by Barbara Latta
Have you ever found yourself listening to offensive reports on TV or radio and argued back at the electronic device? At times, I have fallen into this trap even though talking back to it doesn't change anything. Every media outlet carries offensive opinions and angry outbursts from people who are upset about something that doesn't please them.
|The best defense for offense|
Our ears and eyes can soak up negativity and the constant stream going into our minds can have a lasting effect if we are not careful to stop the flow. Even when we think we are not affected, a mood change can be a key we are letting poison control our emotions.
We do have the power to flip the switches on news spouting technology, but we can't turn off the opinions of others. Refusing to live in offense is a choice we make, but the power to make that choice requires discipline in the Word of God. These situations can be used as opportunities for growth when handled according to God's principles.
Here are some instructions from the Lord to help us grow:
- Realize your worth does not come from someone else's opinion or actions. Our value comes from God not the news media, entertainment or politics.
To the praise of the glory of his grace, by which He made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6 NKJV).
- Anchor your personality in Christ and take possession of the inheritance He gave you. We have an inheritance that is far superior to anything this world can give.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11 NKJV).
- Realize the words are a reflection of the condition of the heart of a person who probably does not know God.
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to the hardness of their heart (Ephesians 4:18 ESV).
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions (2 Timothy 4:3 ESV).
- Realize allowing offense into your life doesn't change the situation, but it can change you into an angry and bitter person.
Do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you for many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed others (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 ESV).
The best defense for offense is found in Philippians 1:11, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Allowing the fruit of the Spirit to bloom when the opportunity for offense comes will stop the progression of the atmosphere of anger to thrive in our sphere of influence. We can't control other people, but we can control our response to them. When we stand strong and avoid being drawn into negativity, we are growing in maturity and spiritual strength.
How do you handle offensive situations?