4 Biblical Tips to Not Be So Easily Offended
Are you the type to get easily offended? Do you frequently find yourself taken aback by the things that people say and do?
I remember going out to eat with friends one time after we finished a long event we were enjoying our food in the conversation and then I looked over at my friend’s plate. And I saw that she was nearly finished in record time and I remember thinking to myself, wow, she must have been hungry.
So I said,” wow, you must have been hungry,” and she stuttered a little bit and said, “yeah”, and we went back to our dinner conversation and it wasn’t until we were ready to get the check that I see that she had not finished what little food was left and she packed it up and she took it home.
I sensed something was up. So later that evening one of my other friends said to me how hurt was by my comments, I knew what, she was referring to because it was obvious how hr behavior changed after it. But I couldn’t understand why and worse, why didn’t you say something to me?
Whether you’re the type that gets offended and says something to the person vents it to another person or tries to keep it to herself, being easily offended can actually affect or even, infect our relationships.
And maybe that’s why Solomon in Ecclesiastes 7:21 says this, “Do not take to heart all the things that people say lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that the many times you yourself have cursed others.”
Are you easily offended? Do people have to walk on eggshells when they’re around you?
Yes, there are people who are rude and cruel and I’m not talking about those people who make their snide, passive-aggressive comments, repeatedly, and then say, oh, I was just kidding or you misunderstood me. I’m talking about the situation where you leave it up to the other person to figure it out and fix it, but you never take the time to figure out if it was truly their issue or yours.
Being offended is subjective. That’s why there’s no recourse for being offended. What offends me may not offend you and vice versa. If someone said to me, wow, it looks like you were hungry as I quickly polished off my dinner. That wouldn’t offend me, but it did my friend. So, what’s actually going on behind the scenes?
Well, the truth is, people who easily get offended are often self-righteous. And I know this hurts to hear and it certainly hurt me to hear this years ago, when I thought that it was everyone else’s job to cater to my feelings and beliefs, otherwise they didn’t love me. You have free will to believe and prefer whatever you’d like, but so does someone else. So we have to stop making people wrong in order for you to be right.
Then we go and we kick it up a notch and we presume to know that we know what they were thinking, we know what they were feeling when they said what offended us, the truth is, you don’t know what someone else is thinking or feeling. You don’t know what their true motive is and when you have a self-righteous attitude, you automatically make someone else wrong. So you can stand in your self-righteousness.
Doing this empowers you to point the blame outward and say, “you bad, me good”. And there are times that people can say something that was hurtful and they truly didn’t mean to. But there are other times where there are questions that are comments are truly innocent but you’re hit hard. So what are you to do?
Well, the healthy thing to do is to approach somebody and let them know how their comment has affected you. And oftentimes, however, we let it go, but we really don’t let it go. We actually just store the offense until later otherwise buried under the rug until they say something again and then we trip over the bigger mound and in other words, you harbor, and then you add it to your offense list.
And while letting people know that you were they’ve offended you can actually build bridges in relationships. It can also begin to deteriorate them. As someone is left constantly having to explain themselves and justify their behavior while they’re just trying to be themselves.
In other words, people may say, “I feel like I’m walking around on eggshells around you.”
So what do you do? If you find yourself constantly offended and hurt by people the best place to begin is within yourself. Now, I’m not saying that you’re at fault, but what I am saying is that you’re going to want to do a healthy self-examination, to see what’s going on inside of you.
My go-to prayer is Psalm 139:23. “Search me. God and know my heart test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
Because sometimes when we are the type who is so easily offended, the problem doesn’t lie, truly, and what the other person is saying actually lies more in what you are struggling with and probably trying to hide.
For example, it came out later that my friend from the restaurant was struggling with her weight and she thought that I was criticizing her for the portions that she was eating. Well, that was a really poor assumption, and if she wasn’t struggling with her weight, she likely wouldn’t have been triggered by such a friendly innocent comment.
And when we take our hidden issues and project them onto others, we can do damage in a relationship. While people who love you do want to be sympathetic to what you were struggling with the problem that you can create in a relationship sometimes is when you take your struggle, you put it on them, and then you blame them for it. That’s unhealthy.
And that’s what is going to create distance in a relationship. Not closeness. Do you like hanging out with somebody? Who blames you for what they’re going through?
Do you enjoy spending time with someone who accuses you of making them feel a certain way? Look again, I’m not saying that there are people out there who aren’t malicious and passive-aggressive in their intent. But for normal everyday people who are just trying to be themselves and in a relationship with you, they’re battling with their own struggles. They don’t want to be blamed for yours or mine. So what are you do?
What do you do when those moments in those moments, when you’re hurt and you’re offended and you really don’t know if it’s them or if it’s you?
Well here are some steps that you can take, in fact, there were three of them.
#1 – Pray. Pray and ask God to reveal to you the truth of what’s happening.
#2 – Check yourself. Ask yourself this question, “Is this something that I’m struggling with? Did it trigger something that’s within me?
#3 – Own it. I have good news for you. Do you want to quickly discover what you’re struggling with? Look for your outside reactions when you’re triggered because it’s revealing what’s truly going on inside of you. If it’s a struggle or insecurity that you have, you need to own it and then maybe even get some help for it. You can’t create environments where everyone has to be aware of each other’s struggles and know how to respond accordingly. That’s just not humanly possible.
My friend, God is faithful to help us heal every broken part of our lives. He is faithful to see us through the valleys. He is faithful to heal our hearts but God won’t heal what we won’t reveal just like hiding or sin will not bring forgiveness hiding our struggles will not bring the healing we have to own it and bring it before God. We have to admit that this is my struggle. So when someone comes along and triggers me, I know that it’s an issue that I need to deal with and not be distracted by now trying to put the blame on them. And this even works in those times when someone is deliberately evil in their intent towards you.
So again, I’m not saying that their behavior is okay, but if you are triggered it’s your struggle but God can see you through that. Okay? I get it. It seems so much easier to point that blame outward. It seems much simpler to say, You Make Me Feel to someone. It seems so much easier to get the world around you to conform to your needs and your expectations. But in case you haven’t noticed, it doesn’t work. If you are looking for true, genuine relationships, you have to allow people the grace to be themselves to make mistakes and to prove, if they are truly for you or against you, and blaming others for your hurts and your struggles actually begins to push people away. Consider this, there is likely some truth in what they’re saying and that is what stings, but you getting angry at them, doesn’t make their truth a lie. It only puts you in denial. Check yourself, examine what was said, and determine if there is some truth in it. And even if what they said was truly offensive, God can still take what the enemy meant for harm and use it for your good. So extract the truth from it. Being offended, my friend is a choice, just because you feel offended, doesn’t mean you have to give in to that feeling. Proverbs, 19 says it best when it says, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
So, ask yourself, do I want to be offended right now or not? You’re not a victim, my friend. You have a choice. Are you struggling with the victim mentality? I want to invite you to check out this episode right over here on how to be set free. And if you’ve ever wondered, if you are suffering from toxic thinking, I want to invite you to take our Free Toxic Thoughts Quiz. Just to see, just how toxic your thinking process may be.