Saturday, August 08, 2015


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 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,  

Luke 6:27 But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you. 32 “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. 35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.  37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” 

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.

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