The Real Damage of Feeling “Offended”

‘Tis the season for people to get ridiculously… offended.

If you do a google search for “offended” a long, long list of news stories pop up. Many people will jump head first into a so-called controversy, work themselves into a tizzy over it, and then demand an apology. It sounds exhausting to me.

Whether it’s over faith, education, parenting, or whatever, it generally goes the same:

“You hurt my feelings/made me mad because you don’t agree with me.” 

Then the backlash starts, much of it online. Unnecessary arguments explode, people get upset, the drama grows.

But here’s the real problem. 

We’re so busy running around kicking, screaming, and demanding that others believe our viewpoints that we fail to see the root of the issue. We need the validation of others to make us feel better about our own lives. 

“I don’t like what you said. You have to agree with me. Apologize now and admit you’re wrong and I’m right.”

When people don’t agree with us, we can take it as a personal attack instead of just a difference in opinion. What we do when we feel we’re being attacked? We fight back and try to gain the upper hand. For some people, this means getting crass and hurling insults online. We call people bad mothers, bad Christians, bad anything. What does that do? Absolutely nothing.

What sucks is this junk is picked up as “news” which just adds fuel to the fire. It’s sad.

At the end of the day, we all want acceptance. That’s what this selfie craze is about, isn’t it?

“Tell me I’m awesome and you agree with who I am.”

We’re so starved for attention and approval that we’re running around blind in this world. We’re so consumed with what everyone else thinks that we can barely back our own thoughts up with conviction.

And you know who just loooooves this? Like, really loves it? Ding ding! Satan! This is his party that everyone has openly accepted an invitation to.

Here’s the deal: Being offended is a choice. We make a conscious decision to waste precious time and energy on getting upset about what someone else thinks.

Can we be hurt by things people say? Of course we can. But making a big, public display out of it is a whole other level.

What we really need is to focus our energy and conversations on what matters, and that’s loving people. In all their beautiful and imperfect forms. That’s what God really wants, right?

If we don’t believe the same things, who cares! Next headline, please.


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