In my last post, I talked about playing it safe. It’s something we often do in order to avoid offending people.
But choosing to take offense is just as bad as playing it safe.
Yeah, you read that right. Offense is a choice. If someone offends you, it’s your fault—not theirs.
(There are exceptions to this rule, of course. Say, for example, a stranger who exposes his private parts in public. That’s one of those special cases where I’d say offense is not really a matter of personal decision. But for most things in life, choosing to take offense is within your control.)
Offense is a direct response to our own pride and is often what causes us to abandon our search for truth. We become offended when someone challenges what we believe to be true and will refuse to even consider their point of view if it conflicts with ours.
Just like a pro athlete, when the offensive approach, we immediately put up our defenses. For many of us, these include things like anger, harsh words, and even violent action. But Yahshua didn’t tell us to tackle our opponents to the ground. Rather, he calls us to do the opposite by defying the world’s expectations:
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
A love so radical, we can scarcely comprehend it…
It’s the kind of love that brings His offensive children to repentance.
This post is day 27 in my 40 Days of Repentance Series. Click here to read day 26.