted in Choice, Forgiveness, Love, Offense, Pursuing Jesus by PCraig on February 9, 2017

We will soon be coming into the season of Lent on the church calendar. It begins on March 1, 2017 and celebrates the 40 days leading up to Easter, often with prayer and fasting.

As I was reading today’s daily portion of the One Year Bible, one portion was on the last supper, Jesus praying in the garden, betrayal and arrest. No matter who you are, each of us will be let down by those around us. Even one of Jesus’ closest companions betrayed Him for just 30 pieces of silver.

When we are betrayed by those closest to us, we have a choice to make. We can either get bitter or we can get better. We can get over it, or let it get all over us. The choice is up to us. Too often, we use other’s shortcomings and failures to be our excuse for bitterness, resentment and revenge.

Jesus shows us a more excellent way. Rather than allowing ourselves to be reactionary in our response toward how we have been treated, we can respond with forgiveness, kindness and love. I know you may say, “But, you don’t know how many times they’ve let me down!” That may be true, but Jesus was betrayed in as hurtful of a way as anyone before or since. But, He chose to forgive and set the example for us.

Too often we fail to see that the person being hurt most by our unforgiving heart is us. So, if there’s someone you need to forgive, let go of and quit harboring resentment toward – today would be a great day to do it. No better way to get ready for Lent season, than following Jesus’ example of forgiving those nearby.

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Let It Go Today

Posted in Choice, Happiness, Offense, Relationships by PCraig on August 25, 2016

If we all got what we deserved, we would all be in trouble. Am I right? Surely you don’t think you’ve lived such perfect life that even God is impressed with you – really? I don’t think so. The Bible says that we’ve all missed the mark and come up short in breaking promises to ourselves, God and others.

The most miserable people you know are resentful. They refuse to give up a grudge, let go of a hurt, and withhold forgiveness as though it were a prize. What these poor folks aren’t fully realizing is that they are hurting themselves. Un-mercifulness makes you miserable.

Proverbs 11:17 (NLT) Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.

We think it will destroy them, but often they are going on their merry way while we suffer for it. Holding a grudge is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

When I realize how much I’ve been forgiven, washed and cleansed of my past, then it makes it easier to forgive others. Maybe you don’t feel forgiven? Perhaps it’s your lack of being forgiven that is holding you back from issuing forgiveness?

Whether it’s your spouse, your neighbor, friend, boss, co-investor, parent or whomever, here’s what I know, it’s time to let it go. To let them go. And, I’ll even tell you when to do it – now! It’s already late as far as I’m concerned. But, the best time is to do it today. So, I don’t know what that means for you, what phone call or appointment you need to make (if you can), letter or email you need to write. I just know, after it’s released and you finally let go, you’ll be happier and glad you did. (Jesus said so, Matthew 5:7)

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I Take Offense At That

Posted in Attitude, Choice, Offense, Personal Growth, Relationships by PCraig on May 6, 2015

Have you ever heard someone say, “Well, I take offense to that!”?  Do they even realize what they are saying?  Most people who say it are thinking that they are the victim of someone else’s rude, insensitive or insulting remark.  However, what they are really saying is that you have power over me by how I took something you said.  Here’s why: I have options when someone makes a comment I don’t like.  One is to take offense.  But to do so, I have to “take” it as an option.  Two, I can choose to not take offense and instead overlook it, make an excuse for it or consider the source.

Too many would rather play the victim and blame the other person, but to do so is to give them power over you and dump trash on your own soul.  A better choice is to reject the offense, walk in love and shake the dust off your feet if need be.  Now that you know you have a choice, I pray you choose wisely.

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Are You A Person Who Gets Easily Offended? (Archive)

Posted in Attitude, Offense by PCraig on June 25, 2014

Are you a person who gets easily offended?  You probably wouldn’t want to admit it if you are, so here’s a test to see:

  • Is there someone you having a hard time with right now?
  • Did someone say something to you that you didn’t like even though it was true?
  • Do you feel justified in taking offense?

There are two kinds of offended people:

  1. Those who have truly been treated unjustly or with cruelty.
  2. Those who believe they have been treated unjustly or with cruelty.

The second group have convinced themselves that they are justified in feeling like they do, even if the conclusion was drawn from inaccurate information.  Some get offended because of gossip, “Well, I heard that…”, while others make assumptions, “I imagine they intended to do that…”

How many of us have ever had a conversation with someone, and what you heard them say and what they really said was two different things?  Often offenses, if allowed to stay in your heart will produce more sin.  God is so faithful; He has the Holy Spirit within us to reveal to us our sin.

We can spend our whole life blaming others and being bitter or we can choose to trust God to work in and through us to bring about His plan and purpose.  If you choose to stay offended, you will wander in the wilderness until you repent, forgive and let God put you back on path again.

Prison left Joseph with an opportunity to get bitter or better. He chose to get better and even used his prison experience as an opportunity. God is all knowing, He knew what Joseph’s brothers would do with him before they did it.  When he had the opportunity to pay back, instead he chose to not take offense and offered forgiveness. (Read Genesis 45)  I love Joseph’s story and attitude!

If you are offended and don’t take care of it, it will follow you and come up again and again. Many people float from church to church because their roots don’t go deep, leaving them so weak that they find themselves unable to endure any hardship or persecution.

God calls us to live in family, in unity, and to learn to work through our problems with each other, dealing not only with their flaws but our own.  Part of being in a church family has greater expectations of spiritual growth than our earthly families require.  Unfortunately, spiritual growth is not a matter of time or more learning, it comes through obedience.

It is usually not the big things that shake us but the little things. The enemy tries to pervert our attitude about the real issue to deceive us.  The real issue is not “have you BEEN offended?”    The real issue is, “did you choose to TAKE offense?”  No one has the power to MAKE you offended.  The ONLY way you can be offended is to TAKE offense.

Would you want God to forgive you in the same way you have forgiven others? According to the Scriptures, this is exactly how we will be forgiven. Our debt of sin was overwhelming, but God gave us salvation as a free gift.  Many people cannot receive healing, comfort or deliverance all because they would not release others and forgive them.

Make no mistake:  God is a just Judge and He will see to it that justice is done. God avenges us, it is unrighteousness for us as believers to seek to avenge ourselves. When we try to correct wrong done to us we become the judge, trying to take God’s place. Jesus likened the condition of our heart to soil. The ground can only produce what is planted. If unforgiveness, offense, and anger are planted, then instead of God’s love, another root comes up, the root of bitterness.

Some steps to healing and freedom from an offended spirit:

1) Admit you are offended and hurt.

2) Open your heart to the Lord’s correction or discipline for you.

3) Forgive and release the person from everything they have done.

4) Stay open and tender to the Holy Spirit’s voice and obedient to His Word.

5) Choose to not let negative thoughts reign in your spirit.  Just like you can CHOOSE offense, you can choose to not be bound by it

Life’s too short to spend it all knotted up in a ball of offense.  Get free today!  Your wife wants you to, your husband, your friends and everyone around you.  Let go and let God be God!

(First Published 9/8/11)

 

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Reinforcements

Posted in Offense by PCraig on December 21, 2011

One of the most important roles that a parent can play in the life of a child is reinforcement.  Children do not learn things the first time around – unfortunately.  So, a parent has to be ready to reinforce the things that are important time and time again, believing that this will be the time it takes hold.

I know this doesn’t sound fun, can be draining and even seem futile at times, but kids need reinforcement of the things that are important.  You may have told them that brushing their teeth is important, but they may not think it’s that valuable and is stealing some of their playtime.  So, a good parent reinforces why it’s necessary to take good care of your teeth by saying, “You’ll thank me one day for helping you with this when you don’t have to be in pain one day.”

Parents work hard, have so many irons in the fire and obligations and it can seem overwhelming to have to remind your children of good behavior, but keep your eye on the long run.  It may be taxing to have to continually say the same or similar things over and over again, but many of us learn by repetition.  So, suck it up parents and stop whining at your kids and instead step it up and reinforce values.  It may take a lot longer than you think for them to catch on, but when they do, you’ll be glad you stuck with it.

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You Offended Me!

Posted in Attitude, Character, Offense, Victorious Living by PCraig on September 8, 2011

Are you a person who gets easily offended?  You probably wouldn’t want to admit it if you are, so here’s a test to see:

  • Is there someone you having a hard time with right now?
  • Did someone say something to you that you didn’t like even though it was true?
  • Do you feel justified in taking offense?

There are two kinds of offended people:

  1. Those who have truly been treated unjustly or with cruelty.
  2. Those who believe they have been treated unjustly or with cruelty.

The second group have convinced themselves that they are justified in feeling like they do, even if the conclusion was drawn from inaccurate information.  Some get offended because of gossip, “Well, I heard that…”, while others make assumptions, “I imagine they intended to do that…”

How many of us have ever had a conversation with someone, and what you heard them say and what they really said was two different things? Often offenses, if allowed to stay in your heart will produce more sin.  God is so faithful; He has the Holy Spirit within us to reveal to us our sin.

We can spend our whole life blaming others and being bitter or we can choose to trust God to work in and through us to bring about His plan and purpose.  If you choose to stay offended, you will wander in the wilderness until you repent, forgive and let God put you back on path again.

Prison left Joseph with an opportunity to get bitter or better. He chose to get better and even used his prison experience as an opportunity. God is all knowing, He knew what Joseph’s brothers would do with him before they did it.  When he had the opportunity to pay back, instead he chose to not take offense and offered forgiveness. (Read Genesis 45)  I love Joseph’s story and attitude!

If you are offended and don’t take care of it, it will follow you and come up again and again. Many people float from church to church because their roots don’t go deep, leaving them so weak that they find themselves unable to endure any hardship or persecution.

God calls us to live in family, in unity, and to learn to work through our problems with each other, dealing not only with their flaws but our own.  Part of being in a church family has greater expectations of spiritual growth than our earthly families require.  Unfortunately, spiritual growth is not a matter of time or more learning, it comes through obedience.

It is usually not the big things that shake us but the little things. The enemy tries to pervert our attitude about the real issue to deceive us.  The real issue is not “have you BEEN offended?”    The real issue is, “did you choose to TAKE offense?”  No one has the power to MAKE you offended.  The ONLY way you can be offended is to TAKE offense.

Would you want God to forgive you in the same way you have forgiven others? According to the Scriptures, this is exactly how we will be forgiven. Our debt of sin was overwhelming, but God gave us salvation as a free gift. Many people cannot receive healing, comfort or deliverance all because they would not release others and forgive them.

Make no mistake:  God is a just Judge and He will see to it that justice is done. God avenges us, it is unrighteousness for us as believers to seek to avenge ourselves. When we try to correct wrong done to us we become the judge, trying to take God’s place. Jesus likened the condition of our heart to soil. The ground can only produce what is planted. If unforgiveness, offense, and anger are planted, then instead of God’s love, another root comes up, the root of bitterness.

Some steps to healing and freedom from an offended spirit:

1) Admit you are offended and hurt.

2) Open your heart to the Lord’s correction or discipline for you.

3) Forgive and release the person from everything they have done.

4) Stay open and tender to the Holy Spirit’s voice and obedient to His Word.

5) Choose to not let negative thoughts reign in your spirit.  Just like you can CHOOSE offense, you can choose to not be bound by it

Life’s too short to spend it all knotted up in a ball of offense.  Get free today!  Your wife wants you to, your husband, your friends and everyone around you.  Let go and let God be God!

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Show Some Love

Posted in Attitude, Fruit of the Spirit, Love, Offense by PCraig on December 2, 2010

Because I had so much positive feedback about last night’s teaching on the Fruit of the Spirit at 1st Wednesday, I thought I would touch on it today.  One reason is that we need to be reminded of truths over and over again.  Another reason is a lot of you weren’t able to be there and didn’t hear it the first time.

In reference to living in love, the first fruit named in Galatians 5:22, we should seek to do two things.  First, we should do all we can to avoid being offensive to others.  What does that look like?  It means holding your tongue instead of lashing back at others.  You refuse to start sentences aimed at your spouse that begin with the words, “You always…”  Really, you are just trying to emulate Jesus’ behavior around those who hurt him and were so unlike him. 

Second, to walk in love, you must avoid being offended.  Most don’t think of this, but you really can’t BE offended by someone.  No one has the power to change your mood and make you get offended.  You have to TAKE offense.  That’s right, you make a conscious choice and decision to take the words or actions of someone else and be offended by them.  How do you know if you are mature in Christ?  You no longer get easily offended by others. 

So, are you a person who gets offended easily?  How can you begin to grow up and mature so you are no longer controlled by others?  Do you speak quickly and think slowly, and as a result cause offense?  Try thinking faster and speaking slower and see if your relationships start improving and lasting longer.  Bottom line is to stop making excuses and start making commitments.  Show some love to someone who doesn’t deserve it this week! 

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