Proverbs 21:2 Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.
We are not talking about the horrible effects that the black death plague, the Spanish flu, or our modern-day HIV had on people’s lives. But more insidious, and deceitful is a present-day sickness that is weakening our character and backbone, which is the belief that everyone has the right to be offended at the smallest provocation. Because of its long-term effect on the hearts of mankind, this sickness may negatively affect more souls over the next few years than any destructive ailment Satan has dished out throughout history. The enemy of our soul has created a fevered frenzy causing people to justify their reactionary clamour and anger while legitimizing any retaliation of outright revengeful acts toward the smallest slight upon one’s feelings, psyche, or idealistic view. The right to be outrageously offended at someone’s sideways glance is now being rationalized in our society.
Not only is the disease of offendedness accumulating momentum, but now…. the need to have the right to be offended is becoming mainstream. A general acceptance of being offended has become socially acceptable. How did this come about and why are we putting up with it? It seems inevitable, but laws under the guise of protecting human rights and progressive values will be written into our social conduct codes to allow the offended a place to vent. Some say it is already happening and we are too late to stop the madness. The conflict that arises is that when one believes they have the right to be offended, they cannot position themselves to forgive because an offended heart is their default state.
Am I exaggerating the effects of this phenomenon? I don’t think so, because sometimes I think I have caught the symptoms myself when I have wanted to justify my hurts and anger. If this infectious disease is that close to home in my life, then I had better get healed as fast as possible. The word of God expressly tells us not to give place to the lies of the devil who has promoted this agenda. Eph. 4:27 Neither give place to the devil. Jesus said that we would be blessed if we did not pick up an offence concerning Him. Matt. 11:6 And blessed is any person who does not take offence at Me. Just thinking out loud here, but is the blessing in my life limited by the offendedness I take on personally? Let’s face it if someone is offended they often have a hard time forgiving and unforgiveness eventually leads to offendedness. The never-ending cycle of despair.
There are two sides to this. The ones who are offended and the ones who carelessly offend. When did we, as people, become so rude that our inner thoughts automatically speak without conviction? When did we stop being embarrassed at the nonsense being spoken from our mouths? Were we always this way? I’m not sure, but like a nation of demented citizens, we can’t seem to hide our anger or aggrieved pride anymore because we think we are always right in every situation. Being wrong is no longer an option we are willing to capitulate to. Prov. 21:2 Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.
What is the inoculation against this disease? The only thing I can think of is receiving constant shots and doses of the blood of Jesus being pleaded over our lives to keep us from being infected by the Take Offence Virus making its way throughout the world. As long as we are on this side of eternity, a daily proclamation of faith in the power of the blood of Jesus will be needed to overcome the first impulse to be so easily insulted. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we are to try to overcome this tendency by putting our hearts into doing our best to get along. Rom. 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Living in a constant state of road rage will diminish one’s ability to maneuver through life.
At the risk of being called offensive, I will quote John Lennon and say, “Give peace a chance.” We need to get out of our way and give forgiveness a chance and give love a chance to flow through our hearts and minds to change the default setting of offendedness that is becoming lodged within our first response to anything contrary to our thinking. Let’s give tenderness, warmth, and appreciation a chance to come forth from our hearts and then, who knows, all that goodness may start coming out of our mouths and will be felt because it is said in sincerity. Give God a chance to bless you because you blessed Him by not being offended by Jesus. Matt.25:40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Blessing.