We have all heard the statement: “Offence is taken, not given”. Is this really the case?

I have had it on my heart as we close off 2015 to make this statement a living reality and to take it to a new level of self-realisation.

Thinking back on the highs and lows of this year, there are moments I would relive in a heartbeat. We have all got at least ONE memory from this year that was a brilliant one. Those seasons are the ones we should focus on and be thankful for. They should light the way for a glorious 2016, they should set the standard and expectation for what is to come, and they should be our courage to face the unknown that lies ahead. Yet… with that being said, more often than not, we don’t operate like this.

As mere humans we tend to dwell on the damage, the parts of the year that caused us to wobble, to have fear and that have fueled our insecurity. Many of these events linger on due to our inability to shake off offence. Would it not be ideal that we step into each new year or week afresh, and prove that the power of offense has no grip on our future?

Maybe we need to realize the impact of offense so that we can have the desire to rid ourselves of it. These are three main toxic areas I feel stem from offence:

  1. You are unable to love that person wholeheartedly, as a part of you is holding a grudge.
  2. You are broken and tied down. Most of the time, the only one affected by offense is yourself. Imagine the concept of being trapped in a jail cell for months on end, yet you have the key to open the door… is there any sense in staying?
  3. Your perspective is warped. Due to the pain and baggage from offense your future situations or opportunities are hindered. You may think you have it under control, but unfortunately it is inevitable.

If we can think back on 2015’s offences and look forward to 2016’s new offence “opportunities” with these five questions in mind, I think we could embark on a new level of breakthrough and victory in our lives:

  1. Offense lies with ME and how I choose to respond. Do I want to carry this into my future?
  2. Do I want to grow and learn? Instead of being offended, what can I learn from this situation?
  3. What value can I find in this person who has just challenged me? Make a decision to believe that every single person holds value and you WILL find it.
  4. How can I keep myself from over-thinking and over-sharing this situation? The more we think and talk about an offensive situation, the bigger the hold it has on our lives. Choose a time frame to process it and then SCRAP it. (And yes, that means when you are reminded of the situation or asked about it you CHOOSE to stop it dead in its tracks)
  5. How can I pack my pride? Pride is the biggest reason why the blow of offense is so brutal. If you are able to pack away your pride you will be able to overcome the most mammoth of offences.

Don’t make offence your way of life, make it a thing of the past. Be your biggest cheerleader as you make the most out of each offence opportunity heading your way. You’ve got this!