The Offended Irritate Me

Have you ever noticed how easily people are offended these days? There used to be a day when if someone said something that offended you, you either went about your own business and dismissed that person in your mind as being an insensitive jerk, or you slapped them in the face with a glove and challenged then to pistols at 20 paces.  For that matter, what passed for “offended” a generation ago used to carry a lot more weight.  Even still, if you felt that you were offended enough, you took matters into your own hands and solved it right then and there, and that was the end of it. Nowadays, if someone “offends” you, stop the presses!  Call the lawyers!  Get a news crew over here!  Get the laws changed! What’s even worse is that “offended” is often times defined simply as “something I don’t agree with”.  Battle lines are drawn whenever you mention gender, religion, sexuality, musical preference, computer operating systems, church worship styles, brands of motorcycle, the color of your clothes, or Justin Bieber.  Anyone who dares to disagree is labeled as “offensive”. When did we become a society of mamby-pambies? I love the Geico ads they’re running these days.  The one with R. Lee Ermey as a drill-sargent-turned-therapist is my favorite:

 

 

The reason I like it so much is because it’s so dead-on accurate!  Our society has become dominated by some “enlightened” sentiment that our feelings are the most important thing in our lives.  The unspoken understanding is that the worst thing you can do to a person is hurt their feelings.  As such, we’ve become a society filled with people who base their entire lives – their entire concepts of personal identity – on whether they feel good about things.  When you disrupt that Pollyanna sense of self-worth, then the person becomes “offended”, as if you’ve taken a sword and pierced the very core of their being. I’ll come right out and say it:  Easily offended people irritate me. In my lifetime, I’ve been treated like a walking pile of pig excrement.  I’ve been made fun of.  I’ve worked for bosses who treat me like I’m beneath their contempt.  I’ve been called a racist, bigoted, sexist homophobe.  I’ve been maligned for my Christian beliefs.  I’ve been physically assaulted for being chivalrous.  I’ve had people tel me that I’m the Devil.  I’ve been indignant in my responses at times, but it never occurs to me to be “offended” because:

  1. I’m not a little girl
  2. I know who I am in Christ

(If you’re offended by my use of the phrase “little girl”, thank you for making my point for me.) If I were to draw my identity from my feelings, I would be offended at every turn.  Where do I draw my identity from, then?  Let’s see what Scripture has to say about it: “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12) I have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.  That means that I’m a child of God; a child of the King.  Why would a prince allow himself to be easily offended? There’s another aspect to my identity in Christ.  It’s the realization that my sins are responsible for Christ’s death.  In the book of Isaiah we read: “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5  NIV) Jesus Christ took upon himself the sins of all of creation – mine and yours included – so that we could have a restored relationship with God.  Jesus suffered a brutal, agonizing punishment that should have been paid by me.  What business, then, do I have in being “offended” about anything? Compared to what Jesus had to suffer on my behalf, nobody has ever done anything bad enough to me to merit even a minute’s attention. This is what the phrase “identifying with the cross of Christ” means.  It means that when I understand the significance of what was done for me by Jesus Christ on the cross, then I understand that I have no right to myself any more, and as such I have no business being “offended” by trivial things.  As scripture says, I was “bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20  NIV, paraphrased).  Who I am is because of who Jesus is. So let me make this perfectly clear – If you’re walking around being “offended” at every turn, then you need to stop.  You need to understand that you are not the center of the universe, and your feelings are not the most important thing in the world.  You need to stop focusing on yourself (and demanding that the rest of the world focus on you, too), and start focusing on Jesus.  You’ll find that your perspective will change greatly when you realize where you really fit into the grand scheme of things.