Understanding “Unoffendability” as a Bridge Builder
Friends and Fellow Followers of the Lord Jesus Christ,
My heart has been stirred over the past several days as a result of someone highlighting to me that my testimony of “unoffendability” causes adverse reactions in others, sensing that I view myself as spiritually superior in some way. This is the antithesis of everything I’ve written about and shared. I see how those who do not know my heart well, or who have not walked by my side through my painful journey may not understand what I mean by that term. I request an opportunity to share what I mean and express my heart behind it. My first inclination was to extend a public apology, but that would not be true and genuine. I do not apologize for the testimony the Lord has given me; I seek to demonstrate it, not deny it.
I’m Only Human
Guess what? I’m just as human as you are. That means that if I trust the Lord to complete the good work that He has started in me, I equally trust Him to complete that in you. I trust HIM. I don’t trust myself and I don’t trust you to complete it.
One of the first things the Lord addressed in me after I began my journey with Him was my victim-mentality. That mindset was an opposing force that restrained the victor perspective He desired me to have. A victim sees everything external as the source of their life, whether pain or pleasure. It sees things on the outside as the cause of their pain, what’s wrong or not working in their life, as well as what is. It gives ownership of their internal well-being to external sources. It is the ultimate imprisonment. A victor “owns” the territory of their life, and that includes their own feelings, perceptions, perspectives, etc.
With that in mind, I realized that when I am offended by someone that means that I am ascribing a judgment of intention to whatever they said or did that caused me pain — I assumed their motive was to hurt or harm me in some way. The shift from victim to victor required from me a re-evaluation of that perspective. If I am hurt, I have to “own” that the pain I am feeling is generated from inside of me. It can be from past wounds that haven’t healed, subconscious patterns of behavior, my own internal belief structure (whether true or not), etc. In other words, I have to turn over every stone inside of me instead of picking up a stone and throwing an indictment of intent against someone else’s heart. The kingdom of darkness, after all, is only a stone’s throw away.
This internal processing builds several spiritual muscles. First, it requires fighting the internal war through self-inspection. Second, it strengthens the grace muscle. It was hard to shift from assuming everyone’s motives were to hurt me to extending them the same consideration I had for my own motives. People just aren’t crawling out of bed every morning and making a list of how many people they can offend before they lay their head back on their pillow that night. Hurt people hurt people, and the more I understood my own emotional triggers the greater grace I could extend and the more compassion I developed for the human condition. Third, it helps our judgment muscles to atrophy. I’ve said enough on that above.
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I am relational to the core, so my heart is grieved by the possibility that connection has been hindered in any way by the misunderstanding of what it means, and requires, to be unoffendable. The truth is that the less offendable I’ve become, the more I enjoy people.
Those who know me well know that I am very open to feedback. I sincerely take it to heart and go turn over the stones inside of me. I request that if there is ever anything I write, say or do as part of our interactions, that you do one of the following:
- Extend me grace, pray for me, and trust that the Lord is continuing in His good work inside of this Tricia Kaye Exman vessel, or
- Contact me and ask me to explain my meaning and intention so we can build a bridge of understanding. Please do this with an open heart for me that wants to listen. Otherwise, stick with the first choice.
Thank you for allowing me to share my heart.
Walking and growing with Him & with you,
The Answer Is Yes! We Do Need You!
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