NATHHAN National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network

Christian Families Homeschooling Special Needs Children

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Handling Offenses

(Editor’s note: Dennis and Linda Lamphere are Sherry Bushnell’s parents. They have graciously chosen to spend their golden years serving the Lord and their family through NATHHAN / CHASK.)

    How we handle offenses can make the difference between a peaceful heart and home, or one full of stress and unrest.
The first question we need to ask ourselves is, “Who has the problem?” when someone offends us.
Since our life goal is to become more like Jesus, we are learning that if we are offended we may have the problem. (Or a good part of it!) Looking at the life of Jesus, He was never offended. So as we look at the Word, being offended is not an option for us. It simply wasn’t part of Jesus’ mind set.
Only with His help can we be pure in our response to others. It is a work done inside of our hearts, not just a control issue on the outside.
By being offended, we are talking about “getting our feelings hurt” by what someone says or does towards us or someone we care about. Have you ever experienced a rising anger when someone pokes fun a your child with special needs?
It may also mean that someone opposes our values or standards...or questions our integrity...or doesn't meet our expectations.
Our culture says that we have a right to be offended, but do we?
Life is for real. If we are busy living and working with other people, there will be opportunity for being offended. How we receive offensive behavior is up to us. If what is said or implied is true, then we must change. If it is not true, can we let it go and allow someone else time to change their attitude? (That does not mean that we grow unresponsive and uncaring.)
“Jesus loves me, this I know” is a confidence we can have on the inside, in the face of offenses or hurts.
Is there a difference between hurt and offense? Jesus was hurt, but he did not get angry. He did not sin. He used his hurt as an opportunity to trust God for strength and to be an example of true love.
Could it be that the Lord might use an opportunity for offense as an opportunity for ministry? Or maybe this particular offense is a test to see if we have gotten the principle yet!
There are many hurting people out there needing a kind word. How suddenly a situation can be changed into a witness for Christ, expressing Jesus’ love, instead of an offense that grows into anger.
All of us need to be on guard that we watch our subtle responses to a perceived offense. Our facial expressions, side-ways looks or glint in our eyes can betray the state of our heart quicker than a spoken word.
As Grandpa and Grandma it is in our hearts to teach this concept to our children and grandchildren…but are we modeling and practicing it ourselves?
Well, unfortunately we did not learn this concept at age 9…. or 29… but rather 69! But it is never too late to start on a journey of becoming more Christ-like.
How freeing and healing this understanding of choosing not to take offense is. We can all let go of stuff in our lives. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
How about you? Could you stand for more peace and stillness in a busy life? Let go and let God handle it. He can turn anything into good, for His name’s sake.