Being Un-Offendable—What A Ridiculous Idea or Not? … Hello weekend readers. A while back I bought the book Unoffendable by Brant Hanson. It’s been sitting in my Kindle for a while. In my study from Luke, I was in chapter 17 and the NKJV has Jesus saying “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come… If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” Those words reminded me of Brent’s book so I dug into it.
After many years, Brent decided that he was going to choose to be “unoffendable.” He heard it at a business meeting and it struck him because he had never thought of that before, and the last place he would think of hearing such a thing was at a business meeting! What it said to him was “we have a choice” about being offended, and we have all come up against that. It is our reaction to an offense that truly speaks of what is in our hearts. If we choose to be offended, then we indeed, as Jesus said, will be offended and it’s never fun when we come face-to-face with offenders, especially those who are family or friends.
To Brent, he, at first, felt that the businessman’s words were offensive! Come on–we can just choose to not be offendable–as if it’s really up to us, hogwash he retorted in his mind. But his heart wasn’t quite in-tune with his mind. For days he wrestled with the idea. “It really bugged me” he says, and it kept him up at night.
I get it. Isn’t that what offenses do – they rankle our thoughts and they stick in our thoughts and to Brent, his rationale was “since I call myself a Christian person, wasn’t I supposed to be angry at people for certain things? Isn’t being offended part of being a Christian?” Good questions that drove him to scour the Scriptures so he could destroy this argument but after many passages from Old and New Testaments the problem was his, not the man at the meeting. He realized that the guy was right, not only can we choose to be unoffendable; we should choose it. In fact, we should forfeit our right to be offended (ouch!).
OK, you might say he’s gone too far but think about offenses and anger—they are buddies and as people of faith, that means we are to forfeit our right to hold on to anger…ugh. Not so easy to do that, our pride comes forward and our humility goes out the window!
But what if we, who follow the Lord and want to please the Lord—what if we tried this? Biblically speaking, we would be making a sacrifice that’s very pleasing to God. What would our society think if we became the most “refreshingly unoffendable people on the planet?” Do you think it would make a change? After all, when we do this, we forfeit our anger and we become more centered on others rather than ourselves. Oops, that’s not what our society thinks we should do, we’d be called stool-pigeons at best!!
In his book, Brent writes “I sense a lot of people think this idea is stupid, and they don’t agree with me on this. And I sense this because lots of people say, “That idea is stupid, and I don’t agree with you on this, I’m not going to be a patsy.”
The Apostle James (1:20) said “The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” And in Ephesians from the Message Bible “Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but…do not use your anger as fuel for revenge.”
Brent writes “When I talk about anger on my radio show, so many believers instantly go to the Scripture about “In your anger, do not sin,” and then skip the rest of the paragraph! Why ignore the context? Do not be bitter or angry. Paul was saying, clearly, that, yes, we will get angry; that happens; we’re human. But then we have to get rid of it. So deal with it. Now. We have no right to it.”
If we’d stop to think about this idea from Brent, we’d have to admit that truly, the one who should be offended is GOD…who has given us everything including his own Son, and yet we daily offend him with our wayward sins. We are to seek justice; love mercy—you certainly don’t have to be angry to do that. Yet, some folks say we have to get angry to fight injustice, but if you look deeply you’ll find, for instance, that the best police officers don’t do their jobs in anger; the best soldiers don’t function out of anger, etc.
In closing I sharing Brent’s words one more time: “Anger does not enhance judgment. Yes, God is quite capable of being both just and angry, but if I’m on trial in front of a human judge, I’m sure hoping his reasoning is anger-free. I know some people think I’m nuts when I talk about this…and maybe I am. At first, I hated this idea, too. The thing is, now I’m hoping I’m right, because choosing to living my life and being unoffendable has become so much better and I think I can understand Jesus more.”
Tell me what you think about it—like Brent, I am musing on it and praying that God can help me live my life being much more “unoffendable…” AMEN! (Get his book, it is life-changing!)