As a culture we're not known for our maturity. I don't think I need to defend this statement. If you think that we as a nation are a people of maturity then you will probably hate this blog.
A few weeks ago the pastor of the church we go to in Big Bear (California) spoke a list of qualities that are observable and measurable qualities of mature Christians. As I read over the list I said to myself, "Dude, this is what everyone needs whether or not they believe and trust in God." The points are his, the mini blogs are mine.
Here's the first mini blog about these traits! I am encouraged, challenged, and inspired by these and I hope that you will be, too.
Not Easily Offended
Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others. (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 )
Being offended is self-indulgent. We luxuriate in feeling right, and say we're standing up for what's right while preening our ruffled feathers. The world doesn't need more angry words even if they're meant to defend truth and love.
I will not entertaining any arguments about how someone "made" you react because of their words. That is exactly the point. They can't "make" you do or feel anything. YOU are in charge of your actions, reactions, feelings, and thoughts. ONLY YOU.
Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:7-9)
Ask yourself why you're offended. Because some one is challenging what you KNOW to be truth. Ok, so? So, what? Does that change what you know to be truth? If they can challenge your truth then how steadfastly can you holding on to it?
When was the last time you were in a debate with some one and you changed their mind? Is that ranting post on Facebook going to change their principals to align with your own? Nope. Is your indignant, rising blood pressure going to shift their world view? Nope. And why should it? They are just as entitled to believe what they are going to believe as you are. EVEN IF IT'S WRONG. The truth always outs in the end. Be patient and let lies show themselves to be just that.
The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult. (Proverbs 12:16)
When was the last time you looked at some one arguing with you and realized, "Wow, this person is hurt and afraid just like I am?" Because YES! If truths that your entire belief system is labeled "LIES" then your entire life is negated. Not fun.
This is why it's so important for each of us to take the time to examine our own truths. Challenge and test them so that we are TRULY GROUNDED in them. When you're truly grounded in your truths you cannot be shaken. Arguments against them become non-threatening because you have discovered and internalized the cornerstone of your truth.
There are many things happening right now that are big and scary and real and ugly. You know what I'm talking about. Don't get offended, indignant, angry; it's wasted energy. Get praying. Get active. Get loving. Get boundaries. Get between victims and offenders. Get your head out of the sand. Get your eyes open. But DON'T get offended.
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. (Ephesians 4:18)
Photo: my sweet friend Bethany being pleasantly surprised and enlightened by a book. Not being offended.
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