I determined in my heart that I would not be taking an offense.
The stakes were too high.
I knew the consequences of taking an offense. I’d seen it many times in my various relationships and had experienced first hand the havoc it wreaks on the soul.
Yet, it came. And I took the bait.
The funny thing is….I didn’t even know the person well. She was a new acquaintance. Someone I had brief interactions with throughout the year.
But her blatant disregard for me, left me feeling unworthy as a potential friend.
Insecurities from past relationships began to rise to the surface and rejection’s bitter sting reopened old wounds.
As hard as I tried to not be offended, my mind kept reminding me of the rejection.
Lies began piercing not just my mind, but my heart:
You’re not worthy.
No one wants to be friends with you.
If you were more outgoing like Sally, she would’ve stuck around to be friends.
You just don’t fit in.
The same lies the enemy fed me in high school were plaguing me again as an adult.
And what’s worse, for a brief time, I actually believed them.
I wanted to convince myself that I wasn’t offended by this individual.
But every time her name came up, I felt a knot in my stomach.
As God began to reveal to me how much I had let this toxicity leak into my soul, I was reminded of this scripture:
Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears. Hebrews 12:1-17 MSG
Taking an Offense
I had a choice to make.
I could let bitterness grow and choke out the great plan God has for me, or I could choose to forgive and let this go.
You see, taking offense has serious consequences. The enemy doesn’t tempt me to take offense so that it could affect just one relationship.
He’s smarter than that.
He knows if I take offense, it will affect every area of my life and hinder the plan God has for me.
A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. John 10:10 MSG
When we remember who the real enemy is, who is coming against us and why, we have a better chance of not taking an offense easily.
In this weeks Salt & Light Linkup, Gretchen Fleming reminds us of some truths that we need to remember about taking offense.
She tells us,
Over time, as we take offense over one thing after another, it has a cumulative effect on our emotions. It should come as no surprise if our becoming offended impacts our physical stamina and our mental alertness, it will, therefore, bring about emotional consequences.