Summary: How do you handle hurt feelings? Where is your line? Do you have any offense defense?
It is a question that is asked to someone who is already mad in an attempt to not only point out the obvious fact that they are angry but to also make them more mad. You mad bro? It is apparent that in this day and age more times than not the answer is yes! In fact, we seem to have become a world of offended people. Everyone is mad about or at something or someone. In fact, in 2014, Slate.com declared that 2014 was "The Year of Outrage" and their website provided a handy interactive online calendar. You could pick a day, any day, from 2014, click on it, and find out what everyone was outraged about during that particular 24-hour period. Every single day, a new outrage, a new offense, a new anger, over something that someone, somewhere, had done or said.
We have become professionals at being mad. There is certainly a place for anger and even offense and we will get to that in the coming weeks. However, I want to start with the fact that it seems like everyone is easier to offend these days. I believe we may be surrounded by the most offended generation to ever walk the planet! Doesn't it seem like someone is always demanding an apology. Sometimes legit other times ridiculous like in the instance that Paul Harvey told about where a young man literally sued his parents because he was so ugly. Offended by their inability to produce a handsome son.
So, what's the deal? Why are we so mad? Have we just become soft? Cupcakes, snowflakes, thin skinned and a generation that can't handle our feelings being hurt? Has everyone getting a trophy made it impossible for us to distinguish what is really our rights from our preferences? Is that we just want everyone to agree? We want everyone to get along. We want everyone to respect everyone. We want there to be no friction. Maybe that is the deal, but if that is the case then I think the best place to start is to learn some basic truths about offense. If we are going to develop offense defense, which is absolutely necessary for survival in this world, then we must know some things about offense.
I want to mention a few things we need to know about offense.
Offense isn't optional.
Jesus makes it abundantly clear that as long as we are breathing there will be things that offend us.
Luke 17:1 (KJV)
Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
Offense will come. It is impossible that they won't come. Therefore, we shouldn't be shocked by that. We should be prepared and we should know how to respond. I think this idea that we can live life unoffended has given birth to a lack of preparation and being equipped to properly handle, address, and endure conflict. Jesus makes it a point to tell His disciples that they are going to be offended! Why should you expect anything less? In fact, He says offenses (plural). It isn't going to be one and done. He wants us to understand that part of life is being offended. Now, just to be clear He also condemns the one who causes offense. So, He isn't giving the offensive person a pass. Instead He is teaching His disciples to be mature enough to deal with offense appropriately.
It is just a matter of time and you will find yourself offended! Since it is impossible to avoid we better learn how to handle it. You will offend and you will be offended. You can either be frightened by that, be in bondage to fear of that or you can learn how to handle offense. In fact, we need to learn offense defense more now than ever because as we will discover next week the rise in offense is an indication that we are in the last days.
Traps aren't optional; being trapped is!
Jesus says it is impossible that no offenses should come. The Greek work for offense is skandelon from which we get the word scandal. The word originally referred to the part of the trap to which the bait was attached. That word signifies laying a trap in someone’s way. So offense is nothing but a trap to entangle and strangle us. It is an attempt to steal our peace, our emotional energy and our focus. The challenge is that Jesus makes it clear we will all face this trap. But my contention is this . . . just because I will be faced with this trap doesn't mean I have to fall for it. Some of us are just way too easy!
In fact, a Washington Post article in April of 2019 revealed the results of a major poll that says 81% of Americans agree that “people are too easily offended these days."