Wherever there are people, there will be opinions. Wherever there are opinions, there will be clashes. Wherever there are clashes, there is a high propensity towards offence.
The notion of offence is everywhere people are. The closer the proximity, and the more you relate to someone, the greater is the possibility of offence. People are people, and the possibility of creating offense for others around us in life is extremely high, even though we are instructed as Christians to be careful to avoid offence. This carefulness, along with a humility that is willing to make right places where we have offended another, is a central ingredient to making any relationships function.
But there is another side to the whole equation; that of allowing, or taking up, offences. I remember years ago working with an organization I respected. I knew before we began, that differences would eventually surface, and in these differences, occasion for offence would surface. So before we began, I met with the leadership, and made this commitment to them:
“Regardless of what takes place here, among us, you cannot offend me.”
Differences did indeed come up, some that could have been life-altering for individuals within the organization, including myself. But I had made a commitment, based on Christ within me, and founded on His Word in Psalms 119:165: Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Years later, I would attest that indeed I was not offended.
One of the most basic things in helping to deal with offence in our lives, is recognizing WHO we are in Christ. I am a Child of the King of Heaven, joint-heirs with Him! Who, exactly, is going to take that away from me? What slight, what gossip, what disrespect, what abuse, what imprisonment, what violation of my ‘rights’, can take away my position IN CHRIST in Heavenly places?