People Will Always Be Offended
...No Matter How Much You May Try Not To Offend Them!
5:44, “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.”
By David J. Stewart | February 2016
One thing I've learned as a Christian for over 35 years is that it is impossible not to offend people. No matter how hard we try to respect others and be nice to everyone, some people will always be offended. It is just an inevitable part of life, because of the human nature. It is our differences as human beings that cause conflicts. No two people are alike. Many conflicts arise from misunderstandings, simply because people all think differently.
Here's some helpful lessons that I've learned about dealing with people in general...
Keep your eyes upon Jesus Christ and not people, or you'll become bitter against others who hurt you. You'll never win the battle by fighting the battle. You don't fight darkness with more darkness; but rather, you shine the light to make the darkness go away. Likewise, you don't solve hatred with more hatred. That's what the Serbs and Albanians found out the hard way in the 1990's. They pillaged, raped and murdered each other, and 200,000 people died!!! As the unwanted babies were born from the wombs of women raped by monstrous soldiers, the baby's necks were snapped by the nurses and they died. That's how much they hated each other! The Bible teaches us to overcome hatred with love. It may be difficult to do sometimes, but it is the only way. God is love, and effectively that's what holiness is, that is, being like God. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
Accept the reality that you can never make everybody happy all the time. Some people will always be offended, for one reason or another. No matter how hard you try to love people, be kind to them, be nice to them, be generous to them, be fair with them, be friendly to them, and love others with Christ's love—they will be offended at times and some will become vindictive against you. You cannot buy love. Some people will despise you simply for being good (2nd Timothy 3:3). You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. We ought to give people room to make mistakes, especially fellow believers, because we're all only human. We're all in this thing called life together.
Don't take it personal when people become offended and mistreat you, because they are just sinful human beings too. We all have bad days. We've all been over-sensitive at times. You don't want to become calloused and cold-hearted like the wicked world. I've been told in the past by a couple people that I needed to “Grow thicker skin.” No thank you, I want to stay tender and caring. I don't want to be like the hard-hearted world. The flip side of being a caring person is that our feelings will be deeply wounded at times by those who are less caring. The Apostle Paul said, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved” (2nd Corinthians 12:15). The closer that we draw to the Lord Jesus Christ, and become caring, loving and sweet, the less the people around us will be able to reciprocate those fruits of the Holy Spirit. Being a godly Christian can get lonely at times.
Pray for those who misunderstand, spurn or mistreat you. Put them into God's hands by praying for them. Romans 8:26 teaches “for we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” I love that! I often claim Romans 8:26 during prayer, agreeing with God that I have no idea what to ask Him to do in a given situation. Very often I just pray for the Lord's will to be done. Isn't God beautiful that He understands our lack of discernment in prayer, and He promises that the Holy Spirit will help us, by interceding for us when we pray? God is good! By praying for someone, you have placed the matter into God's hands (Philippians 4:6-7). Hebrews 13:6, “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
Understand that people tend to live in their own little world, and they don't see all the things happening in your life. We tend to be selfish and judge everything from our own selfish point of view, failing to give proper consideration to others, who have their own whole set of burdens, problems, obligations and worries to deal with. A Christian who walks close to the Lord always gives others the benefit of the doubt!
When someone becomes offended, don't retaliate by not liking them, trying to get even, or not going back to that restaurant, church or business. Love them in Christ! Go back like nothing happened. Let every day be a new day. Let the past be in the past. You'd be surprised how many people will never go back to a business ever again because someone hurt their feelings one time. We live in a throw away society in America. As Christians , we ought to view people as broken instead of bad. Never seek vengeance against anyone outside the law, leave it in the Lord's hands (Romans 12:19-21). Christians are forbidden from suing other Christians in court (Romans 6:6-8). To the same degree that we can learn to “LET GO, LET GOD,” we can enjoy serving the Lord. There is no blessed relief and better feeling in all this world than getting right with God, and making things right with everyone. Let it all go into God's hands. Just decide to forgive everyone! Just decide to love everyone! Just place all bitterness, anger, unresolved conflicts and past failures into God's hands. HAVE FAITH IN GOD!!! Too many people let the failures of yesterday, and the fears of tomorrow, rob them of the joy of serving God today!
95% of Christians couldn't care less about “The Golden Rule” in Matthew 7:12, which is to treat others the way that you want to be treated. Most people, including professed Christians are vindictive, doing unto others as they did unto them. Others, though a smaller group, are paranoid, doing unto others before they do unto them. This is what the heathen world does! When people mistreat you, or try to make you feel bad (because they got their feelings hurt), it just reveals how shallow they are as a person. I want no part of that kind of baby-like pouting, vindictiveness and namby-pamby behavior. I'm going to rise above the hatred and ill-intent of others and love them in the Lord. It doesn't matter what others are doing (or aren't doing)... “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15b).
If you feel that you have offended someone, intentionally or unintentionally, go to them and apologize if they think you did. It never hurts to say, “I'm sorry if I offended you in any way.” If they don't accept an apology, then that's between them and God, you did all you can reasonably do. If the Lord can forgive a big Hell-deserving sinner like me, then I certainly ought to forgive others for their trespasses, and I do (Ephesians 4:30-32). It may not seem reasonable to forgive people who hurt, mistreat and hate us, but it is Christlike.
Believe God that He has promised to hold all men accountable for every word (Matthew 12:36), every thought (Proverbs 24:12), and every deed (Ecclesiastes 12:14). If something someone did or said to hurt you is significant enough for you to ask God to avenge you, then He will. God has so promised in Romans 12:19. Even if someone laughs at your burden to be unkind, they must be held accountable for their unkindness, irresponsibility, selfishness, pride, indifference, hypocrisy and wickedness. Do you think that the same God Who numbers each and every hair on our head, is lackadaisically concerning our hurt feelings? Not a chance! If you've ever laughed at someone who tripped and fell down, but you didn't go over to help them and see if they were alright, then you have to give account to God for being a jerk. Yes, that's right! Matthew 7:1-2 teaches that God will judge all men according to how they've treated others. No one is going to get away with anything. Mocking at someone's calamity is evil. Proverbs 17:5b, “he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.” God's Word is at stake, because He has promised to repay (recompense) all men evil for evil in Romans 12:19! God sees everything (Hebrews 4:13).
When someone does you wrong, mistreats you, or hurts your feelings—overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). Go do a good deed in Jesus' name! Give some money to a homeless person! Pass out some Gospel tracts! Witness the Gospel to someone! If the Devil kicks you in the butt, you kick him in the groin! Don't seek to get even with others; but rather, redirect that passion into investing in eternal things. Some of my best ministry articles on my website, were written on days when I had a crushed spirit, because someone hurt my feelings or ruined my day. Life is too short to live with a burden of hatred. I choose to set my affection on things above, where Jesus sits on the Father's right-hand (Colossians 3:1-3). When people hate, you love them back! When people mistreat you, do good unto them! When people curse your name, you bless them! By doing so, we're laying up for ourselves treasures in Heaven (Matthew 5:12; 6:19-20). 2nd Thessalonians 3:13, “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”
People get offended so easily these days. Many people think that the world centers around them. The correct response to mistreatment, prejudice and hatred from others is to love them unconditionally with God's love. Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Always treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. As the popular saying wisely says, “KILL 'EM WITH KINDNESS!”
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