We all get offended – every day – but the bigger issue is how we respond to offense.
“The way that we respond to challenges is always giving others an opinion of God. And as they look at how we respond, do we adorn the gospel? -Nancy Leigh DeMoss
I must think of this a hundred times a day. I view everything as a test and a challenge that I have a choice to:
- accept offense or not and
- react to it
- or to stop and give God control
- and then respond
It is really hard sometimes but the eternal benefits so outweigh the temporary satisfaction of a ‘smart’ reply and the regret that (eventually) always follows.
Everything really that I choose to do (or not do) every day can feed into that attitude and ultimately affect the response(s) I will give.
I’m finding that often one choice affects many actions and reactions:
For example, if I choose to stay up late and not get much sleep, the following day it can lead to
- feeling irritable, or being irritable to others
- having foggy thinking for a good part of the day after rising
- skipping exercise the next day
- not being hungry at mealtimes, causing insulin drops and increased reactions as listed above, or grabbing something quick and not necessarily nutritious, then feeling sick
- This irregular lifestyle choice also leads to potential for not being available when others who keep a normal lifestyle may need my full attention and concern.
So what does this have to do with my theme and calling to Be the Miracle?
The main thing is that every choice I make, every day, has a larger influence and result than may first appear. I want to be ready to answer the call should God lead me to minister to someone, and therefore each decision should be made with the question of whether this will improve my physical and spiritual functioning, my attitude, and if it will “adorn the gospel.”
The dictionary defines adorn as:, to adorn, like wearing a necklace, to draw attention to, to make attractive
Titus 2 lists negative behaviors we can drop, and other behaviors we can increase in order to “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.”
The Greek word for adorn in that verse hadar , means to honor or respect
And that word honor is defined showing or giving dignity, with honesty, fairness, or integrity through one’s beliefs and actions
On one hand it seems a tall order to suggest or require that the way we respond to challenges should always or in every way show honor to the doctrine of God.
On the other hand, it’s the way my husband and I want to treat each other. It’s would be pretty hard to convince the neighbors of the desirability of a godly marriage if they only heard us screaming at one another (or at the neighbors for whatever reason).
This little challenge speaks to me to make it a habit when choosing an action or behavior, to wonder: will this response show honor to the doctrine of God . . . or not.
Have you been offended recently?
Have you had to make any choices yesterday or today?
Have you had opportunity to adorn the gospel?