A Guest Post By: Christine LaPorte
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Many of us have heard the old adage “they’re wearing rose-colored glasses,” when referring to people who’ve declared they are in love. This means some people don’t necessarily see red flags about a person they’re in a relationship with.
Recently I came upon another form of glasses people may be wearing. These filter everything through offense or anger. I know I’m guilty of looking through lenses resulting from painful past experiences tainted by a hurtful event that I may not have healed from. Or perhaps I feel strongly about a current cultural topic.
On my way home from work, I heard someone say something on the radio to which I responded, “we need to take off the shades of offense”. Why? Because we’re usually on the defensive and not being objective when listening to, watching or reading about people and happenings. Our minds are already made up and our hearts are not open.
In today’s culture, it’s becoming acceptable to move on from a friendship, relationship, team or organization because we’ve been offended. Most of us have a value system we identify with and if that’s challenged, we feel angry, hurt, insulted, and even rejected.
The word offend means- cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in. (freedictionary.com)
If we don’t give someone with a differing opinion time to share their viewpoint, I don’t think we’ll ever grow ourselves. At least not emotionally and spiritually. How can we be world Christians if we cannot even be work, neighborhood, school, or even social media Christians?
In the Scripture above we read about what love is and what love is NOT. Words or phrases like “boastful, proud, dishonoring, self-seeking, easily angered and delighting in evil”, can be attributed to people who are feeling offended. Instead of allowing ourselves to get caught up in emotions when we encounter someone with a differing opinion, we can take a step back, choose to be loving, listen to the person and engage them respectfully. Jesus always spoke the truth in love, not offense (Ephesians 4:15). This is what He calls us to do as well.