Hey friends! Sorry that I left you hanging – I said I would be back Friday but I didn’t get back Friday so instead I am here on Sunday! Thanks in advance for your graciousness:)
There is so much running through my mind today and so many topics I would love to hash out BUT I figured I would stay on track for at least one more post & tell you another step to living a freed up life!
Live Unoffended. I am sure that I have read the scripture associated with this instruction and I have probably heard this actual phrase before but sometimes you just have to be in the right space to truly hear. Recently, I went on spiritual retreat with a few friends and it was in that setting that the leader in one of my breakout sessions said “live unoffended – be hard to offend” and it really hit home. Before we go any further, did you realize that spiritual retreats really exist?!? I never did and it was so funny to me because during my husband’s addiction, every time he went to rehab I would tell people he was on a spiritual retreat so the fact that I was actually getting to go on a spiritual retreat was a hoot! A free piece of advice – be wary of spiritual retreats because it likely means camping, port a potties and no showers. Like Woodstock but for Jesus. Jesus and I are such good friends and I love Him like no other. He is the one who created me and when He created me, he also gave me a desire to be clean and fixed up so I need a shower & hair dryer every day and I need an actual toilet because I have a really small bladder. Incredible overall experience but by night 3 me and my crew were in a hotel room. The local Best Western looked like the Magic Kingdom. Thank you, Jesus.
Okay, let’s get back on track. Like we talked about last week, our feelings are fickle and it is easy to let them rule over us but feelings were never intended to rule. Choices lead and feelings follow. There are so many things in life that we cannot control but we can always control our attitudes and our response to other people & the situations we encounter. I know that people do offend us sometimes and it is like a reflex to say “can you believe she acted that way?” or “can you believe she said that to me?” or can you believe they treated my child that way?” What if we asked the Spirit to help us be offended less and to begin to live life unoffended. Game changer!
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines offense as something that outrages the moral or physical senses. Have you been there? Have you ever felt outraged or even sick to your stomach because of an offensive comment or action? People hurt us and so we begin to build walls around our hearts. Walls are no good because they not only keep the bad stuff out but they also keep the good stuff out. Nothing can get through a wall. I learned the difference between walls and boundaries years ago through a book I picked up in a local Alanon meeting. Boundaries are just like drawing a line in the sand and not stepping over it. Boundaries are healthy. Walls however, are tall and thick and they keep us completely separated. There can be no growth where we plant big cement walls but if we just draw a line, then we can still grow and flourish even around the people who are not our favorites. Because of our broken world, we will always face offense but that is when we have a choice to make. Are we going to blow up and live offended or are we going to forgive, turn it over to God and go on about our way seeking the abundant life? The latter option sounds so much better! None of us will do this perfectly all the time but just recognizing that there is a choice is half the battle.
Romans 8:28 reminds us that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. God loves you, He is for you & He wants to see you prosper. Don’t let feelings dictate your day, you have power over them! Until next time, get out there and live your best life! #freedup