Hello dear ones, I hope this Friday post finds you all doing well! Today, as you all know, is the one day of the week that I have yet to assign a specific topic too. It gives me the little extra space I need for subjects like today’s. I want to talk about being easily offended, and compare it with something that happened to me a couple of months ago. I mentioned very briefly in the post about my first NFL game that I have an issue with sensory overload. It’s actually a symptom of a larger neurological disorder that I’ll perhaps deal with at a later date. I only mention it now to give some context to how and why this all happened.
So what happened? Well, a couple months ago I found out that you can cook bacon in the stove and it comes out with the perfect crunchy consistency for topping delicious casseroles with. It has to be the thick cut bacon though, just in case you give it a try. You take a cookie sheet and place a cooling rack inside it. You put the bacon on top of the rack and cook it at 400 for about 20 minutes. In the end you have all the grease in the bottom and beautiful bacon on top. We save that grease, it’s the best way to get corn bread crispy on the bottom! If you’re not from the south of the United States this might all sound really gross, but trust me it’s yummy. All that to say, I made some bacon one night to go in dinner. I had an oven glove on the right hand and nothing on the left hand. I pulled my bacon out of the stove and noticed my eye had something in it. Ignoring my left hand, noticeably empty of any scolding hot grease, I used my right arm to rub my eye with. All that piping hot bacon grease poured onto my left arm. Sorry for the following image, if you have an uneasy stomach!
This is why I mention the neurological issues, otherwise that might not make any sense. Before I could work through the consequences of my actions my arm moved. This was certainly not the first time I’ve done something like this, although it was the straw that broke the camels back, as my husband rushed to the first aid kit and began tending to my arm he assured me I’d be seeing a doctor and getting help. He’s treated many a burn trauma, and gave me every bit of information that he could on preventing infection. Adrenalin is a funny thing. All while my husband was fussing over my arm, it didn’t hurt at all, and I kept insisting I was fine. But my floor! My freshly mopped floor! Grease was splattered everywhere. Just like my husband told me would happen, the pain came on as soon as the adrenaline wore off. Second degree burns, and I didn’t even manage to get the troublesome bit out of my eye!
Over the next week I realized two very fascinating things. The first thing was that somehow, for whatever reason, the CBD oil given to my husband for his herniated disk by a chiropractor completely eliminated my pain from day one. I say that for any of you that might suffer from a burn, it has menthol in it as well. That night the pain was pretty overwhelming, in desperation I grabbed that oil and rubbed a bit directly on the burn. The pain went away, so I covered the entire arm with it and the effect lasted several hours before having to reapply. I can find absolutely zero medicinal research done in this area, even my husband was amazed having assumed the menthol would have caused the burn to get worse. It’s now permanently kept in our first aid kit for future accidents. The second thing I noticed, even with the pain at bay, this burn was very sensitive! Everything offended it. The slight touch of my jacket set off warning bells in my head.
This reminded me instantly of who I was before becoming a Christian, or who I tend to sound a lot like when I stay up too late. Everything offended me, I was a very sensitive person. At the same time, I had no sympathy or compassion towards other offended people. Ironic isn’t it? This burn had caused a lot of discomfort, and yet it have the nerve (nerve, get it? See what I did there?) to ache every time something touched it. Now, the burn on my arm was doing what burns do. But as a believer, if I allow my emotions to control so much of what I do and say, I can become easily offended. That’s not what we’re supposed to do, we’re supposed to hope all things, to give one another the benefit of the doubt. This is one of the many ways we show love towards one another, not to jump to conclusions or be so self absorbed that we only care about how we feel. Even if it is past our bedtime.
This isn’t something that happens all at once, although after getting saved by Gods grace I was far less sensitive. That’s because God has forgiven me of so much, surely I could overlook others misgivings? To be genuinely less offended, to not need to hold back the offense, but rather to give the benefit of the doubt, that comes with maturing. In this case we don’t need to be forgiving of others, but are instead understanding. When someone snaps at us, rather than getting offended, maturity leads one to consider the other persons struggles instead of how we feel about being snapped at. What’s happening in our brother or sisters lives that is causing them consternation? How can we help them? This is how I’d love to be all the time. 24/7. Sleep or no sleep. Food or no food. Heaven is going to be a beautiful place, is it not dear ones? Where there is no offense, no sin!
Beloved, what I’m saying to you is that we ought to be growing in this area. It’s a slow, and often painful process, but sanctification is evidence of salvation. God is, for the believer, constantly growing us in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He’s making us more like Him, rebuking, chastening, pruning, and sanctifying us. In this way, we are a peculiar people, set aside, in the world but not of it, and on a pilgrimage to the Celestial City. If you, my friend, have been in church for years but have never been made a new creation, if God is not at work in you, if you can enjoy sin without rebuke from Him, please understand that being born again is not the equivalent of saying a prayer, going to church, or being nice to people. Christ came and lived a righteous, sinless, life. He was arrested, imprisoned, beaten, whipped beyond recognition, and nailed to a cross. The wrath of God was poured out on Him, the wrath that you and I have stored up through our sins. Repent of those sins, place your trust and faith in Christ alone for salvation, and God will, by His grace, give you a new heart full of new desires. The sin you once loved, you’ll now hate, you’ll see it as the filth it always was. You’ll desire fellowship with other believers, you’ll desire the lost to come to repentance, you’ll desire Gods Word as a baby desires milk.
Salvation, friends, does not come from walking an isle, or repeating a prayer after someone. Salvation is a free gift from God that forever changes the recipient. We were once slaves to sin, bound to pay the eternal weight there of. Christ died to set us free! We owed a debt we couldn’t pay, so He paid a debt He didn’t owe. Those whom the Son sets free or free indeed! Flee from the wrath to come, flee to the cross. With nothing in our hands we bring, simply to the cross we cling! What grace is this? What beautiful, amazing grace is this? That while we were yet sinners, God hater’s, enemies of truth, filled with idolatry, lust, and murder, Christ died to save us! How could we continue to be the same as we were before? How could we, who were forgiven for so much, given the blessing of salvation, the honor of adoption, the gift of sanctification, and eternity justified, continue being easily offended? No, dear ones, we who have this great hope, we simply can not fix our eyes on the kingdom and still be so easily offended by the lost, or by one another. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved. And, if you have a moment, pray for me brothers and sisters!