How about you? Did someone cut you off in traffic on your way to work this morning? Did the barista not give you as much in your cup as the customer served before you? Did your boss overlook your hard work and promote someone else? Do your kids enjoy spending time with teachers or coaches more than they enjoy time spent with you?
Did you find yourself getting worked up just reading those questions? What is your initial typical reaction when these things happen in life?
Unfortunately, my reaction tends to be the worst. I guess you could say I’m a pessimist and one who is addicted to being offended.
Recently, my husband and I were told we had offended someone. In turn, they stated something that offended us. As I was taking this to the Lord in prayer, He gently reminded me of the verse, “Cast your cares upon the Lord for He cares for you.”
I’ve heard that verse a million times, but somehow it hit me differently today. What if I were to do what it said? How would my morning be different? More importantly, how would this relationship be different?
I decided to take God at His Word and lay this offense at His feet. In doing so, I felt God affirming me that what my husband and I did years ago had been out of obedience to the Lord – even though now it had been offensive to someone else – at least in this particular situation. However, I also felt a gentle nudge in my spirit saying this particular offense wasn’t even against us – it was against God Himself. For a moment, I pondered that and grieved for the Lord.
When I recited the verse in my mind, I pictured Christ on a cross carrying the burdens of the world, guilt, pride, malicious talk, all the pains and wounds we as humans inflict upon one another. It grieved my spirit. I realized I shouldn’t be offended by this matter we had been fretting over, but God is. God is caring about both parties involved. He is working in the hearts of those who are hurt and feel betrayed. We don’t have to carry that pain. We were never meant to.
God’s Word says we are to live an abundant life. How can we do that if we are constantly carrying the bitter fruit of offendedness in our heart? That only poisons us, and we cease to live abundantly.
Today, I ask you, “Is the hurt that you are carrying – the pain that someone has offended you or the pain that you have caused another – is that worth sacrificing for an abundant life? Is your pity party all you had hoped it would be? Or, is God calling you to be the mature one in the relationship, to step forward and request forgiveness or extend forgiveness and allow Him to carry that burden? Is it really an offense that was against God that you are trying to carry?”
It seems silly, because Christ has already given his own life to death on a cross for whatever it is that you are still clinging to – what pains you. All we have to do is give it to Him.
“Stand firm then. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” God’s Word is clear. We are to clothe ourselves with the armor of God. If we don’t, we might just end up trying to take the place of Christ, which isn’t our role, or we just might be addicted to being offended.
Kerry Schortzman is the Director of Operations at Transformed Hearts Counseling Center as well as an author and speaker. She has traveled the road of recovery alongside her husband through the wildfires of intimacy anorexia. She has a heart and passion to see healing and restoration in relationships and marriages as well as to bring public awareness to eliminate sex and human trafficking. Kerry has been married since 1998 and lives in Colorado with her husband and four daughters. She and Cory have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery.
Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.