Advent Meditations “Forgiveness”

We’ve all done it, right?

Take the easy way out of something?

People are going to hurt us, disappoint us, frustrate us.  Period.

We would not be human if we didn’t encounter some negative thoughts and feelings when we are in a relationship with one another.

But just as getting offended by someone is a choice, so is staying offended. And staying offended is a bad choice that we are often tempted to make!

Have you ever met someone who relishes being offended?

So much so that they make excuses around why they choose to stay offended instead of actually working through the issues at hand?

“I have to protect myself.”

“I just don’t have the energy to deal with that right now.”

There are root issues within each of us that cause and allow us to be offended by things. But that’s the part we don’t want to think through, much less talk about. Because that makes the offense something we have to own as well.

It isn’t just something that is done to us. We have a part to play in the relationship. Sometimes, however, we are too selfish to want to do the work.

Think about it for a minute . . .

When we get offended by someone, there’s a reason that their actions offend us.

Perhaps we feel like they don’t care about us or something we care about, so we are offended.

Or, we feel threatened by their actions and it touches on some deep insecurity that we wrestle with.

Maybe their actions touch on an inner hurt we just don’t want to face.

It is easier to stay offended than to deal with our inner hurts and pain.

Being offended is a defense mechanism we use to protect ourselves from uncomfortable, painful things we need to process and resolve.

Jesus had people berating him, betraying him, tricking him, scorning him, ridiculing him . . . yet, he didn’t walk around offended. He gave us the beautiful model of always turning the other cheek.

Instead of walking around unhappy and bitter, he walked around with inner peace. That is something each of us can have . . . but it is a conscious decision we have to make.

We hold onto our offenses so long that they harden our hearts, cause us to be bitter, and frankly, in the end, we are the ones who suffer.

The easy way out, choosing to live offended, is not the best way out.

Where can you deal with “being offended” today?

Offering forgiveness is a beautiful and selfless thing.