I was thinking a while ago about the idea of taking offense at something versus choosing to love anyway. Whether the offense is intentional or not, whether it is directed at me or someone I love.. I am not sure where offense is something that should be compelled out of justice, and where pride really ends up being the true root (said in my very northern accent) of the offense.
Once a long time ago one of my friends mentioned that as Christ followers we have no reason to get offended at anything (I cannot remember his exact wording, but the gist is the same). He went on to explain that Christ paid for it all, He created it all, and therefore it is our job to love, not be offended when people disagree or lob assaults our way. While on the other token, an individual that is going through life without knowing the freedom of Christ has only offense to take. They have no greater foundation, and no one who has literally created a wall of defense on our behalf. So, it makes sense for them to get offended, because really whatever is said can only be absorbed by them (again, this is a basic meaning re-telling of what my friend said).
So, I have been thinking about this idea of offense lately. Where do I stand on topics like this. For example, there are so many political moves going on right now, and really I think most everyone is in the wrong about the debt crisis, who’s to blame, who really has a plan to fix it, oh wait, do we really want THEM fixing our debt plan, I mean they are ok with or against gay marriage…. Wait what?! How are those two connected?
Seasame Street!!.. Used to enjoy that show as a kid.. now people are stating Bert and Ernie are really gay movement… Really?! Why do we have pre-determined agendas where our children just need entertainment?
What about all of the moral corruption, famine.. people are LITERALLY dying because they do not have water or food, and all some people are worried about is whether their particular agenda is getting moved forward. So, what does this do inside of me?… It breaks my heart. It shows me how totally and unequivocally we are broken and shattered forms of what we could be.
So, bringing this all back around to offense. I easily could get worked up and offended at the things said about Christians.. or BY Christians right now. There seems to be a never ending river of issues (sorta just comes with the fallen and broken territory I guess). But, while I certainly have my opinions about virtually every topic, I have not been called to be offended. I have been commanded to love. It is not my job on this earth to lobby on behalf of Christ and Christians everywhere.. If you believe that is your job or purpose, you are sadly mistaken.. And, if you are surrounded by “those” Christians, I am so sorry (it’s ok to get offended right now and say, think or feel however you want to.. but keep reading..). My job, your job, every other person on the planet’s job is to love. True, unconditional, unrelenting force of nature to be reckoned with love.
Now true, love can take many forms.. Sometimes it is in the form of a war to protect the innocent, sometimes it is in the form of not saying a word, and other times it is in the form of getting your hands messy and engaging in someones (or multiple people’s) life. I do not know why this is God’s plan, how it all works out, or why some go to hell. I do not know why some people’s names are in the lambs book of life, and why others are….. I have no concept of how that works.. None. At. All.
But, what I do know is, my job is not to take Christ’s offenses on my shoulders. He does not need me to, nor has He asked me to. However, He has commanded me to love. To reach out to every single person I ever meet and show them Him. I am really bad at this most days, but I try again always without ceasing. Yet, if I spend more time being offended at someone else’s stance or belief I have forgotten to see their heart for what it is. Broken, shattered, bleeding, and maybe dying…
How can I choose to be offended in this moment instead of put aside my own personal feelings to love them. It is never easy to love, it is not a weak choice to choose love/care/compassion.. in fact I think it is the harder, more courageous choice because it takes purposeful intent rather than a simple reaction.
My God has already taken the offense, He has already paid for the sin, and He does not need my two-cents on the matter. What He needs is for me to seek out the person He created me to be, and to rock this world with a counter-culture perspective of what type of response seems natural.
Do I have an opinion about politics, Bert and Ernie, gay marriage, the debt ceiling, the famine in Africa, etc..etc.. absolutely I do. But I am not God, it is not my place to fix these things.
Lastly, do not confuse your own emotions with the Holy Spirit’s calling in your life. That is a very crucial fine line to pay attention to.