If you don’t read any other post, read this.
My sincerest apologies for being MIA the last few weeks. Life has been crazy, to say the least. Things are still going at a mile a minute, but I currently am sitting at a Panera Bread enjoying a quiet meal by myself and my thoughts.
So of course, I had to blog.
Typically when life gets really personal, I love to blog about it because it gives me an outlet. But the last couple of weeks were so personal that I had no desire to blog and the blog posts I did write will likely remain in draft form for quite some time. There are just some things that aren’t meant for the world to read, you know? Imagine having your life on display 24/7. I don’t think you’d want to share every little detail either.
But now that I’ve had time to sift through my thoughts and just breathe, there’s something I’d like to share.
I went through a rather painful season recently. One in which I’m not proud of the way I handled myself. You know that moment when you say something and you think what have I done? why did I say that??. Whelp, that was me within the last couple of weeks. Things were eating away at me and instead of deciding to allow them to be moments of personal growth, I got offended.
Like, insanely-over-the-top-angry offended. It wasn’t pretty.
Over the weekend I asked myself a few questions.
- Are my hurt feelings worth more than salvaging whatever might be left of the friendship that I had been a part of destroying?
- Was the offense I took up really worth throwing away months of time and investment into a friend?
One of my unfortunate character flaws is that I tend to take things way too personally. I assume the worst all too often…and you know what they say about assuming.
Earlier today, someone said something to me and I could feel my offense radar starting to go off. I could tell I was mentally getting prepared to be hurt and offended. Instead of accepting it, I decided that I was not going to take offense. And you know what reader? Within moments, I not only felt happy instead of offended, but I felt so incredibly proud of myself. For me, it was a realized moment of growth.
I’ve allowed stupid offenses to get the best of me for far too long. This past week, I allowed an offense to almost cost me a friendship. Trust me when I say, friendship is worth so much more than holding onto a grudge.
For some reason, I think we enjoy being offended to a degree. Maybe we feel like we have the power if we’re the ones offended. Somehow it places the blame on someone else, removing personal responsibility from our shoulders. But it does just the opposite friend. Taking offense holds you captive and keeps you in bondage. It keeps you from joy and it keeps you from restoration.
Holding onto unforgiveness and taking an offense only does one thing. It separates you from those you care about.
If someone were to make a cost analysis of what it costs to hold onto a grudge and remain offended versus the cost of choosing to think the best of others…I guarantee you the latter has a much higher ROI.
Unfortunately, it’s taken me years to understand that and it wasn’t until literally this past week that it hit me.
I want to have friends who don’t need to weigh their words carefully around me. I want them to know they can be honest about how they feel. But if I want that, I must first be a person who doesn’t take offense so easily, so they can be free to be honest.
Nearly 25 years of life and I’m only now grasping the beauty of not taking offense. Only now am I experiencing the freedom in letting things go and just being.
Friends – taking up an offense isn’t worth the damage it causes both in the short term and long term. It hurts everyone involved in some way. And the energy it takes to remain offended, hurt, and angry could be put toward restoring the relationship.
I hope you take a moment to think about the people you’ve held offenses towards and make the decision to let it go, forgive, and bring restoration. You may never hear the words, “I’m sorry” from them, but you know what? That’s okay. Even if you don’t, you’ll be set free from the bondage of an offense and you’ll begin to experience how freeing that really is.
Let it go. Forgive. Restore.
Let it go. Forgive. Restore.