On Being Offended
We just “love” to be offended in our society. Look around and see the great lengths to which we go to avoid offence: privacy policies, anti-religious judgments, racial tensions, anti-police demonstrations, economic protests, law suits. We don’t like the feeling of being offended. Being offended hurts! We don’t want to hurt inside. We want to be safe! So we regulate everyone else’s behavior to try to prevent a feeling that happens inside us. How does that make sense?
Who controls our feelings? Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Feelings come from our own beliefs, thoughts, and emotions. Who causes those? We do! But rarely do we blame self for the source of our hurt. We prefer the idea of blaming someone else while we puff out our chests with pride and preen at our own self-righteousness.
When are we going to learn that what we think, feel, and believe comes from within and cannot be blamed on others (Mark 7:20-23). In fact, the feeling of being offended itself is our not knowing what to do with our own pride because pride is why we are offended in the first place. So what all of us who are offended are really saying is that we are proud people who don’t like others disagreeing with our beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and choices in life. This is just narcissism run amok. Since when has egoism been the standard for right and wrong, truth and error? It isn’t, and never has been, but that is what we are reduced to when we seek to prevent being offended by blaming others.
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).
God bless you, and I love you.