sarahcali

Unoffendable | January 22, 2011

Two thoughts on the title.

1) I tricked you.  You probably thought I was going to alliterate all the titles with “s”.  HaHA!

2) Spell check is telling me that Unoffendable is not a real word.

Some good news this week, of course.  We have a monthly dinner for outreach leaders.  This week was a small gathering of maybe 15 people, but three people got healed while we were there.  One guy had messed up his wrist that day while cutting down a tree.  It was swollen.  Then the swelling and pain left after we prayed.  Another lady had thrown out her back and was in bed.  After a few prayers she was dancing.  One young chap had a tooth ache.  God showed up and he ate dinner without any pain. Yay! We weren’t even trying.  It was a casual dinner.  “And these signs will accompany those who believe…” [Mark 16].

God has been teaching me some tough things lately.  First the stubborn thing, now this unoffendable one.

Un-offendable:  someone who is not easily offended

People have told me that I don’t take offense easily (or I don’t hold a grudge or I’m quick to forgive.  You get the picture).  I had quite the revelatory moment recently where I was in a situation, took offense at something, and then Holy Spirit made very obvious the consequences that would happen if I were to stay in that mindset.

It was dumb, really.  There was a bit of miscommunication, a few crossed wires, and some mixed signals on top of that.  The situation left me frustrated and confused by a particular individual. I was in my room fuming a bit afterwards.  I had promised to do something for them and, in my frustration, decided to back down on my word. That was me throwing in the towel on this new relationship.  Then I heard a little whisper, “How can you judge a situation when you don’t even have the whole picture?”  Pause.  Huh.  “Good question, Holy Spirit.”  I quickly realized several things.  I hadn’t even considered the other person’s side, that there could have been perfectly reasonable explanations for what happened.  But what really shocked me was that I had sided with offense.  It wasn’t even unforgiveness, because the other person didn’t sin against me.  But I was offended due to my perception of the situation and assumptions about the other person.  And I saw the chain reaction of that stance:  I was ready to dishonor my promise and cut off a relationship.  Ouch.

In simple terms, my offense turned off my love towards that person.  I vividly saw the evil course offense takes.  Somehow we think we have a right to be offended. “Well, they did this and I…” It is all too easy to become offended, but offense is a deathtrap for relationship and love.  And those are exactly the things we are called to in the Kingdom.   As a follower of Jesus, my call is to love God and love people.  If I am holding on to offense, my hands are too full to hold someone else’s hand or pray for them.  It frightens me to think of how many relationships have been damaged or ended because of a small offense that grew into big ol’ grudge and then into a seemingly irreversible rift.  I want to be aware of how my relationships are doing.  I want to be aware of moments when a thought pops in my head that if I choose to agree with it, could stop my love towards that person. Jesus could have been the most offended person ever, but he loved everyone.  Love has to be more important than our “right” to be offended.

I am so glad I heard Holy Spirit when He spoke to me that night.  I changed my attitude right away and asked for forgiveness for judging the other person and for withholding my love from them.  I realized that I can’t afford to have offense in my life.  It is entirely too costly.

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4 Comments »

  1. Sarah, this is SO good! As I read I was reminded of how Jesus loved Judas and even shared dinner w/ him, knowing he was going to betray him. What a prime example of being unoffendable!

    Comment by Sarah Mercer — January 22, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  2. Mengo, thanks for the reminder. I think it’s the easiest to get offended in our most intimate relationships, the people who are “supposed” to know how to love us and meet our needs but aren’t doing it for some reason. That’s when we need to be unoffendable the most. I have to practice this in my marriage a lot, successful some of time, but when I am, it makes a world of difference.

    Comment by Sarah Siders — January 22, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

  3. my friend sarah was telling me i need to read your blog (oh, i see she commented.. THAT sarah! ha), because you and i are kind of in similar places.. as far as prophetic evangelism and having some neat “educational” encounters with the Holy Spirit and stuff like that. so yeah, glad i’m checkin out your blog.. good stuff!

    Comment by tiffany — January 23, 2011 @ 6:42 am


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