What would it look like if we gave up our “right” to be offended?

I work with a very considerate man.  When he makes last minute changes he starts the email with, “Don’t shoot me but….”  My response this week was, “I am not armed.”

I am glad that God has taught me to lay down my weapons, to give up what I thought were my “rights” to all sorts of selfish and self protecting reactions.

This morning that thought extended to, “What if I gave up my fear of offending?”  I was reflecting with Jesus about my concern that I may offend someone I am working on a project with.  We may have creative differences and I am nervous about how to communicate them.  I thought, “What if I trusted this to Jesus instead?”  Now that would be true freedom.  If I am walking with Jesus, letting His fruit be evident in me and confident that I am following His lead, what do I have to fear?

We often struggle with this fear as leaders, and it can be very draining.  We are in positions where tough input is needed at times and it is not always well received.  Our part is to discern when and how God is calling us to speak.  But when we do, our confidence and trust needs to rest with the One we are following.

To break it down, it may look like this.  I may say something and they would feel hurt and withdraw from me and perhaps the project.  This would hurt.  They may even talk to others about their unhappy feelings toward me.  That would hurt.  They may even start to think, “All leaders in this church are insensitive and only want their way…” My thoughts and fears could continue endlessly if I let them.

But what if I chose to not fear the emotional pain, not fear the assumptions of others, not fear the displeasure of the others leaders that get lumped in with my actions?  What if I continued to check my heart and actions with Jesus as we partner together in this life.  What if I walk carefully and humbly with God and leave the results to Him?  Wow, would that be freedom.  I would probably act more like Him in the long run without the baggage of fear, seems I read something like that somewhere…..

 Phil 3:12 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. Message Version

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