Types of Offense
Events that include other people have the most opportunity to produce offense. The closer you are to another person, the more opportunity there is for friction. Friction has great potential to provoke offense.
As ironic as it may seem, you can become most offended because of events that include people you trust, care about, and love or of whom you have high expectations—those with whom you have some kind of relationship. A teacher or a boss may be people whom you neither love nor trust. But, because they have authority over you, you do have high expectations of them.
Offense Type #1 - Unmet Expectations
When others don’t meet your expectations you may become offended. Unmet expectations happen when others do not do positive behaviors that you expect them to or they do perceived negative behaviors that are not expected.
We all grow up with expectations of how others will or should behave and react to us. For example, many people expect that others should always tell them the truth. When others don’t do what you expect or do things you don’t expect, you may believe negative things about them and feel negatively toward them. That is offense.
What complicates the expectations issue is that we often develop many expectations without realizing we have done so. But when someone behaves differently than those unrealized or hidden expectations, we still get offended. So when facing your offenses, it is helpful to ask yourself, “What did I expect?”
Offense Type #2 - Rejection
Rejection also causes offense. Rejection happens when people do not accept you; displayed disapproval of you; have an unfavorable response toward you; do not believe in you; don’t receive you willingly and favorably; don’t understand you; don’t esteem, respect or admire you; and/or do not regard you as normal.
Rejection causes negative beliefs about your value and spawns many negative feelings. Rejection causes “victim mentality,” which is a sense of vulnerability and suspicion regarding any relationship. Rejection causes you to value or devalue yourself in light of other people’s attitudes or actions. God wants you to value yourself based on who you are in Him, on His value and acceptance of you.
Offense Type #3 - Betrayal
Betrayal is when people are false or disloyal, divulge or breach a confidence or trust, lead you astray or seduce you to wrong, or deceive you—can be provoked if you believe that someone has failed or deserted you in your time of need; can be an injustice.
Betrayal causes a sense of rejection and often feelings of panic, fear, vulnerability, confusion, and possible embarrassment. People who struggle with panic attacks should ask the Lord if there has been betrayal in their life that is contributing to the problem.
Unforgiveness happens when you hold onto and, often, suppress the pain caused by a particular offense. Suppressing pain starts at a very early age. You don’t want to feel the pain or think negative thoughts. It hurts! You try to dismiss the wound, as if it doesn’t really matter.
You swallow the hurt. You try to ignore the pain—just let it go. All the while, you’re just burying the hurt down deep inside. This is NOT forgiveness. It is UNforgiveness. And it poisons your soul, body, relationships and all of life!
Learn to Pray about forgiveness so you feel better.
Author: Valerie Bixler
Valerie's life mission is to know God and make him known. She and her husband minister in Colorado Springs.
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