07 March 2011

Easily Offended

The greatest leaders I know are not easily offended. Instead, they practice the habit of overlooking offenses. They purpose not to brew on how they’ve been wronged or treated unfairly. There is something that clicks inside our heart when we let the feeling of offense take over. It clouds our judgment and causes us to lead out of frustration. I know from experience the world of conversations we can create in our head. We begin mulling over our possible responses, comebacks, and ways in which we will reclaim our reputation.

About 3 years ago I was convicted that I had not been practicing the spiritual discipline of taking the high road. Being offended is a choice. Every leader should own this verse: "The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression." (Proverbs 19:11)

There are certainly times when it is legitimate to be angry. The Apostle Paul says, "Be angry, and do not sin" (Ephesians 4:26). Anger can be a valid response to something that is wrong. But it can quickly become toxic—not only for those to whom we direct it but also for ourselves. This is why the Apostle James admonishes us to be "slow to anger" (James 1:19, 20).

Between the stimulus and the response is the power to choose. This is precisely what makes us human. We don't have to respond with like fire. I desire to be a leader that leads out of “stillness and quiet.” This requires a new conversation to be mulled over in my head “I belong to God, He is my defender, I belong to God, He is my defender.” I am convinced that righteous anger and being offended should be reserved for the “other” in my life. I am compelled as a leader to look out for the weak, the abused, the manipulated, the lonely, the trampled on and the unloved. I hold my fire for advocating for others.

Jesus modeled the same in his journey to the cross. It says in Colossians 2:15 that "Jesus made a public spectacle of the power and authorities.” A natural question would be; how did he do that when we was the one naked, whipped, lied about, mocked and hung? Because Holy love always wins in God’s economy.

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