Over my years in ministry, I’ve often said that the more I try not to offend people, the more people get offended.
I don’t know if you find that true in your life, but for some reason it is in mine.
I really don’t ever set out to offend anyone… but sometimes it happens.
Ron Edmonson gives five practical steps to take when you’ve offended someone:
1. Recognize it. Some people are easily offended. And some people can offend others easily. Know where you are on that continuum.
2. Pursue peace. Try NOT to be offensive in the first place. Try to pursue peace. That means that you should think before you speak. Use your filter.
3. When you do offend, ask forgiveness and seek to rebuild trust. Say you’re sorry. As Ron puts it, ‘put your big boy pants on’ and apologize. Take the blame if it will bring peace (see #2).
4. Examine your life. If you consistently and continually find that you are offending people, then the problem may very well be… YOU. It may be you with the log in your eye.
5. Stay true. Don’t worry about offending people at the sacrifice of God’s plan for your life. Jesus’ work was offensive to many. Just be sure you are being completely obedient to God.
There you have it. Five pretty simple rules.
The hardest part? for me?
#3. Always is.
I think it probably is for all or most of us.
Admitting we were wrong (to ourselves) is hard enough.
Admitting it to the person we offended is much harder.
And it takes a big boy to do that.
Have you offended someone that you need to apologize to? What’s holding you back?