Unoffendable

Written by on March 16, 2015

It’s a good thing grace is at the core of this thing we call faith, I thought to myself.

I struggled to worship, even to pray, as I mentally reviewed a list of offenses. An elderly neighbor roared at small children for squealing on their bikes as they rode past his home. A pal didn’t respond to a friend request on Facebook. On a power walk with a friend in my neighborhood, I frowned as she chatted on the phone with another friend most of the way.

I need to forgive a stadium full of people, I thought. I mulled it over. Maybe I can get ahead of the power curve. After all, spiritual maturity should be our number one goal, right? Hey, I thought, maybe this forgiveness thing is a race.

I tied on my Nikes, bent a knee to the ground, primed the sole of my foot against the starting block, spread my fingers onto the coarse track, and listened for the starting pistol to puncture the morning air with an explosive boom!

Each time I was offended, I challenged myself to forgive quickly. Like a sprinter in a two-hundred-meter race, I determined to shorten the time from the offense to forgiveness. A kind of personal best.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”

“Father,” I prayed, “Show me how to do Your will and love like Your child.”

My stubborn pride tried to cut into my lane and trip me up. But I brought each soul-hurt to our Comforter and Counselor, Co-Co. Together we considered each person. He asked me to trade judging them for treating them with compassion.

Grudges slowly dissolved. What once took months to release gradually took weeks. What took weeks soon became days. What became days, I purposed in my heart, would take only hours. Maybe minutes.

Did I blow it? Yep. Many times. But in the process, I hoped that if I kept short accounts with those who hurt me, maybe I’d grow up. Just maybe.

With a rather self-satisfied smile, I asked my Divine Coach, “So how am I doing?”

Kindly, gently, Co-Co said, “Take another look.”

Together we reviewed the tape of situations when I got angry. My steel eyes, tense jaw, crossed arms and ugly heart looked anything but mature.

He said, “It’s not about how fast you forgive, although you’re on the right track. It’s about not taking offense in the first place.

“It’s about becoming Unoffendable.”

Friend, what if in the transforming presence of God, in the fullness of His pleasure, we wouldn’t—in fact couldn’t—take offense?

How can we posture ourselves so that God’s heart becomes ours? What mindsets do we need to unlearn so that we can empty ourselves and get filled with Him? What fills our souls with the One Who Accepts Like None Other, so that nothing can disturb us? 

Kick off your Nikes, friend. You’re standing on holy ground.

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Comments
  1. Bonnie K   On   March 17, 2015 at 6:42 am

    AS the Lord continues to mold me, I do catch myself looking at other people and the wrongs they do. Then I catch myself and look at my own self.
    Too many times we tend to look at everyday trials and tribulations of this world and want to attach it or blame the other person.
    We often want to snap and yell and point fingers of other’s wrongs. ” That stupid *&*&*$#** NICE TURN SIGNAL, ( Oh but then, do I myself forget to put mine on, or put it on at the last minute.)
    We also tend to wonder what others think of us,
    when we should ask ourselves,
    ” What does GOD think of me?” It is a hard thing to do living in this physical world and act on our Spirit guide. On point, I think that is why it is important to fix our eyes on the Living Lord, our prayers and His word.

    • Lynn Hare   On   March 17, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      Bonnie, I grew up with a lot of blame-casting in my family, and I pray that today my spiritual walk shakes that off entirely. I love the question, “What does GOD think of me?” When it comes down to it, all that matters is our Audience of One, eh?

  2. Dale Lawrence   On   March 17, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Lynn, This is brilliant! I love the insight God has shared with you. You have such a wonderful way of illustrating the intensity of emotion and Papa God’s straigthforwardness. O, how He loves us! Thanks for sharing your heart with us!!

    • Lynn Hare   On   March 17, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Thank you, Dale. The Holy Spirit leads the way. I’m overwhelmed by His goodness. Dale, you’ve taught me so much about Co-Co over the years! Thank you for praying.

  3. Lynn Saint   On   March 17, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Bless your open heart, Lynn!
    Thank you for expressing what our needs are…how we must walk with a forgiving spirit, constantly, how we must not take on an offense in the first place, how we must not succumb to either the lies of our flesh or of our soul’s enemy.
    Oh, YES, our God is more than faithful to guide and train us, leading us in the way we should go.
    Rude and crude people do cause us to raise our hackles and to justify our responses. While praying with and for those who have been horrifically violated, I need to remember to ask God to work on the perpetrators’ hearts and minds as well as heal the victims.
    Lynn, thank you for the reminders and for a light (His light shining) check on my heart condition.
    With love and gratitude for you…
    Lynn

    • Lynn Hare   On   March 17, 2015 at 10:51 pm

      Lynn, your spirit pours through and illuminates mine every time I connect with you. God is indeed faithful to train us. To heal us. To warm our souls. I pray I validate the pain of those who’ve been through horrific ordeals, but also draw them into Co-Co’s warm presence so they have a safe place to call their own.

  4. Rebecca   On   March 17, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Wonderful post, Lynn!
    I’ve learned in my journey with The Lord, that it’s impossible to become “unoffendable” by my own effort. I can’t do anything to achieve it because it is beyond human comprehension. When it happens, I know without a doubt that it is not me, but the living power of The Holy Spirit in me. And it is beautiful. It is just one of the gifts that comes when our lives are “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3), and it makes me love Him all the more!
    Blessings my friend!
    Rebecca

    • Lynn Hare   On   March 17, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      Rebecca, that is so true! It’s Co-Co’s life in us. I love the verse about being hidden with Christ in God! You’re right. It’s Christ in us who does the loving. Absolutely beautiful, Rebecca!

  5. Susan Maas   On   March 17, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    I think the issue you mention is something most of us struggle with at times. I try really hard to see others as God sees them, to look for the best, rather than the worst, and to remember that everyone has scars we can’t see. But there are still days when I get annoyed or offended or just plain mad at someone. Have to keep reminding myself of the grace God extends to me–and try to pass it on.

    • Lynn Hare   On   March 17, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      Susan, I totally agree. I sometimes catch myself judging others, and Co-Co also reminds me, “You don’t know their private battle.” I try to respond with compassion. I don’t always get it right, but I see a progression, and, like you, remind myself of God’s grace, and pass it on!

  6. Joanna   On   March 18, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Lynn, thanks for sharing openly about your struggles in order to help others. I like the twist at the end about not just forgiving quickly, but not allowing ourselves to be offended in the first place. Wow! I think that for me, being offended comes from a posture of defensiveness. If I feel insecure about myself in a particular area and then someone says something about it, I’m easily offended and hurt. Perhaps the solution is to become more secure in how God sees me, so the opinions of others don’t matter quite as much.

    • Lynn Hare   On   April 7, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Joanna, yes, I definitely have times of feeling insecure, too. I’m learning that this faith walk is not so much about getting stuff right all the time. We get to walk out our faith with our eyes on our Audience of One. I used to be an approval junkie. But I’m slowly getting addicted to His approval instead. Bring it on.

  7. Jen Popp   On   June 29, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Stumbled upon this post from 2015 and it couldn’t have come at a better time today 3 years later. I love how timeless His way of life and His character is. Unoffendable! What a crazy, insane, unnatural way to live. I’m ready for it.

    • Lynn Hare   On   June 29, 2018 at 2:41 pm

      Hi Jen,
      So glad you enjoyed this post. The pastors at Bethesda Church in Vancouver, Ben and Tisha Straup, have recently spoken about being unoffendable . . .and your kind feedback here lead me to believe it’s time to rerun this post!

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