Everywhere I turn, somebody has been offended. Each time that I watch the news, there are people offended and often another group of people taking up their offenses.
Come on, folks! We live in a world of diversity. We have diverse backgrounds, education, skin color, and spiritual maturity. As a result, we live in conflict. There it is! That awful “C-word,” CONFLICT! But, I don’t think we are dying from conflict, we are slowly dying from misdirected and mismanaged conflict. Wherever you are and whatever you do, is done in the sphere of diversity. And, wherever diversity exists, conflict is close behind.
We, as independent people, love our freedoms, especially when everyone agrees with us. But then life happens. Someone sees the world differently that you do, and BAM! Our diversity then becomes conflict.
We seem to be able to work together. Why then, can we not think together? Because conflict always exists, whether we verbalize or stuff it. The simple recognition that God created us uniquely should give us the catalyst to understand that we look differently, respond differently, and lead differently. Why in the world would we believe that we would not think and speak differently?
I am attempting to control my heart, and I’ve asked the Divine to guide me through this season. You know why? Well, thanks for asking. It is because I have no hope of understanding my heart, much less, changing it without God’s Spirit directing it.
We must stop being offended about everything that someone does or says. Remember that conflict is always present, so don’t take the bait. Refuse to buy into the lies that everyone has a deep and dark agenda to rob you of some freedom or right.
Ask your Creator to do a work within you that will soften your heart with empathy and sincerity, and see how differently this world of conflict is from the life God has directed us to live. Ask your Creator to thicken your skin, so you will not be the victim of everything somebody says.
The foolish, binary thoughts that we must live on the fringes of our ideals with simple yes/no questions leaves no room for us to create our own thoughts and convictions. If all we do is regurgitate someone else’s opinions, we are buying into the lies that the far right or far left has all the answers. That’s a steaming pile of poop!
Lay down your idealistic, emotional boo-boo’s and battle weary pitchforks long enough to develop an “up close” perspective. The further removed from something, the easier it is to take up an offense that was never about you. The longer we remain distanced from the problem, person or statement, we seem to be more offended. The closer we get to the statement, person or problem, the easier it is to develop sympathy, solutions and empathy for the person, problem or activity.
This overly simple, three step, mental activity will save you years of heartache and the temptation to become a statistic filled with rage and no healthy way to release that anger.
1) Live in the Spirit as He lives in you. 2) Offer grace and the reality that you may not know the whole story. 3) Discipline your soul to NOT pick up an offense unless it is personally directed at you and you can deal with it in love and preferably in person. Otherwise, let it go, let it go, let it go!
The real battle isn’t what, or who are offended by, the real battle is between your ears. I’ve discovered that when I am grateful, thoughtful, transparent, and grace-filled, I can lay those offenses down so much easier. How about you?
Go in Peace,