Monday, July 18, 2011
July 18th – Proverbs 18: Let's Play Cinderella!
“An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.” – Proverbs 18:19
I deal with a lot of offended people. Offended people leave churches and break relationships for spurious reasons. I can normally tell when someone is offended because when they approach you or are confronted with their weird behavior they are exactly as this Proverb declares, unyielding as a fortified city. They come with their minds made up and their (to them) ironclad arguments. You can tell they have had the conversation in their head 100 times before you have even talked. Reconciliation or redemption isn’t even on the table, the barred gates stare at you. The trial is over, the sentence has come down and you are just being informed of the good Judge’s decision.
The process is simple and totally avoidable:
Normally before someone gets offended, they get disappointed. Put simply, they had HOPED something would be a certain way and it didn’t go according to their plan they devised inside of their heads. Another thing that happens many times is they simply get their feelings hurt. It could be something small, like they didn’t get a return smile from someone at church, or they heard gossip that made them feel bad, unwanted, etc. Instead of being a GROWN UP and dealing with their offense, they keep it to themselves. Trying to appear mature, they say “There’s not a problem!” when really there IS a problem. In fact, it’s such a problem that they tell ten of their best friends and lose sleep over it. Over time, they nurture the offense, judgment or disappointment. They cultivate and grow their hurt, gathering a chorus of agreement from other offended and judgmental people like themselves.
They fortify the walls of their offense to KEEP PEOPLE AWAY! Building a wall of offense is a defensive mechanism; you keep people OUT with a wall. That’s all that people are doing when they get and make a decision to STAY offended. They build a wall, protecting themselves from another disappointment or offense. They dig a moat to keep all hurt and pain AWAY! The unintended consequence is that this wall also protects them and keeps them from resolving the conflict and getting HEALED. Your brother can’t scale the wall you have built with your offense. Your sister can’t swim the alligator filled moat of your offense to even get to you and resolve the conflict.
So there you sit, alone and angry inside your walls of offense. That wasn’t very helpful now, was it?
The truth is, everyone sitting inside the fortified city of offense is a COWARD. (You can quote me on that.) They don’t have the testicular fortitude to confront the hurt or offense they think or see. What they would find out a good 99% of the time is that the offense was unintentional or the disappointment was due to unrealistic expectations. They put on this brave face as if they are a hero, but they know in themselves that they simply have no backbone to CONFRONT. I live 100% free from offense and not because people don’t do horrible things to me like judge me, condemn me and slander me, but because I CONFRONT people when they do stupid stuff to me.
That’s how us winners roll.
This is like playing Cinderella, if the shoe fits, KICK IT OFF!! Run to your brother or sister and DEAL with the problem!