Friday, July 1, 2016

When feeling offended is good for us

A single Christian woman wrote an article on how she was offended by weddings. She especially disliked the new trend among Christian brides who give roses to all their single friends, and offer to pray that they find the right mate. She wrote that she feels publicly humiliated by it… even though she really does want to find the right man. In her mind, her friends’ special day of celebration is supposed to be orchestrated around her insecurities. How dare they pray for her!

This is the generation of being offended and tiptoeing around micro-aggressions for fear of offending anyone else. The word of God has never been so politically incorrect in modern history as it is today, which proves that we need to cling to it even more. If we find ourselves getting upset and offended by God’s ways, it means the mindset of the world has woven itself into our own subconscious. Being offended by God means that we desperately need to rewire our thoughts without a moment to lose.  

A true child of God is thick skinned towards criticism, much less towards the inadvertent insensitivity of others. We can’t waste our time second-guessing why someone acted the way they did, looked at us the way they did, or chose to use that particular word or phrase. That’s the stuff of soap operas, not for people who live above this world by faith. We can’t be shocked that the light within us offends others. A child of God carries the smell of death (2 Corinthians 2:16) that causes others to attack, reject and label us as evil. If we are building up our faith daily to stand firm on that level of persecution, we won’t waste time making petty complaints when our feelings get hurt.  

When well-meaning people speak or act in a way that causes us to cringe, we get over it, forgive, and behave graciously. How many times have you made others cringe and wish they’d graciously forgiven all your well-intentioned blunders? From Genesis to Exodus, God in His perfection, says a lot that makes us cringe, and there’s no blundering there! He says it because we need it. He sacrificed His own Son for us, and daily has the patience to teach and guide us if we’re willing to listen, but if we’re not careful we end up treating Him with disrespect.  Even the holiest of Christians fails God daily, and like a good Father, He needs His children to understand discipline for their own sake.  

Last year I wrote a series of posts called The Shocking Attitudes of Jesus, citing many examples of this very thing. Jesus was harsh with one woman, implying she was a dog, not worthy of the children’s bread. In today’s world, even Christians would post angry rants against soundbites like that on Twitter and Facebook, rants that would easily go viral. Many of today’s pastors would even demand an apology for such inflammatory words, write editorials in Christian magazines and do all they could to appear as the leaders in tolerance and sensitivity. But Jesus spoke the exact words she needed to hear. God used her as an example of thinking faith, humbly reasoning through His shocking words in order for her daughter to be instantly healed.
Who among us today has the kind of inner strength and spiritual intelligence to see blessings in God’s rebuke? What have you been hearing from God that you wish you didn’t have to hear? What in God’s Word gets your hackles up? Perhaps healing and freedom would be happening much sooner if we were more like that woman. Perhaps the offensive words that God is speaking, the ones that make us cringe, are the very words we need to act upon right now, to see our miracle.  

He who reproves a scorner gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man gets hurt. Do not reprove a scorner, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.  -  Proverbs 9:7-9, MEV

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