I have a confession to make: I am easily offended.
There, I said it. I’m not proud of this fact. I certainly don’t like sharing this detail about myself, but it’s true. How do I know? Allow me to direct you to Exhibit A.
I have had the fortune of having my blog posts submitted to ChurchLeaders.com, a site dedicated to providing relevant articles for, you guessed it, church leaders. Last week, I casually checked my posts for any comment activity that needed my response. Much to my horror, I found that one post in particular had 20 comments, almost all of which slammed me.
People called me arrogant, harsh, unkind, judgmental, and just plain old mean. I couldn’t believe it. I sat there stunned, staring at the computer screen. Then, I did what any Godly, loving , woman would do…
I shot right back.
My first few responses were tempered. I tried to be understanding and explain my case. However, as I scrolled down through the comments, one in particular shocked me. One man wrote:
“…personally – I think you are too sensitive if these phrases bother you… But if you are REALLY bother [sic] by the expressions listed in this article – it seems to me you may have a hormone problem that is making you cranky. You make [sic] need to get a physical.”
This guy straight-up accused me of having a hormone imbalance. Yes, I’m pregnant, but that is besides the point. Who did this guy think he was?
I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t pause or wait for the Spirit. I responded with something I immediately regretted:
“Wow, pulling out a hormonal reference. Why didn’t you just ask if it was ‘that time of the month?’ And in case you are wondering, no, it is not.”
My response wasn’t particularity mean or cruel, but it wasn’t delivered in love, either.
I took offense. My feathers were ruffled. I was insulted and hurt. I felt belittled and mistreated. I didn’t care in that moment if my words reflected Christ’s character. All I wanted to do was exact written revenge.
Hours later, when my husband came home from work, I relayed the story. He apologized that people had been so careless with their words. Then I told him about my own unloving response.
He just looked at me. I knew what he was thinking. He tells me often enough. I cannot continue to be so easily offended.
He reminded me that I needed to read a blog post by Michale Hyatt about not being so easily offended. I folded my arms to my chest and pouted (a perfectly mature response, don’t you think?). I finally did read the post, however, and well…it was not a happy read.
Hyatt makes 3 points:
1. “Offenses are inevitable.” Check. I seem to know this one all too well.
2. “Offenses can be good for us.” Say what? Okay, I can see the whole “what you meant for evil, God meant for good” angle, but I still don’t like it and they sure don’t feel good.
3. “Being offended is a choice.” Ooooh, I hate this one because I know it is true. My pride swells when I read this. My pride tells me that I don’t have a choice, that I must defend myself.
As Hyatt points out, however, Proverbs 19:11 also says this:
“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.”
I didn’t overlook the transgression committed against me. I did the opposite. In doing so, I quickly realized my sin and asked for forgiveness…from the Lord, not from that jerk. Jokes people, jokes…
I can’t guarantee that the next time someone hits me below the belt, I won’t hit back, but I’m hoping I won’t. I’m praying that my easily offended nature will be put to bed, so that I can begin to “overlook transgressions” and respond in love…even when someone calls me “hormonal.”
Are you ever easily offended? Why or why not? Are you good at overlooking transgressions? If yes, give me some pointers.