How to Move Past Offenses and Get On With Your Life
I just love this site where we get to talk candid as women. We need that. Why? Because we really don’t most of the time and we need to about certain subjects. It’s hard to be candid and admit a fault or failure. Especially if you are a Christian. It’s hard to be a minister and live a life under the microscope all the time of your peers and family.
But I am human and I have feelings just like everyone else. That’s why the topic of offense is a great one to be open about. We all feel it. We all get offended. The Bible says that offense will come.
There is, I think, nothing worse than the feeling of offense. When you feel it you sort of feel un-empowered. You feel a bit tainted, guarded, and wounded. Maybe you even feel rejected, hurt and just plain ole angry. You may actually want to hide.
Have you been there? I have.
But do we talk about it? No.
When you are offended everyone can see it. Offense is like a binding cast on a broken leg only offense covers your whole life.
Let’s face it, for most of us when we get offended and are asked if we are, we do not admit to it.
We say that we are okay. That didn’t bother me. Or better yet, we let it simmer underneath in our conscious and we plan our escape from that person and say we are okay.
Oh, sorry. I was telling on myself. If you are honest, you get offended and do the same thing.
I Was Offended
Something offended me last week at church, of all places. It caused me to bring up old feelings and wanting to run. I was minding my own business and someone came up to me and in the course of the conversation, they said something that really just rubbed me the wrong way. It made me feel stupid and incompetent and misunderstood. I felt it was out of line and rude and just unnecessary what they said. Wouldn’t you know, I got offended.
Just sitting there minding my own business, offense came into my atmosphere. I’m sure this sort of thing happens to you too.
I didn’t ask for offense and neither do you. Usually offense comes upon our lives as an unwelcome visitor who then takes up residence. Sometimes permanent.
But, how do we, as women handle offense in our lives as the unwelcome guest. There are many ways to deal with it but here are three.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”dsF4C” via=”no” ]Offense comes upon our lives as an unwelcome visitor who then takes up residence[/ctt]
3 Steps to Take When We Are Offended
1.) Own It
Own the offense for what it is. Embrace that you are offended. Don’t live in denial. You don’t like it and you are stuck right there until you deal with it. Don’t dismiss the feeling of offense as nothing and try to move on. You can’t. Don’t lie to yourself. Admit that you are offended. You don’t like what someone did or said and be honest about how you feel. Why own it and be true? Because that is the first step to dealing with it in your heart. You can’t deal with what deals with you, if you do not recognize it. The word of God says that if your heart condemns you, God is not greater than your heart.
We know things in our heart can hurt and affect us. Own those things and deal with them. Don’t let offense fester inside.
2.) Forgive It
Be quick to forgive the offense. Jesus has forgiven us for all the sins we have committed and the ones that others commit against us. He commands that we forgive or our own sins are not forgiven. Sometimes you have to be willing to just let people off the hook.
That is what I had to do. This woman that spoke out to me probably didn’t realize what she said to me. She didn’t realize how it stung and hurt my feelings. But, maybe she did. It doesn’t matter. I had to tell myself that over and over in that moment and the moments after. I still have to let it go. Forgive and move on. We will come up against many, many things like this in our walk with God. Sometimes people just don’t realize what they say.
Our goal should be to look like Christ in every area of our life and sometimes that takes a lot of work. Sometimes it takes a lot of dying to self. When you think about it, what will keeping the offense serve anyway. Let it go.
3.) Kick It
Kick offense out of your life. Make a decision that you are not going to live a life of offense. You are going to strive to live in a pre-forgiven state. The word of God says, “a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.” Proverbs 18:19. That is some strong fortification. Offense causes us, as women, to become hard and brittle in our hearts. We don’t hear God clearly when we are offended. Refuse to entertain offense or anything else that will keep you from hearing the voice of God. Give it no place in your life. Believe the best in people.
It’s not easy. I had to at that very moment take control of the offense I was feeling and own it and realize this is not what I want to feel. This is not who I want to be.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”wUpK5″ via=”yes” ]Offended? Check out these three steps to overcome and get on with your life.[/ctt]
The Danger of Holding On To Offenses
We are to strive to be the women of God that He created us to be and to shine forth His glory. Offense darkens that place in your soul.
My challenge to you is to take inventory of your life today and see who you are offended with and deal with that. Let it go. Ask yourself, is it really worth it?
Let us know in the comments below if you are hanging on to a time when you were offended, and share any tips you have for moving past offenses so you can get on with your life.
Several years ago, my pastor preached a sermon on offenses that stuck with me. It was on knowing the difference between perceived offenses and intentional offenses. He said most of the time, the person who offended us never intended to, so instead of viewing it as a malicious act, we should offer grace. There is definitely truth in that, and it goes right along with what you wrote here. I love your steps!
Thanks Heather. Offense is horrible and sneaky….. see now you added another layer perceived vs intentional offense. Wow that is huge. Thanks for sharing.
It’s happened to me…it hurts, but when I began giving it to God and letting go, I’m better able to deal with it. Thanks, Stephanie, for your post.
Your welcome…we do have to just let it go everytime.
I love your “kick it” piece of advice. That is sooooo important when we feel like we’ve been offended! Jesus doesn’t want us to harbor negative feelings toward others, even if we feel we’ve been slighted. Great post, m’dear! <3
Yessssss kick it….we have to. Thank u for commenting.
I’ve heard it said as grow duck feathers – let things roll off your back. Somehow that analogy works for me. Can’t go through life holding on to every slight – perceived or otherwise.
Thanks for the tips. Followed you on Twitter.
Thank u. I haven’t heard that saying in a long time…that is still good advice.
It would be quite a different world–and a different Church–if we all followed this! It would definitely help us be more unified.
Yes it would be very different world.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is to give it to God and then let it go – as hard as that may be
That is all we can do really. Trick is remembering it.
Great post! Thanks for sharing it.
Thank u so much
I’m nowhere near where I should be with this, but I love your advice. Feeling offended can pop up out of nowhere. I love your tips, especially “Kick It.” I am working on this one. : )
Hey… I am a firm believer that we all are in process. As women I don’t we ever arrive but just come in personal reach. Thanks for commenting you are closer than u think.
I know the feeling. I struggle with past offences coming back on me, I need to pray for this person every day, hurts can run deep.
Yes… please just let it go.. it is not worth it. People sometimes dont even realize what they are doing and if they do …..we just need to forgive. You can do this!
Being a mercy shower, I have a tendency to not take offense very easily, but it has happened. I think these tips you gave are wonderful. Your article should also make us think about thinking before speaking. We need to be careful what we say and how we say it, because we don’t always know what others are going through or where they are coming from. Thanks for sharing. – Amy
Sometimes the best thing I can do is to let it go, give it to God, and get over myself 🙂
Yesssss…. love that get over ourselves.. yesss. We can be our worst enemy sometimes.
Stephanie, Thank you so much for this post. I confess that I have been feeling quite offended of late, with the same people over and over again. But something you said really spoke to me,
“Our goal should be to look like Christ in every area of our life and sometimes that takes a lot of work. Sometimes it takes a lot of dying to self. When you think about it, what will keeping the offense serve anyway. Let it go.” Especially, “sometimes it takes A LOT of dying to self”. I never thought about it that way. You are so right!
I leave your blog edified and blessed. 🙂
Awesome..!!!! thank you so much… then the blog did its job. LOL… just die already is what I tell the ladies I coach.. just die.. let Jesus kill that flesh nature so you can really be used.
It is not easy but so worth it.
Thanks you for sharing your story. As I was trying to get over a recent offense, God reminded me how I was once in the offender’s shoes. Many years ago, I would have said and acted the same way, BUT for His grace.
So cool how God does that…. shows us ourselves and we learn. Glad you were reminded. Isnt He just so faithful. and Lovessss us so much.
One thing that helps me when I get offended is to remember that God loves that person and died for them too. And I am also a sinner. That helps me to forgive them.
Yes all our sins are forgiven by the blood of Jesus even the sins committed against us.. powerful. So who are we to hold anything against anybody.. they are forgiven too.
I’m memorizing this. Own it. Forgive it. Lose it. It seems simple but the root of bitterness starts in not doing these steps in these orders; we try to lose it without owning it and that’s why it festers. Thanks for bringing clarity to this issue!
Your welcome. Yes we do not want to own offense. That is the first.. to really say Yes I am offended. Now what?
These points are excellent but I really love this challenge!
“My challenge to you is to take inventory of your life today and see who you are offended with and deal with that. Let it go. Ask yourself, is it really worth it?”
Thank you. Yes we need to ask ourselves that and just admit it. Stop hiding. First step to healing.
So important to do that last step… kick it… let go and move on. If we don’t then the truth is that we really haven’t forgiven, have we?
That’s right.. need to be sure we just let it go and move on.. yess thank you
Often, offenses come with all of our inner chatter. We think that others think negatively about us when in fact, they probably aren’t thinking of us at all…and if they are, it’s usually nothing bad. Taking our thought life captive under Christ’s authority is key. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.
What if you’re offended by someone’s actions and they don’t know their actions offended you? Help!
That’s hard, isn’t it? My pastor did a sermon series on offenses a few years back and he covered this. He said we need to decide if the meant to hurt us. Did they have malicious intent? Then decide if it was important enough we needed to discuss with them, or if it was something we could forgive and move past. Because if they didn’t mean to offend us, and it wasn’t a big deal, the only person we are hurting by holding onto it is ourselves. We let it eat us up. However, sometimes it is something that needs to be brought into the light. Sometimes we can’t just let it go. In those cases we need to talk one-on-one with the person who hurt us, not talk bad about them to everyone else in the church.
It was a really good sermon series. I wish he would write a book.
Wow… Needed this today. I was cooking with a pastors wife a few years ago and she made a comment to me that I was VERY offended by… Years have gone by and I still think about that comment she made and feel offended… So I googled how to move past an offense and found this post. Your step 1 of owning it… man that alone has made a huge difference. I wrote down on a sticky note, “*Her Name*, You offended me.” I am not going to give it to her or anything like that… but just writing it out made me feel so much lighter.
Yessss and to go a step further write out every emotion or a letter to this person to bless them. Look at it as people don’t know what they say and sometimes they do. With the world like it is let this go. Forgive and bless her. Bless u sister.