Living Unoffendable Healthier

Living Unoffendable Healthier

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I recently read Unoffendable by Brant Hansen. His natural, conversational tone makes the book an easy read, though it’s full of thought-provoking material.

I think I’m a nice person who tries to be kind to everyone, but since I’ve been wrestling with depression, I’ve had to take a good look inside. I learned that depression is kind of like unreleased anger. This led me to contemplate what I’m so angry about. I could feel bitterness seeping in. The last thing I want is to be ugly and bitter. Unforgiveness causes anger.

What blocks forgiveness?

It’s not easy to forgive. People want resolution, but sometimes, we just don’t get it. Some want vengeance to hurt those who hurt us back. It’s our natural, sinful nature. That’s never the answer. Rehearsing the hurt only cements it in, and I had trouble swapping out my negative thoughts with rightful thinking. I let hate take root. Deep down, I knew this was wrong, and I grieved. But letting go, releasing all that hurt and anger doesn’t come easy.

I just couldn’t say, “I forgive you.” I did, but it didn’t seem like anything changed. My hard heart resisted.

Then one wonders if a lack of trust feeds into this. Don’t I trust God to take care of this? Vengeance is His, not mine. Of course, God is merciful and full of grace. I want mercy and grace, but for those I struggle to forgive, well. . . Yet I sin and botch things up all the time. I hope people forgive me, offer me mercy and grace. Yet I struggled.

That’s a sorry place to be, especially for a Christian, who is supposed to love everybody as Christ loves us.

But God doesn’t want us to live that way. Who is the prisoner in this war? Me. Who is the one hurting and making herself sick? Me.

Releasing offenses brings freedom, joy

Brant Hansen says releasing our offenses to God will bring us freedom and joy. Probably beyond my imagination.

God, somehow, loves us in all our ugliness.

“If you put your trust in Jesus, there is no condemnation for you. None. You are off the hook. This is so stunning, so hard to actually believe, because nothing else in the world seems to work that way. It’s not based on my performance? It’s based on what God has done for me? He loves me because. . . He just loves? It’s who He is? He’s not constantly evaluating my religious ‘goodness’? He’s not angry with me? Seriously?” (Cht. 16)

It’s hard to grapple with because people just aren’t that way. People criticize and judge and gossip. They look at how much money you make, how many awards you have, how you perform, how you look, etc. Games aren’t about having fun most of the time; it’s about winning, and if you’re not a winner, hey, they just don’t want to associate with you.

People seek to be significant and secure, but we can’t find significance or security anywhere but in Christ.

We want to be important, valued, approved.

Living unoffendable is a choice

But in the rat race of life, all this striving just gets us nowhere. We never measure up. We get offended because we’re TRYING so hard. But Brant Hansen continues to remind the reader that if only we choose to live unoffended, we will find the peace we seek. He says, “And real ministry forces us to abandon our relentless search for approval from others. That frees us to love. . . beautifully and recklessly.”

Sounds wonderful. And perfect.

People aren’t perfect. We never will be. We have to give it all to God.

People try to be righteous, but we fail. Only Jesus is righteous. We feel guilty. We feel like failures. The pressure is great.

But who gave us this pressure? Certainly not our Lord. If we run back to Jesus and just give it all to Him, life would be so much easier.

When you get to the point where you don’t care about what anyone else thinks, only Jesus, then you’re in a good place. Some older people reach this point. We fret about a lot of stuff that just doesn’t matter. It. Doesn’t. Matter. At. All.

Just imagine the freedom.

Take focus off self

Don’t think about yourself. Think about the Lord. Think about the next thing.

Burning anger is incompatible with following Jesus because Jesus commands us to forgive. Hansen reminds us that God is our defender. God is in control, and He loves us.

Hansen challenges us to choose humility. Remember what Christ did for you? Don’t let people poison your life. He said, “But oddly, if you don’t forgive someone, you’re choosing to stay in relationship with them. They’re still playing a toxic role in your life.” Ouch. And so true.

“We have to constantly be grateful for our own forgiveness.”

He shares stories and encouragement. This is a worthwhile book to invest in. I’m sure I’m going to have reread it as I work to free myself of offense.

Unoffendable recommended

I felt a piece of hardness chip off. My tears bear witness to my sorrow and regret. I don’t want to live offended, so I will continue to work out my faith with fear and trembling, forever grateful that Jesus walks alongside me as I tread this journey.

Lord, please help each of us to drop our offense, trust You to take care of whatever needs to be done. You’re in charge, not us. Help us rest in You. Fill us with that joy and peace. Thank you for forgiving us. Give us the courage to be different than others by not carrying any offense. We’re not perfect like You, so bring things to mind so that we can repent and move on. We want pure hearts that shine in a dark world. Thank you. Amen.

How do you stay unoffendable?

For more on living unoffendable, check out this blog. Thanks for reading my blog! Please share it if you find it helpful.

2 Replies to “Living Unoffendable Healthier”

  1. When I wrote the last paragraph of my book, I broke down and sobbed. It hit me that I had written my grandmother’s story, but I had inserted myself into the book. I was Sissy always TRYING so hard. I wept for all the times I’ve striven rather than rested and embraced God’s presence. That is why I ended More Than Grit with the word “grace.” I so often forget He is in the details of our lives. There are no formulas for “getting it right” and always living unoffendable and less self focused, but I rejoice in the Lord’s forgiveness and that nothing can separate me from his love…neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons….Romans 8:38. May you feel blessed and loved!

    1. Thank you, Gretchen, for sharing wise advice. You are right about striving and formulas. We can rest in the Lord’s boundless grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Thanks for sharing the Romans reference to remind us that we don’t have to work so hard. He is with us in all the details. Unoffendable also encourages us to remember God’s love for us. I’m thankful he sends friends and books to remind us of this when we forget and slip into striving. Thanks for reading my blog, Gretchen, and for sharing. More Than Grit touches my heart too. I’m glad you shared it with the world.

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