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Avoiding offenses in relationships

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Offenses tests relationships and challenge the foundations on which even strong relationships are built. In any relationship--a marriage, a friendship, and other interpersonal relationships--deciding not to take offense, even when the other person intentionally meant to offend you, is an act of faith.

Someone once said, "What happens to a man is not nearly as important as what a man thinks happens to him."

Your spouses, friends, relatives, and others you encounter on a daily basis are going to have their days. It is unfortunate that sometimes another person's "bad day" creates opportunities for another person to be offended.

Kristie, a local insurance underwriter, recalled the day when her friend and co-worker Latasha came to work and did not visit her office upon her arrival as she always did. Offended by this, Kristie immediately approached Latasha with her grievance, confronting her about not speaking that morning.

"I learned that she had received disturbing news that morning." Kristie said. "I felt awful for confronting her for such a trivial reason."

In the book of Colossians, the apostle Paul urges Christians to forgive offenses and make allowance for each other's faults.

The fact that people will be people is accepted universally. This group of "people" includes spouses, friends, and others close to you.

Allow the people in your life to be the imperfect people they are and pray that neither their "ways" nor your "ways" trigger offended attitudes, which lacerate relationships.

Regardless of whether or not another person intentionally or unintentionally offended you, your decision to walk in love is your act of faith.

If sensitivity--or wearing your feelings on your shoulders--is one of your personal weaknesses, pray daily, without cease, for the Lord to free you from offense.

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