I feel it rising up in me all the time. People. They don’t get it. Someone takes the shopping cart clearly I wanted. Someone purposefully cuts me off in traffic just to get under my skin. It seems that everywhere I turn someone is out to get me… or are they?
Can you relate to the blood boiling frustration of people being in your way? Causing you discomfort or inconvenience? Constantly not understanding you when you talk. Maybe you can relate to the frustration of living in a culture and time where people can be largely inconsiderate… especially of you.
As I take a step back from my offenders one thing becomes largely clear. I am the one thing in common amongst all of these offences. Another step back and I can see how I can view the world through the lenses of offence. And then it hits me…
I am living with an offender identity. It is not simply an identity of someone who has committed some national crime. An offender identity is anyone who views themselves through the lenses of offence. Most commonly recognized when you take a step back and evaluate just how many people are out to get you… or so you think.
Living, breathing, existing in the muck and mire of offense is draining. It is more than draining it is outright exhausting and debilitating. When we live looking for offences, we end up viewing ourselves as someone who ought to be offended. The reality is way worse. We end up living with an identity that leaves us ultimately excluded, forgotten, unwanted, guilty, judged, punished, outcast, broken and dirty. The worse part of all of those things is that we ultimately write the script for the role we play in it all.
The challenge I have for myself is simple: Christina take off the lenses of offense. It’s a daily reminder that everyone else’s world does not actually revolve around me and offending me. I must stand in the gap of grace that allows others to make mistakes and allows me to stand in who I am, not how I feel. It is this daily mindset that allows me to cover up under the blanket of God’s identity spoken over me from before time began.
I am included as a grand family member and a great friend. I am remembered, seen, and noticed. I am wanted even chosen. I am innocent, made clean. I am covered in mercy and grace. I am healed. I am free.
Say it to yourself and live free with me.