Lately, I have really been asking God to offend me. To offend my natural mind and challenge my pride. That I may not think of myself as higher than anyone else. Because everywhere I go, I see that kind of pride. The way I see people treat customer service workers every single day just amazes me. Those people behind the counter are people with feelings and thoughts. They are just as deserving of respect as you and me. Really, when it comes down to it, we are all on the same playing level. We are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory. I didn’t say that, the bible does (Rom 3:23). However, it also says, that in Christ, we have been credited righteousness (Rom 4:23-25). When I think of that, I remember my middle school days. I had done something that . . . let’s just say, I shouldn’t have done. When my classmates on the bus tattled on me to the bus driver, the bus driver refused to believe it. There was outstanding evidence that I had done what they said, but she insisted, “She would never do anything like that; she’s a good kid.” I think of God saying that to me. I was a good kid. Even though he knew what I had done, he called me a good kid. Now, that doesn’t give me the right to act up however I want. In fact, it has the opposite effect. When someone credits righteousness to me and I don’t deserve it, it makes me want to be better.
In the past few months, I encountered several offenses from friends. Last year, I learned for the first time, how to separate a person from the offense. If they get angry and call me all kinds of names that are disrespectful and possibly even hurtful, I can look at them and realize that something I did hurt them. They are responding out of hurt and not because something is wrong with me. So instead of getting angry back, I can respond with love and gentleness. Knowing that my identity is in Christ and not in my performance or others’ perception of me makes it okay for someone else to not be okay with me. My God is always okay with me, no matter what I do. I have compassion for the hurting person I offended, but I do not take up an offense.
Well, most of the time I don’t. Often I find myself becoming offended with strangers. Being cut off on the highway is most likely my main trigger. Still, I ask God to help me step back and recognize my pride. To offend me to the point of repentance. “Who are you, Che? That you have the right to get angry?” In a sense, it seems like a violation of my space, but I don’t own the road. Technically speaking, it does not belong to me. So why am I getting angry? And am I righteous in my own abilities? No! My good deeds are as filthy rags to him. Yet he still accepts me. That same righteousness he credited to me, He credits to others.
So offend me, Father, that I would not be offended.