Nothing good ever comes from taking offense. Think back over your life. When you have been offended, did it ever end well? Did taking offense lead to you looking more or less like Jesus? It amazes me how Jesus never took offense when people ridiculed or even blasphemed Him. He just took it in stride. He looked beyond the comment and into the heart of the one making the comment. He loved them.
This is not our response when someone wrongs us. We are quick to defend when we perceive ourselves to be wounded. Our pride causes us to withdraw rather than reach out in love. To be blunt, taking offense makes us look like a spoiled child.
When someone offends us, what is it they are offending? What have we lost when someone says something untrue, unfair, or unkind to us? We still have Jesus. He hasn’t gone anywhere. His opinion of us has not changed. We are still His beloved. So why do we take offense in the first place? There is nothing anyone could ever say or do that could separate us from the love and provision of our Savior (Romans 8:38-39).
No, taking offense is a childish response made in a desperate attempt to prove we are more than someone else thinks we are. It is proof we have not yet crucified ourselves with Christ. We are still holding on in desperation to our pride, our independence, and our greedy little self. Taking offense means we have not fully surrendered our lives to Jesus. If Jesus was everything to us, if we had allowed Him to fill us, there would be no room for the offense. Jesus cannot be offended, so that leaves only us, the “us” we claim to have let go of in deference to Him. It’s still there. We’re holding back. And Jesus knows it. So does the devil.
Where offenses abound, love is absent. You cannot love someone and feel offended by them at the same time. The emotions are incompatible. Even when you forgive an offense, it is almost impossible to forget. Offenses drill deep into our souls and live there for the rest of our lives. Better to never take offense in the first place. We don’t need that kind of junk hanging around. It’s distracting and leaves less room for Christ to fill in our hearts.
Taking offense is the sign of an immature faith and a heart that is not surrendered. These are words we do not want to describe us. Every disciple of Jesus longs to mature in their faith and to live life in complete surrender to Him. In short, we’ve got to get over ourselves. Our love for others must override our sense of self. Taking offense proves we are self-centered, not others-centered. It’s ugly. The next time someone says something that threatens to offend you, brush it aside. Look at that person through the eyes of Jesus. See them as having unsurpassable worth. Love them as Jesus does. Don’t fall into Satan’s trap. Forgive them, let your heart break for them because they are not acting in the love of Christ. You can respond in love without taking offense. Seize that opportunity. Love like Jesus and live your life without taking offense.