Easily-Offended Isn’t a Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Sensible people are slow to anger, and it’s their glory to overlook an offense” (Prov. 19:11); “Don’t take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others” (Eccl. 7:21-22); “Love… isn’t irritable, and doesn’t keep a record of being wronged” (1 Cor 13:5).

Lord Jesus, a dear friend gave me a timely image yesterday. “Here’s to a Thanksgiving of walking on seashells, not eggshells.” I laughed, then I lamented, because some people would gladly choose walking on eggshells than continuing to tippy-toe through life in a minefield of people-explosives.

Jesus, when did our culture get so easily offended, thin-skinned, and hair-triggerable? But that’s really not the main issue. It’d be too easy to camp out there. The questions I’m personally processing before you include…

What doesacting in line with the truth of the Gospel” (Gal. 2:14) look like when dealing with slights, slams, and prickly people? And towards whom have I become “prickly”—more defensive than I realize; more likely to make excuses than listen without interrupting? And in messy relationships, have I shifted from grace-overlooking to conflict-avoiding enabling? Help me/us Jesus. I/we want to love well, not just “play nice.”

Easily-offended IS a spirit-fruit, but not a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Fill me and my friends afresh with the Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus (Eph. 5:18). May our thoughts, words, reactions, pro-actions, conflicts and normal sinner-with-sinner relationships reveal “faith expressing itself in love” (Gal. 5:6). Thank you, Jesus, and so very Amen.