And we all have someone that finds the soft underbelly we all secretly posses, and then they throw grenades at it over and over again. When that happens, the best of us wonder how to deal with offenses like that.
Some of us tend to take it lying down, letting them lob the grenade at us over and over again until all of a sudden we turn into a bomb and explode. Well, they probably did deserve that. But if it is a relationship that you value, that approach probably won’t work very well.
Then there is those of us who take that first grenade standing up. And when it comes, we take it and lob that grenade straight back at them, cool and even. We don’t get mad, we just get even. Too bad that approach doesn’t work either, ’cause it is loads of fun when you are a level headed superman that usually wins.
But is there a way to live a gracious life, where relationships can grow in spite of the constant offenses we hurl at each other? A life that might be peaceful in spite of what others say or do? A life where we can forgive, forget and move on?
I think there is and it starts with us. I think it is about growing mature and allowing wisdom to shape our perspective so we start seeing life from a different angle. A lot of life is about perspective. And I think that when it comes to dealing with offenses, a different perspective can make grace easier.
As humans, we tend to be a bit survivalist. Nothing wrong with surviving. It is just that we tend to see things from that perspective even when that is not true. And when we do, we see offenses as something personal. You say something bad about me, so you are trying to destroy me. So I need to go on the offensive against you, and compile that a few times over and grace disappears and world war three erupts.
An offense that is taken personal either gets bottled up or blown out. What if our life perspective were such that those offenses we brush against every day were no longer taken personally? Where our go-to perspective didn’t see them as somebody being out to get us.
Where the remark or action that previously would have offended me was no longer seen as a threat to me, to my values. Where I no longer thought of the other person as being out to get me.
That takes a massive perspective shift for some. But we can learn to see the world a bit differently. We need to see the world a bit differently. The people that hurt us are simply unaware, unwilling participants in a drama cooked up by dark forces with evil intention.
The fight we fight, we fight not against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers in dark places. The guy that is mistreating me is simply a pawn too. He is a victim too. And as I become spiritually enlightened, I recognize that I have often also been a pawn. Then I begin to be gracious to those that are still pawns. Because face it, I will probably end up being an unwitting participant to this devilish game again, where I become the weapon the enemy uses to offend someone else.
That view makes life easier. It makes it easier to live graciously. To forgive easier. You are forgiving them not for hurting you, or for what has been taken from you, but for being blinded by the evil one. You are now aware that the actual scheming, the actual taking, and stealing, and destroying, was done in the spiritual realm. By our mutual enemy. My offender’s enemy as much as my enemy.