Recently, I was listening to an interview on the radio with one of my favorite Christian artists. He was being asked about how it felt to have won so many music awards. His reply went something like this, “I am at the stage in my life now that I am just as happy when someone else wins than myself. I have accomplished so much in my life. Those awards are all put away in a cabinet in my house. Now, I want my biggest accomplishment to be becoming unoffendable. I want to become a person who doesn’t care what other people think.”
I began to think that true humility would be to live a life that doesn’t take offense. Can you imagine how free a Christ follower would be if they clothed themselves with humility and didn’t allow the words or actions of others offend them? Offence is in the heart of the person feeling offended. How we react to a person or situation is our decision.
Of course, there is always balance. A person cannot care what other people think because they are hard-hearted or arrogant. However, if we are truly living out the Christian life of being like Christ and loving people, then we will care about how we come across to others. Proverbs 11:3 says “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
I have found that some people are very offendable. By just saying that I am a minister or a Christian offends them. Walls go up and they want nothing to do with me or what I have to say. Jesus offended a lot of people, actually most people he came in contact with were offended by him. He clashed with modern day society and teachings. He brought a message of love and redemption in a time that legalism and religiosity ruled. Jesus still offends today. People hate that Jesus claims to be the Son of God. People are angry that Jesus teaches grace and mercy. When we choose to live like Jesus, we too will offend others. I have learned that the only opinion that counts is God’s.
I will choose my words wisely when speaking to those who are easily offendable but I will not change who I am or the message of Jesus. I will offend many, I already have, but I will be obedient to preaching the Gospel, loving Jesus and loving others. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
If every Christian decided to live a life of taking no offence then we would have a bold, Spirit-led, community that would not hesitate to stand up for what is right!