September 20, 2012

Are You Easily Offended?

I'm reading my first book by Elisabeth Elliot called 'On asking God why and other reflections on trusting God in a twisted world'

Just before I started the eleventh chapter of the book, I was thinking about how I am so easily offended, to easily hurt and how much I dislike this about myself.

So when I read this passage from this chapter, it was definitely a God speaking moment.

"Recently I was in turmoil about some things somebody said to me. I lay awake at night, mentally enacting whole scenes and conversations in which we would 'have it out' dragging everything into consciousness, saying everything that was in our minds, pitting what she said against what I said, what she did against what I did, defending and offending, complaining and explaining. I had heard this was what we are supposed to do - get it out, get it up front, express it. 

But what a devastating business! What a crashing bore! What a way to consume time, not to mention emotional and spiritual energy! The very process itself gives me the chance to add to my own list of sins against her. 'When men talk to much,' says Proverbs 10:19, 'sin is never far away. Common sense holds its tongue.'

Psychology describes. The Bible prescribes. 'Turn from evil. Let that be the medicine to keep you in health' (Proverbs 3:7-8).

'Love is kind. Love is never quick to take offense. Love keeps no score of wrongs. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance' (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, 7).

'Help one another to carry these heavy loads, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ' (Galatians 6:2).

'Let your bearing toward one another arise out of your life in Christ Jesus...He made himself nothing...humbled himself...accepted death' (Philippians 2:5,7-8).

The woman who had hurt me had plenty of heavy burdens to bear. I knew that very well. How could I help her to bear them? Well, for one thing, by 'being offended without taking offense,' that is, by following my Master.

What a relief! I no longer had to plot and plan and cogitate about how to handle my feelings or how to confront my friend or just what to say. My bearing toward her would arise out of my life in Christ Jesus. I couldn't do it myself. He could, and he would enable me.

To cut to the straight path a good deal of the jungle of my selfishness had to be slashed through. But it was a much shorter way home."








13 comments:

  1. I have all of her books! Love each one! Rich with wisdom. I also met her while she spoke at our church years ago. Just one of the most inspiring women I have ever read or heard speak! ENjoy!

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    1. I would love to hear her speak one day!

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  2. So glad you've linked up with us at Getting Down With Jesus! :)

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  3. Great thoughts here! I will keep pondering "being offended without taking offense." Oh, and thank you for stopping by my place today!

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  4. Excellent post, Cathy! I've read some of Elisabeth's writings but not this one. Sounds like it is a good book.

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    1. Though it was written over 20 years ago I found it's subject matters still relevant for today. It had some great sound advice for everyday issues.

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  5. Hi Cathy! I love Elisabeth Elliot, and this is such a timely word for me. My mother and sister make it difficult for anyone to get along with them, and it's so frustrating because I want to be the light and love of Christ to them, but they truly make it hard. Bless you for this word. :-)

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    1. Hi Gwen, glad this could bless you. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. :)

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  6. This looks like a fabulous resource. I haven't actually read any of Elizabeth Elliot's books so it seems I am missing out.

    One thing I've learned (with age does come wisdom, thank God!) is to immediately let things go. when someone offends you or you feel slighted, it has much more to do with you than them. Let it go, hand it off, give it up asap before it has a chance to get under your skin.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Debra!

      This is the first of hers I've read and I'm looking forward to reading more from her. She has a way of sharing wisdom that makes you want to listen. I think it's because she's real and isn't afraid to share her failures and trials.

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  7. I love Elisabeth Elliot and this book is one of my favorites! I'm so glad she shared her wisdom with us. Thanks for this great reminder, Cathy. Blessings!

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    1. Hi Renee, thanks for stopping by! :)

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Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments. I try to respond to all of them by the end of the week. : )

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