The only way I get through Monday is by starting the night before. This is programmed. I am not a morning person, and Mondays start early around here. I should thank Brother Didact, from whom I borrowed the Monday/Coffee meme. Tomorrow will start with cold coffee, and lots of it. Then prayer and breakfast, then moving as dawn peeks over the hills.
So indulge me for a minute, for we had the pastor rip into us on being offended. I’ll give you the TL:DR version.
1. Everyone is going to be offended. Because everyone is going to be deeply hurt.
2. If we hold onto our offence, we isolate ourselves from each other, end up in contention and division from each other, and build our own isolated prison.
3. To get out of this, we need to (a) acknowledge we have been hurt (b) talk PRIVATELY with the person who offended us or we offended — which is a painful conversation and (c) let go.
4. Regardless of whatever horrors we have gone through, we have offended God more, and he still died for us. We nurse grudges over pennies when he forgave us millions of sovereigns.
So the conversations we had after this related to — what happens if it is not offense but deep hurt? And the answer is again, that we need to forgive our brothers, though there will be times when they have been criminally abusive and the damage will continue for a long time. We are not the judicial system, and the earthly judicial system we have is broken. We can leave that with God.
What if the other person does not care? You cannot control their reaction, only what you do yourself. And if they reject your private conversation, then talk privately with a trusted friend about how you can keep yourself safe.
For behaviour has consequences. Men, don’t be alone with a woman not your wife. Women, don’t be alone with a man not your husband. Lock your doors, and practice operational security.
Be wise, but also innocent. For how we forgive others is how God will forgive us.
1 John 2:3-11
3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
The trouble with living in the light is that you need to keep your mind away from the darkness, and things that while in the darkness you thoughty were trivial will not be so real quick. You will have some very painful conversations, particularly when you deal with your inherent weaknesses and favourite sin.
This world has industries to keep us trapped in our sins. When you are trapped, being offended at what someone else does gives one a self righteous pleasure, which is short lived and leads to people trusting you less and less.
A society built up of individuals who all have a right to be offended is divided, and a divided house will not stand.
But to get away from being offended we have to deal with issues and we have to forgive objective wrongs. No one said that this would be easy and there would be a margin of error on the road we are walking down.
But to be like Christ, we must do this. Christ forgave the soldiers who nailed him to the cross. May we attain that level. I, for one, have a very long way to go.