Staying Spiritual When We’re Offended
August 29, 2016
I’m allergic to drama. Who’s with me? I don’t enjoy being offended, hurt, or angry. Those feelings interrupt my usual serenity and my productivity. They yank me sharply out of my Peace Within. I like to be enjoying life, steaming along in a positive direction, doing Go(o)d, meeting deadlines, mixing happily with good people, and relaxing in peace between. Recently, I’ve had a few opportunities to think about offense.
When someone royally offends you, aren’t your feelings hurt and your body tense? Maybe you have trouble thinking of anything else-how could they DO this to you? Keeping your mind on your work, your relationships, or your in-joy-meant-all tough when you’ve been touched by a drama. Maybe your attention is repeatedly dragged off-track to the person or situation that caused the drama. Does this sound like fun? No. Is there any benefit to anyone in someone feeling offended? Um, no.
So what can we, as spiritual and Christian people, do when we feel offended? Say, someone who is often jealous and critical aims their blame-beam at you. They are now criticizing the way you said something you thought was endearing. You know you were kind, and this person is enjoying creating gossip and making you look bad, over something that never happened. Aside from hurting you, the person is being damaging to the group/church/company. Consider these steps:
- Pray. Ask for guidance as to whether to respond to the person at all.
- Pray. Pray for the person who needs this kind of internal and external drama.
- Remember. This person’s perception is their drama, and with this type, responding at all may throw gasoline on the fire.
- Act “as if”. Act as if the person never aimed their blame-beam at you, as if it never happened. You can re-write your emotions with this technique.
- Pray. Ask God whether perhaps this is a signal that you don’t need to circulate with this person anymore. Especially if this is something that the person keeps doing. You are not their only target. Sometimes we are the ball being hit by the flipper on God’s pinball board. Sometimes we are being shown what to turn our backs to.
- Keep your heart light. Don’t let yourself sink into the disorderly person’s drama. Keep bringing your focus back to anything positive, or simply to God.
The Bible offers this:
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
~ James 3:16 (NIV)
A person who has Peace Within does not need to create inflammatory conversation: criticism or gossip. Feel sorry for the person in disorder. Pray for the Highest and Best for them. You may be amazed at how the person shifts over the next few weeks, if you do not sink into being offended, but continue to pray for them.
And remember, God is watching how you handle this. Every time you think of this offense, choose not to be offended. Rise above. Reset your thoughts as many times as you need to. And keep in mind,
It is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
~ Prov 19:11 (NIV)
Life often gives us opportunities to get offended. But we can choose how much we want to buy into taking in the hurt. With practice, it will take you less and less time and effort to get back to your Peace Within. So practice. And pray. And that’s Upbeat Spiritual Living!
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- Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert. She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition(http://tinyurl.com/mqg3uvc ). Her newest book is Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office. Just email SacredMeditation@kebba.com.
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