Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Are You Offensive?

Yep...Today I was "that person."

I had my $80 worth of groceries in the 15 items or less line. I totally offended the cheese block lady (lady with just a block of cheese) who walked up behind me. After she gave the block of cheese to the checker and said, "Never mind. I thought this was the 15 items or less line," she then walked out in a huff. Surprisingly, it didn't faze the checker one bit, but cheese lady was not happy...

Ooops! Totally my fault for not paying attention. However, I did not intend to be offensive. In fact, I would have moved myself to the other lane if I had noticed in time. Normally, I am a nice person who is considerate of others. But nonetheless, I was offensive today.

It gets me thinking these thoughts -
How many times are we offensive when we totally don't intend to be?
How many times are we offended by others when they didn't mean to be?

I wonder what the percentage is of unintended offenses. 50%? 60%? 90%? Unless it is at a public middle school or high school (I can say that because I've worked at a public high school!), I bet the percentage is high. Most people do not normally intend to offend others.

When we find ourselves as the offender, what do we do? In Ezekiel, the Bible says, "Because he considers all the offenses he has committed and turns away from them, he will surely live; he will not die." Once we have an awareness of our offensiveness, then we can choose to change and repent.

How does God handle offenses that we commit (after we first, we ask for forgiveness, and turn away from our offenses)? In Isaiah, God's forgiveness covers or removes offenses. "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."

When we find ourselves offended by others, what then? Proverbs has several wise thoughts, such as, "He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends," and "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense."

Hopefully this gives you a new perspective on being offended or offensive. We can learn these lessons in interesting ways; even at the checkout line...

Posted by Krista Dunk

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