Thursday, December 6, 2012

Did I Offend You?

There is a parable that says...

One day a poor man was seated near the house of a wealthy man, begging for his daily food. The wealthy man came out and began to insult him, calling him lazy and worthless. But the poor man remained very calm. The poor man's calmness caused the wealthy man to become increasingly more angry and abusive, in an attempt to elicit some reaction or response.

The poor man had an apple that someone had given him in his begging bowl. He held up the apple to the rich man and said:

"If I give you this apple, and you accept it, whose apple is it? The wealthy man answered, "Why? my apple, of course, since you gave it to me and I accepted it!"

The poor man then said "But if I offer it to you and you do not accept it, THEN whose apple is it?"

The wealthy man replied, "Why, then its YOUR apple, of course!"

The poor man said, "You offer me anger and insults, but I do not accept them, so the anger and the insults remain YOURS." The wealthy man was astounded by the realisation of why he was becoming more and more angry.

I know so many people who are very easily offended. The slightest controversy gets them upset, ruins their day and separates them from those who have offended them. The offender could be their spouse, sister, brother, aunt, mother, just about anyone who is not as "perfect" as they are. Sometimes the person that offended them wasn’t aware they did, sometimes they know and apologise but nothing makes a difference to the way they feel. Younger sister offends older sister, younger sister says she's sorry, older sister remains offended and stops visiting her, calling her etc. Then younger sister is now offended, next month her brother offends her and she finds it hard to forgive him easily because she remembers how she didn't get off the hook that easy with older sister. Constantly offended people are not very happy because life is difficult for them and they make it difficult for others. They become contagious to others... in other words, the offence goes viral! The spiral goes on Haven’t you noticed that a spirit of offence is prevailing in our society today?

I'm talking to all those people who just have to get upset with their spouse over every little thing. Yes, little things do turn into big things but they haven't yet your are getting offended today and giving attitude relentlessly. This is not going to prevent anything, so why all the drama? Quit stressing the small stuff, it isn't a do or die affair.

Many times women more than men are guilty of this. A guy will be offended by one of his friends and though he might be a little upset the offence is forgiven with a mere "Guy, no dey do that kind thing, abeg." But we ladies hnmmmmmm. We have to rub it in and in and telling whoever cares to listen what he did and then blank the person for days, weeks or months and then kneel down before God with holy hands, outstretched and blameless. Sometimes I think its a God complex, they feel they have to play assistant Holy Spirit and set everyone straight and by showing how their behaviour offends their sensibilities. This behaviour does not edify.

Offences will surely come because we’re created to have relationships, but we need to see where they originate. The Bible clearly says we battle not against flesh and blood. If we don’t remember that truth daily, we’ll always fall victim to the spirit of offense. People who walk around offended all the time are hard to please, are very critical and judgmental and they’re difficult to be around. Offence causes the river of God’s love, meant to flow through us to dry up.
Walk in forgiveness. I mean pre-determine to forgive your spouse, since offences will come. Don’t wait until after the offense, to decide whether to forgive them or not. Therefore, praise God.....you’re becoming an un-offendable person! Without the Holy Spirit living in us, we will be offended all of the time! The Holy Spirit also reminds us how valuable the person who offended us is to God and therefore valuable to us as well. Yes, it’s not only possible to live this un-offendable life; it is God’s will that we do. Ephesians.4:26,27 says, “Be angry, and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”
Remember, offences will come, but you don’t have to get offended. Join me and let’s choose to live an un-offendedable life, putting the spirit of offense under our feet. Don’t give any room for the devil in your heart and mind. He will take advantage of you, making you over-sensitive to everyone’s remarks. See things Gods way, we are all his children.

Ijeoma Olujekun

1 comment:

  1. Marriage is not a bed of roses without thorns. There will always be thorns. What matters is the way we deal with these offences. That is the difference between successful marriages and unsuccessful marriages. But there is grace to take care of these offences

    ReplyDelete

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