No Offense But …

womanpoutingToday, I was in my local Panera restaurant and witnessed a ridiculous scene.

An elderly woman was ordering from the same employee that I had ordered from, and I was just standing off to the side waiting for my .99 cent add-on pastry while listening to her order.  She had another women with her, and was telling her friend all of her favorite things on the menu and seemed like a frequent customer.  She seemed pretty pleased to order her bowl of soup and her chocolate chip pecan cookie.

Well, let me just tell you that things took a DRASTIC turn for the worse.  She was struggling for literally like 2 seconds with trying to pick up her cookie and her pager that they give you for the order, along with holding her cane at the same time. I mean seriously, I blinked my eyes, and her friend said, “Oh let me carry that.” Then, I blinked my eyes possibly one more time (just to give you an idea of how much time went by) then my eyes got VERY BIG because what she did after my next blink was shocking!

She started yelling and I mean YELLING at the employee behind the register and was saying she has never in her life been around someone so rude, and she is NEVER coming back here again … all because she needed help picking up her cookie and pager and the panera employee DID NOT, in that blink of an eye moment, offer to help her. The poor young girl that was working there, seemed shocked and tongue tied as this old, cranky lady goes on about what a rude person she is. She went on to call the manager and went on for another 5 minutes to him, complaining about this poor girl and say she should be fired.

How people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.

Well, let me just tell you that my name meaning is “fair lady” and I was not about to walk away and not stand up for the innocent young girl that was enduring this obviously unpleasant and unhappy lady that had a chip on her shoulder.  I pulled another manager aside and defended the employee. I walked out to my car, and thought about how it felt personally when I had a similar experience where I work where a client has lied about me and accused me of something just as ridiculous that was not true at all.  So I wrote the employee a note and took it back in to her that said for her not to let that unhappy lady get to her, that she was doing a GREAT job and she should be proud of herself for not being ugly back to the lady and that God loved her and was proud of her for working hard!

Fast forward two hours later and I am on the phone walking in the Kroger parking lot and I guess I was walking a tad too slow and not paying attention to where I was going.  I turn around realizing I went the wrong way and the guy behind me rolls his eyes and sighs loudly.  I was puzzled by him,  but apparently I was just in his way and he wanted to make it clear that I got that.

I really felt that God was allowing me to see these things today because I have been hearing alot in the last two weeks from friends about stories of offense and God showed me some things today that I wanted to share with you.

We are all guilty at times of being to quick to take offense. Maybe it’s not as drastic as the story I shared here and maybe you don’t make a public spectacle when you are annoyed, but it’s just as wrong if you are holding on to an offense in your heart. I believe that we can choose to walk in offense or walk in love. 1 Corinthians 13 talks about walking in love and says in verse 5 that Love does not demand it’s own way, is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged.

Sometimes we get so caught up in being wronged  and we are even so “offended” that we want to tell EVERYONE about the offense. Well guess what, it says right there that Love keeps no record -which I believe no record includes spilling it to 5 other people of how you feel you are being wronged! Proverbs 6 talks about 6 things the Lord detests, one is sowing discord amongst brothers.  Spreading your feelings of offense is sowing discord.  Are you choosing to walk in a spirit of offense or Love? It’s a choice. Which choice are you making today?  I am preaching to myself here as well. God has convicted me personally in this area.

You might be like the lady at panera and just be in a place where you are irritable and offended and are just spewing that out to any innocent person around you, or you may even have a valid reason to feel offended.  No matter the reason, if you are walking in offense, you are not walking in love.  If you have a valid reason, I want to encourage you to not allow small or big irritants, annoyances, or even hurt feelings to drive a wedge between yourself and others. The fact of the matter is offenses are going to come our way. When they do, it’s okay to admit that it hurts. However, we don’t have to get upset about it. We can choose to not be offended. Being easily offended often has a lot to do with being too consumed with self…“They didn’t like my ideas, they left me out, they gave me a dirty look, etc..” When we get our eyes off our self and onto God, we aren’t easily offended because He shows us how to view others through His eyes, eyes of love and grace. Also, we focus on how we can minister to others, love on others, and not focus on our own selves.

 Ask yourself this question, will this matter a year from now?

So I wanted to encourage you today to let go of any offense from the past and choose to not being easily offended. Quit spreading dissension because of an offense and choose unconditional love. Choose peace.  Choose to believe the best.  Christ is not easily offended and thank goodness or I would be in big trouble. We are called to be like Christ and that includes this! Life is short, just love and show love every chance you get, even at Panera or Kroger.

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. {Proverbs 19:11}

Written by Jennifer Bellamy, Embrace Grace leader, Gateway North Fort Worth

5 thoughts on “No Offense But …

  1. Whoa. I mean WHOA. I’m balling, I’m convicted & I’m totally in awe of your BOLDNESS and ability to share such a passionate message. Seriously Jenn…. You need to let God speak thru your writing more often. Writers must run in the fam!! Love you!

  2. Wow!
    Thank you for this perspective!
    Thank you for being a light when darkness surrounded that poor Panera employee!! It’s all about showing love!

  3. Wow. This was so, SO good, Jenn! I am with Alyse; you need to write more! You have so much wisdom within you and you explain it in such a relatable, powerful way. I’m so glad I started my day off reading this!

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