This “In 5 Minutes” series are episodes that are power-packed in 5 minutes. Makes sense, huh? The first one was about forgiveness and redefining what it looks like to forgive an offender. Last week was all about how reconciliation after an offense can happen when the four “R’s” - remorse, responsibility, recognition, and remedy - are present.
This week, I want to talk about how to not take offense in the first place. “What? Not get offended? But what if someone says something hurtful to me, or does something offensive? How could I not take offense at that?”
Well, here’s what I’d like to say: We don’t have to take offense. Ever. Taking offense by someone’s actions, behaviors, or words just leads to resentment and anger, which ultimately results in bitterness. In the 5-minute episode about forgiveness we already established that these three –resentment, anger, and bitterness – could kill us emotionally, spiritually, and perhaps even physically.
What happens when we take offense? We get defensive and feel the need to lash back in order to defend ourselves. Taking offense always makes us want to defend ourselves. It’s the way we save face. Needing to defending ourselves makes us want to prove the other person wrong. We start criticizing and finding fault with the other person, just so we can prove their words or actions towards us are wrong. And then that just fuels our anger and resentment towards them. Bitterness sets in and creates an even greater fraction of the relationship. And again, this is killing us emotionally, but it’s also having a direct impact on us spiritually, and will eventually have an effect on us physically.
But it’s possible for us to not take offense at all if we’ll just get curious.
Curiosity leads to Compassion.
And compassion and Bitterness cannot coexist.
Let me say that again, ‘cause it’s good: Curiosity leads to Compassion. And compassion and Bitterness cannot coexist.
So, what does that mean to get curious? Well, here is where I’d like to remind you of one of my favorite personal revelations: What if their words, actions, or behaviors have nothing to do with you at all. What if they are acting out of their own woundedness, insecurities, or negative perceptions from past experiences? What if it’s got nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them? Then you can get your eyes off of yourself and get curious to understand why they’re hurting. You can seek to understand where there coming from, what they’ve been through or experienced, or what they’re currently facing that might make them act the way they do. When we’ve taken a moment to try to “walk a mile in their shoes,” compassion comes.
When we know someone has unhealed wounds, or at the very least we can speculate because, hey, everyone does, it gives us an opportunity to extend grace and show them compassion in our response, and to not take it personally. Not take offense. We can do this when we know their actions are really not about us at all. It’s all about the fact that they’re hurting, and they don’t have the healing to love freely. Their ability to have healthy relationships is limited by their hurt. They are not free. We can have great compassion for people who are not living a life that is free to love and to receive love, a life that is overflowing with joy and hope and happiness, the abundant life Jesus said He came to give us.
So, friend, you want to live a life free of offense? Do you want to learn to take no offense? Get curious about other people. Let your mind wander in attempt to discover WHY they’re doing what they’re doing. This kind of curiosity will always lead you to compassion if you’re truly making an honest effort to understand them. And you will have kept resentment, anger, and ultimately bitterness out of your life. Because remember, bitterness and compassion cannot coexist. Curiosity leads to compassion, which always gives you the opportunity to take no offense.
Friend, want to learn more about the power to take no offense? If you’re a Christian woman, I’d love to help you. Book a free 30-minute call on my calendar so we can chat about Life Coaching together. The link is in the show notes.
And don’t forget to get the listener’s Guide that will help you work through this topic. The link to that is in the show notes, as well.
Have a wonderful week, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life.
We don’t have to take offense. Ever.
Taking offense by someone’s actions, behaviors, or words just leads to resentment and anger, which ultimately results in bitterness. And bitterness could kill us emotionally, spiritually, and perhaps even physically.
In 5-minutes, I talk about how to take no offense, and instead how to use curiosity to bring compassion.
Get the work-alone Guide here: https://www.triciazody.com/guide
Read the Podcast transcript here: https://www.triciazody.com/podcasttranscripts
Are you wondering how Life Coaching works? Would you like a free, 30-minute session? Click this link to set up a Consult Call: https://calendly.com/triciazodylifecoach/30min