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What Does the Bible Say About Being Offended?

What does the Bible say about being offended, and how can it help shape our response?

Relationships
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If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of an insensitive comment or been cut in front of in line, you know what being offended feels like. It’s a combination of feeling judged, misunderstood, and insulted. It’s a unique mix of emotions that we don’t often know how to deal with. 

If you’re struggling with feeling offended, or if you’re looking for a way to feel less offended in life, we’ve got good news. It all starts with a simple question: what does the Bible say about being offended? 

What does the Bible say about being offended? 

The Bible has some wise words to help us understand how to handle being offended? Let's take a look at 5 important lessons that Bible verses can teach us about feeling offended. 

Pray for those who offend you 

Like most situations (if not all), the best place to start when you’re offended is with prayer. Prayer has a way of calming our nerves, clearing our heads, and centering our hearts. It can help us see the person or situation that offended us in a new light and let go of the feelings it sparked. 

In Matthew 5:44, Jesus says, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." This can be tough, but praying for those who offend us can help us let go of negative feelings and replace them with love and understanding. 

Forgiveness is key 

Once someone offends us, it can be tempting to fully cut them out. This kind of posture has caused cancel culture to run rampant in our society, starving our interactions of grace and compassion. It’s become easier to sever ties than extend forgiveness when we’ve been offended. 

The Bible teaches us that forgiveness is important. In Matthew 6:14-15, it says, "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."  

This means that when someone offends us, we should try to forgive them, just as God forgives us.  

Turn the other cheek 

In Matthew 5:39, the Bible says, " But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also." This can be a confusing verse to understand. Does it mean we’re supposed to let people keep offending us and walking all over us? 

No, turning the other cheek doesn’t mean letting others continue to hurt us. Rather, this verse reminds us to respond with kindness instead of anger when we're offended. It cautions us against fighting back or trying to get even. 

Speak kindly and listen 

When we’re offended, our emotions tend to run haywire – and that’s a slippery slope that can lead us to making regrettable decisions. We don’t always think clearly, which can cause us to lash out and try to retaliate. It can be tempting to fight back with equally harsh words when we’re offended.  

However, responding with kind words can help calm the situation. Proverbs 15:1 reminds us that "a gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. " 

It’s also important to seek to understand when we’re offended. By taking the time to try to understand the other person’s perspective, we can diffuse the situation and walk away with a more intact relationship. 

Avoid gossip and slander 

Offense has the power to inflict permanent damage in our relationships, but not solely because of the person who caused it. Our response has the potential to make or break relationships.  

Ephesians 4:31 warns, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior." When we're offended, it's easy to talk negatively about the person who hurt us. The Bible reminds us to avoid gossip and slander, and instead focus on resolving the issue peacefully. 

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The Bible offers valuable lessons on how to handle being offended. Remember, forgiveness, kindness, and prayer can help us navigate through difficult situations. Instead of holding onto anger, let's strive to follow these teachings and create a more peaceful and loving world around us. 

4 Lessons We Can Learn From Joseph’s Story 

How Should Christians Handle Cancel Culture? 

The 7 Most Impactful Psalms for Forgiveness 

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LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can’t wait to connect with you! 


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