During the years I've worked on developing an immunization towards offence.
I'd like to think that I am working towards not TAKING offence.
After all, offence is TAKEN and not given.
I mean, life is so short and precious (and filled with much more important things) than to mull around about the actions of OTHER people and how wrong I think they are!
Human beings are extremely good at this!
I know of sisters who have not spoken to each other for years, all because of a little offence.
"Being offended" has broken up families and relationships - much more wreckage that it is actually worth! I, myself, have been in countless situations where I sat with huge hurts on my heart and instead of sorting it out properly, I walked around with major chip on my shoulder.
The burden of an offence is enough to not only stint your growth but also influence your decisions and the way you treat others.
I've begun to realize that carrying an offence is a decision.
Because, ultimately, I am not in control of another persons actions.
And they are not in control of how they make me feel.
My opinion about what I think they should be doing, will not change them or the situation.
My anger or offence will not somehow lessen the value of their opinions or even their lives.
And in turn, no matter what they say or do or think, they cannot control what I learn out of the situation or how I feel about myself!
I think that being the self proclaimed queen of efficiency has made me look at an offence with the question: But what's the point?!
It's not adding to my day. It's not adding value of my life.
It's slowing me down. It's throwing a spanner into my wonderfully working system.
I've started to view the niggly feeling of "Oh wait, I'm offended!" as a "but what am I meant to learn here?" opportunity.
Yes, I agree, there are times when someone has wronged you and it is what it is.
But YOU have the decision to forgive. You have the decision to move on. You have the decision to grow.
Every opportunity to forgive is a life lesson learnt!
So with that said, what I am walking away with is this: When I feel the smallest hint of an offence, I use it as a wonderful reminder to pray for the person and the situation and MYSELF... Because, at the end of the day, only the Holy Spirit can change things.