Friday, August 26, 2011

Power Thought #4

I am difficult to offend.
[Unlabeled quotes are taken from the book Power Thoughts, by Joyce Meyer.]

I was offended by this chapter. Not really. Once again, the author offered some helpful hints for us to consider as we renew our minds according to God’s Word and I’ll focus on those. Some comments were right on target - ouch!  Faithful are the wounds of a friend, right? (Prov 27:6)

The basic idea in this chapter is to encourage us to not be easily offended, overly sensitive, bearing grudges sort of people, but rather to be vessels through which the mercy of God might flow to others.  Amen.

“We have convinced ourselves and set our mind to fail at one of God’s most important commands, which is to forgive and pray for our enemies and those who hurt and abuse us (see Luke 6:35,36).  We meditate too much on what the offensive person has done to us, and we fail to realize what we are doing to ourselves by taking the bait of Satan.  Keep remembering that being offended will not change the person, but it does change you!  It makes you bitter, withdrawn, and often revengeful.  It keeps your thoughts on something that does not bear good fruit in your life.”'s getting a little warm in here.

She presses us to believe the best of others.  “We tend to be suspicious of others and we often get hurt due to our own imagination.  It is possible to believe someone hurt you on purpose when the truth is they were not even aware they did anything at all and would be grieved to know that they hurt you…Resist the temptation to question their motives or to think they hurt you intentionally.  Believing the best about others will keep offense and bitterness out of your life and help you stay peaceful and joyful.” 

She talked about times when temptations to become overly sensitive tend to rise (when we are exhausted, under a lot of stress, or doing the PMS thing, for example) …if you can avoid conflict and get a little extra rest at these times, great, but regardless you should be aware that fatigue and hormones are not excuses to sin and you should guard your heart, mind and tongue…tell yourself “I’m going to obey God and not harbor hurt and offense.”  Tell yourself  “I will not be easily offended.”

“The Bible tells us to walk in the Spirit (see Gal. 5:25) and in order to do that we must manage our emotions rather than allowing them to control us.  We must take responsibility for our responses to daily events, especially the little offenses that tempt us to be angry…Life is too short to waste one day being angry, bitter, and resentful…Anything God has given us, such as forgiveness and mercy, He expects us to extend to others.  If it comes to us, it should flow through us – and that should be our goal.  When we are offended, we need to quickly call to mind the fact that God has freely and fully forgiven us, so we should freely and fully forgive others.”

She spends quite a bit of time talking about forgiveness.  We should never harbor bitterness, we should always stand ready and even eager to forgive.  I liked this quote: “Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and hoping it kills the other person”.

Another helpful thing for me in this chapter relates to not taking personally that which is not intended to be taken personally.  What do I mean by that?  Well, let’s say my hubby comes home from work after a hard day and is quiet and not his normal, cheerful self.  My mind can immediately begin to hunt through the filing cabinet of the past few days looking for what I might have said or done to upset him…my operating assumption is “I must have done or said something wrong.”  The result: frustration, a sense of isolation, and lots of other yuck, but never anything good.  THAT is a bad operating assumption.  We have a relationship in which we talk to each other when there is a problem between us.  WHY would that be my assumption?  Honestly, it is probably vanity, like that ole song that says “you probably think this song is about you….you’re so vain.”  May God deliver me!  My girls get tempted in this same way…they sometimes perceive my tiredness at night as me being upset with them and they have been known to lay awake trying to figure out what they have said or done to upset me, imagining all kinds of things, when I’m not upset with them at all…I’m just tuckered out and wanting to get to bed.  This chapter, even though I didn’t care for portions of it, has been useful in helping us become aware of these temptations (and others)…it has helped us to grow in believing the best about each other and to work at clear communication, taking each other at our word. 

If you’re following along, I hope there was something helpful here for you too.  The next chapter is one of my favorites…it’s titled “I love people and I enjoy helping them.”  Come on back to check it out in a week or so.

Thanks for stopping by,

1 comment:

  1. I tend to do as you mentioned... assume that someone is upset with me if they act as if they've had a difficult day. And it is vain of me. It comes from my habit of thinking that the world revolves around me... something that God is dealing with me on right now. I appreciate your comments about the book. I hope you enjoy the next chapter as you said it is one of your favorites.