As I was falling asleep the other night, I felt God bring up an offense I had in my heart. I was surprised that it was in there and confused that I hadn’t even realized it.
Here’s the scenario that played out…
I was out for a meal with some people I know and love dearly.
I’ve struggled to eat out because both SK and I have food allergies and have even had food poisoning on more than one occasion.
It’s definitely easier to just eat at home!
It can be exhausting explaining to people who don’t have food allergies/irritations why you really CAN’T eat just anything.
The whole reason I’m in the States right now is to get my health under control and I try to avoid foods that’ll trigger my body.
So here I was having placed an order I felt safe about and was specific with my requests to our young waiter.
My food rolls out soon and it’s not quite what I requested.
I always hate asking and having waiters check and make sure it’s safe, but when it’s not what I ordered it’s not worth becoming ill.
A friend sitting next to me knows our waiter and apologizes for my requests by saying, “sorry she’s being all high maintenance over here…”.
Several nearby people heard this person and looked my way.
In the moment I was just slightly embarrassed but didn’t give it much thought.
I ate my food and had such a great time with those I was with.
I’ve interacted with this person who made this remark, prayed for them and never thought of their comment that night.
Until Holy Spirit brought it up.
I’d prayed earlier that night like I have many times, “God if there is any offense in my heart against anyone, please show me…”
As I’m drifting off that night, I see this scenario play out and I feel the tiny sting of not being understood and feeling embarrassed in front of a group of friends.
Then I realized I had an offense.
Obviously it wasn’t a huge offense.
It was easy to pray this one out and release that person.
But I realize it had stuck to me.
Like a magnetic pull, this offense hit a vulnerable place in me and stuck. No, more like it clung to me.
I was its prisoner, but I had a choice to let it go.
There are major situations that can cause us much pain and heartache in this life.
There is no shortage of cruelty or craziness in our world unfortunately.
While there are times that we might be slighted by a large offensive scenario, it’s usually the day in and day out offenses that take their toll on us.
As a Christian and one who prays to keep her heart un-offended, I can recognize the LARGE battles.
I sense the luring ways of a wrong doing vying for me to lose my cool and become offended.
It’s the small offenses however that subtly come along that can easily go unnoticed.
When we keep these areas of our lives unchecked and/or we are defensive about something, feel insecure, or vulnerable, we are attracting offenses to our heart like magnets.
When we don’t deal with these hurts as the opportunities come to be offended, they begin to pile up and create an offended heart.
My husband always says that offenses literally build a fence around our hearts.
When we have a fence erected, we are not able to let others love us or let our love flow to others.
The offenses in our hearts keep God’s perfect love out as well.
The picture at the top of this post is of my husband and a missionary colleague trying to get into our Bible School property in Madagascar, but the fence was stuck.
There was a large rock placed behind the fence that wouldn’t allow anyone in.
It was a GREAT security measure from unwanted guests, but behind that fence was a container that had Stephen and I’s personal belongings we had shipped overseas and we wanted in.
We wanted to get past the fence, but until someone on the other side moved the rock, we couldn’t get in.
Who or what are you keeping out by the offenses that you’re holding onto?
There are treasures inside of you that this world needs.
Beauty that God Himself has placed within you to share with this world.
What are you attracting in your life? Are you attracting offenses because your heart is wounded?
What would your life look like if you attracted love and repelled offenses?
Other blogs on dealing with offense found here