Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tired of Being Offended

Scott is in ministry....his full-time job is working for a church.  He hasn't always been in ministry so we are still trying to figure it all out.  Ha!  We will never have it all figured out, BUT there are some lessons that I have learned over the last 4 years.  Interestingly the most important lesson or truth is a simple statement I heard while listening to a wise woman as she shared with middle school girls.

When you CHOOSE to be OFFENDED, you STOP being EFFECTIVE.

I spent these first years in ministry choosing to be offended...not all the time and not about everything, but regardless, every time I chose to be offended by someone else, I became less and less effective in ministry.  I found myself pulling away and going into self preservation mode.  I stepped away from ministries that I know God had called me to...I no longer served with the same fervor and passion...I stopped seeing people the way God sees them.  I didn't consciously say, "I am offended."  But by not keeping my eyes on Jesus, His calling and His truth, I allowed the offenses to steer me away. 

As I wrestle with this truth, I have to come to terms with the fact that I am not always at fault for the offenses.  The other party may in fact be offensive and hurtful, but my reaction to them is something I need to...must...100% own.  What hurts me is probably not something purposely orchestrated by someone else.  I need to get over myself and the idea that there are those who sit in their home plotting how to make me feel inferior, small, or insignificant.  How incredibly prideful I have been because it isn't about me!  I allowed the offenses to be about me and lost sight of what it is really all about...

Loving others.
Serving others.
Loving Jesus.
Serving Jesus.
Seeking truth.
Speaking truth.

God gave me gifts and areas of ministry that I was passionate about and I allowed the offense to outweigh the power of the Spirit within me.

Will I still be offended?  Probably.
Will others still say and do things that are hurtful?  Probably.
Will I allow Satan a win by choosing to be offended?  NO!
Will I allow the offenses to dictate how the Spirit can and will use me in ministry?  NO!

I cannot control others (I have tried).  But I can make an intentional choice to not be offended and allow God to continue to use me in ministry.

Scott started a new job a few weeks ago and for the first time since we have been in ministry, I have the ability to sit back and allow God to reveal His ministry for me.  There is no hurry or dire need that I must fill.  The best part is that the urgency I feel to get involved isn't because anyone needs me, but rather that I need (want) to serve.  I want to jump in and love, serve, share, and allow God to use me in the most effective way possible.

It starts with me.  I will choose not to be offended so that I can be effective.  It starts with me.

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