Being Offended

The other day someone told me about the definition of an offense. You know, she wasn't talking about a legal offense, but more like when you're offended by someone because that person said something unpleasant to your ear, or heart. So I googled it up: "offense definition". I was particularly intrigued by one of the many definitions listed online.

    noun /əˈfens/
    Annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one's standards or principles.
    I thought to myself: Oh dear, that's incredibly accurate. Many times I'm offended not necessarily because someone did something wrong to me but it's because they didn't do something according to my likings or so-called standards. For instance, someone I know sees me on the street but she doesn't even say hi to me, or a colleague of mine often comes late to an important lunch appointment that I've meticulously set up two months ahead. 

    I think you get the point but that's not all, the real point is that we are all alike. We set up traps for ourselves to be offended by imposing our self-made laws, continually putting others under some sort of requirements. The truth is no one can satisfy those standards, I'd say, not even ourselves. Because we can't even live up to our own standards, we are actually not qualified to be offended by others.

    BUT, there is one person who has lived up to the highest standard of morality. What I'm about to exhibit here is not just a piece of information in a historical record.

    With the account in John 8 of a woman caught in adultery, the scribes and the Pharisees tempted the Lord Jesus so that they may have reason to accuse Him. They said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught committing adultery, in the very act. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. What then do you say?" Jesus said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." When they heard His response, they went out one by one, beginning with the older ones. And Jesus was left alone while the woman stood where she was. Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" And she said, "No one, Lord." Jesus then said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more."

    He was the only one left standing, the one who was without sin. He had the full right to condemn that woman but He did not. Actually He had the ground to be offended in so many ways but He was not. The Roman government ruled Him innocent but He was still rejected, mocked, persecuted, and crucified. He lived as "a root out of dry ground", never expecting anything from His dry and harsh environment but setting His hope perfectly on the Father's will.

    I keep telling myself: Time to drop the stone and realize that we're no better ourselves. The good thing is there's Someone who has lived the perfect life with the highest standard of morality, and He lives in us.


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