Offense – Real and Imagined

True or false: A very wise man once said, “He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is usually a fool.”

What?  You don’t think he was wise?

This was said by Brigham Young.  Why would he say something so strange?

What is it that makes this statement strange?  Is it that the “natural man” reaction in us is to take immediate offense and look for a way to retaliate as soon as possible?

Is this the best reaction to have?  If we stop and think about it, it might occur to us that this course of action is quite a destructive choice.  Destructive to he who gave offense.  Destructive to me.  Wow.  Destructive all the way around!  Does that really make any sense?

“But,” we may say, “what other course of action could there possibly be!”

As we might suggest to a child who has fought back when taking offense:

  • “You can go tell an adult.”
  • “Walk away.”
  • “Let it go.”
  • “Ignore it.”
  • “Kill him with kindness.”

What can you add to the list?

The point is, we do not HAVE to take offense!  Perhaps this is a train of thought that has never occurred to us.  We might never have even heard of such a thing.  So let’s take a look at this choice.

If we choose not to take offense – whether offense was intended or not, we free ourselves from the destructive forces and open ourselves up to God’s healing influences.  Instead of feeling all hot and bothered, angry, and churned up inside we can experience feelings of comfort, forgiveness, and peace.  What a difference this makes in our lives!

I know it isn’t always easy to choose this type of action.  I also know that it is possible to choose this type of action.  And I know that it is so very worth choosing this type of behavior.

Try it yourself and see!  Let me know how it goes.  And remember that the harder it is, the harder we can pray to our loving Father in Heaven for His help and His mercy.  He delights in helping us choose to overcome this “natural man” reaction.

 

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