In life there will come a time that something someone says (or doesn’t say) or do (or don’t do) will come across as offensive to you in regards to your standard or expectation of what you felt should have occurred in each specific incident.
Offense is defined as an annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles.
After much evaluation and self-reflection I admit that I wasted much of my life mad at people who had no idea I was upset, or even confronting people who were clueless to my approach when sharing what they did that offended me.
In most cases I learned it was simply a matter of maturity. Sure, there will be things people will say or do that will rub us the wrong way but we can choose whether to overlook it or determine if it is serious enough to address.
In speaking of the spirit of offense, I like you have been on both sides of the spectrum. I’ve disconnected from people who I felt did not value me enough to change their behavior in relation how I felt they were or were not treating me. I also have had individuals who became offended if I did not reply to their text message or message they may have sent me on social media as quickly as they would have liked me to.
I know this sounds petty but so is the spirit of offense. Here is the number one thing that set me free: PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE. People are going to be people. People are going to mess up. People are going to disappoint; some intentionally and others unintentionally but either way at one time or another friction is going to occur.
My evaluation of this is that it isn’t about what others do or don’t do that’s the most important. What matters the most is how we choose to handle the situation before it leads to an offense or even further a fall out with a family or friend.
Here’s How I Overcame and You Can Too:
- Understand we all are flawed.
- Be patient with people while sharing your expectation
- Never try to control people.
- Place people in the proper position. Perhaps you are trying to make someone a friend who does not possess the necessary qualities. Or trying to make someone a mate who simply can not bring to the table what you desire of them.
- Take everything to the Lord in prayer.
- Weigh the situation on the peace scale. Do you have peace about going to the person? Is it really that big of a deal? Or does it continue to reoccur and bother you and you feel disrespected.
- Learn to observe more than you speak. People will always show us exactly who they are and what they are capable of if we will pay attention.
- Ask God to purge your heart and strengthen you so that everything doesn’t bother you.
- Don’t keep it bottled up. Journal it and only have necessary conversations with those who matter the most. The girl who accidentally bumped you in the mall isn’t important enough for you to lose your cool publicly. However, someone whom you continue to bump heads with in business may be of importance for you to have a conversation.
- Learn how to communicate effectively- Often times we talk while failing to communicate. Listen closely with the intention to understand rather than to respond. Then choose your words wisely and avoid beginning conversations with “You.” Instead try “When you do ______, it makes me feel ___________.”
In following the above steps the spirit of offense will have no space in your life.