Wednesday, September 23, 2020

What Does the Bible Say About Being Easily Offended?

The world is offended.  Seriously, some days I feel like everyone is offended over any given number of offenses.  Small offenses or bigger ones, it really doesn't matter.  All that seems to matter is everyone's opinions and everyone is right.  Everyone suddenly becomes an expert over any given number of topics and if anyone doesn't agree with them, then "anyone" is wrong.  But I have a confession to make.  I'm easily offended.  I'm not so much offended over differing opinions or views.  That's just life.  Everyone is unique with differing God-given skills and talents.  That's the way God created us.  I'm not offended over the uniqueness that God created in all of us.  I'm easily offended when someone criticizes ME or something I've said or done.  It has been often said that I can't take a joke.  Well, I can as long as the said joke doesn't criticize a person's character.  In my personal case, I'm easily offended when someone brings to my attention that I have acted in error or performed a task that doesn't measure up to my criticizer's standards.  I carry my heart on my sleeve.  I don't like criticism even if it is intended as constructive criticism.  This is a serious problem for me because this character flaw (one of many) causes me to react negatively instead of responding positively.  Sometimes my reactions cause rifts in my relationships with others, especially those closest to me who always endure the "privilege" of hearing my said reactions.

What does the Bible say about being easily offended.
What does the Bible say about being easily offended.
As a result of my very recent reaction to the criticism of something I did, I did something I should have done a long time ago.  I went to God's Word to explore what the Bible says about being easily offended.  I know what God says about being easily offended in general, but I wanted a list of Bible verses to turn to when I become easily offended in the future.  It will happen again and "truth be told," it will happen to you too.  No one really likes to hear someone else bring to our attention a character flaw (we all have them) or criticize something we have said or done.  

I've been working on a prayer strategy like I learned about in the movie, War Room.  I will soon have a war room (part of a closet) in my home.  I also bought an ammo box that will become my battle box.  My prayer requests will be attached to my closet wall much like Clara's closet in War Room.  My battle box will be geared more toward my growth in my relationship with Jesus.  I've decided that these verses about being easily offended will be placed in my battle box.  Whenever I feel offended, I'll go to my battle box.  I'll go to war against Satan and his intention to destroy my relationship with my Lord and with the people around me.  

 Now, let's get to those verses.

What does the Bible say about being 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                               (Wow, this one stepped on my toes.  How often have I been critical of others?  Probably more than I realize.)

And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil. - 2 Timothy 2:24

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. - Exodus 14:14

The Lord is with you.  You need only to be still.  Exodus 14:14
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The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult. - Proverbs - 22:16

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. - 1 Peter 5:8

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words. - Proverbs 23:9 (Let's not be fools and despise the wise words of others.) 

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. - Proverbs 29:11

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. - 1 John 2:16

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. - Hebrews 12:11

But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. - 1 Corinthians 8:9

You shall be hidden from the lash of the tongue, and shall not fear destruction when it comes. - Job 5:21

A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool's provocation is heavier than both. Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. - Proverbs 27:3-6

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. - Proverbs 19:11

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. - James 1:19

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. - James 1:12

A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle. - Proverbs 18:19

Now let's take this one step further.  When we are criticized by others, whether it was meant to be harmful or not, we have to learn to forgive others when they have committed an offense against us.  The said offense might have been words alone or perhaps the hurtful words were attached to a hurtful action.  Either way, forgiveness is a vital part of our spiritual growth.  Forgiveness is sometimes hard for me (another character flaw -  I have many), but the Bible has a lot to say about forgiveness.  Come back soon for a list of Bible verses about the topic of forgiveness.  In the meantime, consider checking out the following resources about forgiveness.

What does the Bible say about being easily offended.
What does the Bible say about being easily offended?

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