I truly believe that if you spend your time looking for something to be offended by, you most certainly will find it.
The idea of being unoffendable came from my home church during a new leadership training. Our mission statement is to be Living Proof of a Loving God, and there are several pillars that are outlined and taught that they believe will help them stay in line with their mission.
Basically, let’s try not to assume that whenever someone says something that triggers a specific reaction from you, they are out to get you or they have a hurtful agenda.
Instead of getting our pants in a bunch and immediately accusing one another of being unkind, hurtful, abusive, malicious, ignorant, tone deaf etc……if we don’t understand something, let’s be a people who ask more questions so we can truly understand.
Let’s learn to live at peace with everyone as much as possible.
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
Hebrews 12:14 NIV
Friends, imagine how exhausting it must be to literally take on every single offense that might be thrown at us. I just don’t want to live that way. I am well aware of my emotional triggers. I have had to work a great deal to not take every little comment that might set me back a few steps as a personal attack against me. I really don’t believe that the world is out to get us and hurt us.
Personally, I think most of us are so inward and self focused that we aren’t necessarily paying attention to the internal struggles of anyone else. We have become hyper self-aware and the self-love movement has taken us so far from it’s original intention, which was really to combat the self inflicted emotional pain we would put on ourselves.
Now, we have built walls and ammunition so high and so deep that we have the ability to keep everyone from getting too close, and if they step on any one of the land mines we have set up, we attack in order to protect.
We don’t know how to engage and ask questions. We assume the worst instead of seeing the best.
I do not make light of those who have experienced abuse and trauma. There is simply no way for me to be able to speak entirely to every single individual and highlight every possible scenario. Just not possible.
That being said, I think a lot of us can say that if we have lived any amount of time on this earth and we have had relationships and experiences, we have had some trauma or impactful moments. None of us are getting out of living life scott free.
I followed along social media as the folks criticized a popular actor because they took issue with the fact he used the words “healthy“ daughter in conjunction with his birthday praise to his current wife. For a little background, this actor was previously married and they had a son together who was born with some health issues.
So the mob clearly felt like he was attacking and criticizing his ex wife and that he loved his son less because his son wasn’t born “healthy.”
Y’all, I am sorry. That is quite a reach. And quite frankly, what good did we actually produce by vilifying a person we don’t even know on the internet, all because we assumed and WE got offended.
Sure, you can say whatever you want and do whatever you want. Free country, right?
But, I want to live free and constantly living offended by whatever someone posts online is not living free.
It is a prison. It is bondage. It is exhausting.
God made us for far more than that.
Living at peace with everyone as much as possible is not just a cute little sign at Hobby Lobby. It is a choice. A lifestyle. A mindset. This isn’t to say that we ignore cruelty or evil. At times, we do need to speak up and address issues. We can’t keep sweeping things under the rug. That doesn’t solve anything (and newsflash, ignoring things isn’t freedom either).
Living at peace with everyone and loving one another is sacrificial. There is simply no room for selfishness. It comes with a heart of a humility. It requires of us a great deal, because in order to assume the best about one another and live in love and peace with one another means that we must be in community. We must be able to connect and engage. We don’t need to be at war with each other constantly over every single post, idea, thought, tweet that someone may put forth that we take issue with.
I want to see the good in every person. I don’t want to assume the worst. That is not my default position. My heart has been hurt many times over and I have been lied to more times that I care to admit. But I don’t want to live with one foot out the door in the relationships of my life just because I might be upset and assume something about someone.
I want to live as a free woman and with all joy, not as a fearful woman with a chip on her shoulder. God has called me to a greater life than that.
The same goes for you.
This is not an easy ask. It is not a simple choice. This will require us to daily die to self and choose to live and be unoffendable. To allow life to happen. To live free and pursue joy.