Offensive About Offense

“I refuse to live in offence!” We have lived out this refrain.   We have learned to live from a posture of being offensive about offence…

“I refuse to live in offense!”

We have lived out this refrain.   We have learned to live from a posture of being offensive about offence, and it has changed our lives! Oh, the freedom and liberty that we live in!

What does that mean?  Does that  mean that my feelings will never get hurt or that people will stopping doing things that irritate and offend me? No, of course not!  Then how am I suppose to live free of offense?  What does that mean?  I want to give you some very practical tools in how to employ this in your life.  You can live this way too!

I CHOOSE to live from a posture of forgiveness.  I forgive, release and let go.   Being relentless about not carrying offense in my heart, not allowing it to create a root of bitterness.  I am relentless about relationships.  Relationships are  important to me.

Colossians 3 talks about being merciful as we try the understand others, being unoffendable in our patience of others, being tolerant of the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them.  Wow!  This is a challenging passage (see full verses below).

A little secret……forgiving someone does not require me telling them how they hurt me, it does not require them to admit they were wrong, it does not require them to ask me for forgiveness, it does not even require them to change!  WHAT? Not change?  How is that right?

What if they never change?  Do I still allow them to interact with me in counter productive behavior?  That is a great question!  Part of healthy relationships is having healthy boundaries.   We must learn to clearly and lovingly set boundaries with people.  We must also recognize that we cannot change people.  Setting of healthy boundaries is for another blog post.

Forgiveness is really not about them at all!  Forgiveness is for me, my health, and my benefit.  Forgiveness is something I do with my Father.  I work it out with Him.  Don’t allow other people’s inability to work out difficulties to prevent you from walking in a life of freedom.   CHOOSE today to live from this position!

Colossians 3:12-15
You are always and dearly loved by God! So put on the garment of the virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others. Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them. For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues. Love becomes the mark of true maturity. Let your heart be always guided by the peace of the Anointed One, who called you to peace as part of his one body. And always be thankful, overflowing with gratitude for your life-union with Christ.  Passion Translation

What Do You SEE?

Eye

There are some people that we just love spending time with and then there are those who we would rather not.  Well, the Lord decided to have a little fun with me one day and gave me the opportunity to spend sometime with a challenging person.   They were thrown across my path unexpectedly, and I was challenged in my attitude.  I was like, ‘Lord, really?  This is not how I planned on spending my day.’

The Lord said, to me, ‘How do I SEE them?’  I laughed and said, ‘I know how you see them!  Very funny Lord!’  I was chuckling because I knew exactly where He was taking this conversation and encounter!

As the day continued on, I thought, ‘Why do I have to deal with this today Lord?  How much more enjoyable and restful would my day be if they were not part of it?’  Again the Lord said, ‘How do I see them?’  I laughed again and said, ‘I KNOW how you see them!  And yes, I have not chosen to see them through your eyes.  I’m sorry that I chose not to view them through your eyes of love and compassion.  Lord, I will see what you see and act accordingly.’

The Lord challenged me to see them from His eyes, His perspective.  Why are they doing and saying those things?  Where is it coming from?   Instead of taking it personally or being annoyed by it, I was challenged to show the Fruits of the Spirit -love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22

I began to see them with different eyes. I saw them through their need,  and what they needed.  Not through the eyes of how they should be.  I left my expectation of their behavior at the door and just loved them where they were.

I wish I could tell you that they changed,  but they continued on throughout the week just like they always had, but somehow, it didn’t irritate me so much.  Instead of being annoyed, I just laughed and thought, ‘it’s just the way they are, it’s not my job to change them.’

I am reminded of how God loves us and displays His fruit towards us even when we don’t deserve it.  I am reminded of how patient He is to work out the unlovelies in our own lives.

Choose to see what God sees!

Blessings – Winona