Thank you for not noticing I colored my hair. Thank you for stealing my parking spot. Thank you for not saying hi at church today. Thank you for not buying me coffee. Thank you for forgetting my birthday. Thank you for not remembering I am allergic to green peppers. Thank you for ignoring me yesterday at the store. Thank you for not inviting me to go out to dinner. Thank you for cutting in front of me. Thank you for not asking me to be a bridesmaid. Thank you for not buying me something when you went to the store. Thank you for posting what you did on Facebook.
SHOULD I GO ON?
Offenses are literally EVERYWHERE these days. As the world grows colder and colder and we are busy building our walls of defense against one another, we are suffering on the inside and no one seems to notice it much anymore. We shrug our shoulders and move on to the next offense which just adds fuel to the fire already blazing on the inside. We misinterpret things. We react to situations based on our past hurts. We are literally destroying our bodies with all this harbored bitterness. Often we take on offenses that really are not even there.
So how can we overcome offenses in our lives? Our women’s Bible study is reading a book called “Who Switched Off My Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf and just in the first two weeks I have learned a few things. (you can look her up YouTube and watch her amazing videos) The main thing I want to focus on for the purposes of this blog is good trees verses bad trees. When we are offended we have two choices: take the offense and create a black tree or reject it and create a green, healthy one. (see Dr. Caroline Leaf videos for further understanding) From the moment something offends us we can either choose life or death. It really does something to the chemical balance in our bodies.
Let me give you an example which just happened this morning. I was driving my husband to work and he simply said to me, “Ya know, you need to slow down.” Um, What? I was going 40 and was ready with my defense when he further explained the speed limit had changed to 35 a few blocks back. As I listened to his explanation I realized I had a choice to make: Green Tree or Black Tree. Here are the two scenarios:
- I take on the offense: My mind starts racing. My blood pressure begins to elevate. So I begin to build my defense case. I have been driving for 31 years and have had 1, yes one, violation. Then pride begins to boast in all its glory, my mind tries to dig up ALL of the things I have witnessed while being a passenger to his driving (which the list was very short–he is a great driver). If I proceed with this avenue I will then become bitter and EVERY time I am driving my husband somewhere I will feel like I am not driving right according to his standards. I would also open the door to me being critical about his driving as well. Do you see where the bitterness grows and festers until it’s a BIG ugly black tree?
- I decide not to be offended: I choose in that very moment to capture this offense and give it to Jesus. My blood pressure does not rise. There is no place for bitterness to grow. I know that pride will only get me into trouble and possibly a future “told you so”, besides, growing a green, healthy tree is much simpler in the long run. Besides I plan on spending the rest of my life riding in the car with my husband and this could have grown into one BIG UGLY black tree.
I am so THANKFUL God is renewing my mind in this area of my life. Letting offenses fester only leads to a bitter life and possibly damages to my health. I want to be able to love people and not take on any offenses. The journey will not be easy, yet I accept the challenge. I have had several instances this week where I have failed to not take on an offense, but then I remember it is a learning process. It merely is in slowing down and making the clear choice rather than the one tainted by past hurts.
Dear Lord, I thank You for renewal of minds. I pray You will help me to keep seeking deeper understanding in this area of my life. I thank You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and You meet me right where I am at. Thank You for healing me and guiding my steps towards greater freedom! In Jesus Name! Amen