I want to share this story and unfortunately, I’m not prepared to share it on my personal social media platforms (the ones people know me to follow) but I wanted to still talk about the issue of Offense.
Offense is surely a seed that plants itself inside your heart and continues to grow if you don’t do anything to damage the root.
A few years ago (yes I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been carrying this a long time) I went to a highly respected church leader and asked for advice, not only did she throw the bible at me, but every time I saw her after that she would make small comments while she was talking to a crowd about
people coming to her and wanting advice and how she just send them straight to the bible. Of course, I felt like I had a huge bull’s eye on my forehead. I felt ashamed for going to her and even more ashamed that I had needed someone to talk to. That shame has followed me since that situation in such a weird way. Every time I hear her name I think about what she did to me, the situation really gave her power over m.e
Not only did she hurt me, but she went on to be rude to my mother about a different situation, and then she told another church leader a story that was true but said it had occurred to me when it actually had not.
Recently, she has been getting praises for helping different people and I’ve watched their church members try to recruit people to go to their church. Just a few months ago after she had told the story to the other church leader, she had reached out to me and now I recognize it was just to fill me out and see if I’d been told what she had said. How do I know? Because she needed me to do something but after seeing I was okay with doing it I never heard from her again. And what she asked me to do was never done or brought up again either.
Me accepting to do something for her was actually me trying to get over this offense the first time. I thought maybe if I just tried to be nice to her and work with her I could see she changed and get over it.
Her “ghosting” me and then hearing the story crushed that idea, my offense deepened.
In my selfish and own pain, I wanted to “go public” with my story not to talk about how good God was but to shine a light on her character.
I realized right away that this was wrong and I needed God to help me.
It doesn’t feel good when we are at a low point and we reach out to those who profess to have open arms but when we run towards them we find out they are actually stone cold and not warm and inviting like they were portrayed to be.
Proverbs 19:11 states: Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.
It’s okay to get angry but it must be controlled. I have to do some inner work to get to the root of why that situation hurt me so much and be grateful that I did make it past that situation instead of crumbling.
Her words hurt but they didn’t kill me.
And when I was looking for an answer for how to get over this offense I stumbled upon this scripture in Luke 17, 3.
3 So watch yourselves.
“If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.
The beginning of that verse got to me. So I should be watching myself and not her actions? What did I do wrong in this situation but trust someone who was supposed to help me?
And then a light bulb went off.
Have I not offended someone by mistake and never realized it?
Did I not have a friend go through something similar and I told her ” girl you have got to get over it” when she needed me the most to understand?
I had nailed her to a cross and she probably doesn’t even realize she had offended me in the first place. I never went to her and expressed how she made me feel.
This is what being a Christian is all about to me. Recognizing that I need help and learning how to direct and correct MY actions, the only ones I’m responsible for.
And this is why I also love writing. At the beginning of this blog post, this issue was really laying heavy on my heart. However, now that I’ve written it out and searched for scriptures I feel like I am on the road to freedom from the offense!
I can’t do the work for her but I can definitely do the work for me.