Have you noticed that being offended is the new sport of our day, the politically "in" thing to do? "I'm offended!" can thwart the rights of another, start a protest, insult an innocent person and make the evening news. It doesn't have to be rational, logical or right...you just have to be offended.
But what about the rights of the one who "offended" you? Are their rights suddenly gone because you claim offense? It seems that offense is the new moral plumb line of our culture. It has redefined a whole culture for us and subtly taken away our right of choice, belief and action.
Imagine responding to the offended party, "GET OVER IT!" That would add a new layer to the offense, wouldn't it?
So how do we deal with this new dimension of our culture? How do we function when being offended can suppress our rights, when being offended has risen to an art form of control and silencing another view?
It seems, if we are to deal with this rightly, we have to get past the words and deal with the person. Why are they offended? What did I do? Can we talk about it?
I'm afraid that a passage I love dearly may be the application. It seems that a Christian response would look something like this,
Don't those words bother you a bit?
Aren't you thinking, "Yeah, but....." And even as we squirm at these words of Jesus we have to realize what we are really doing is turning it all over to God to deal with. It's a difficult way to respond to the verbal attacks of our day, but it reflects the very heart of God and it allows room for God to work in the heart of the offended party.
"I'm offended!" is the new world we live in. In response live out the words of Jesus and let's see what happens.