The Offense or the Offender: Which are you angry at?
He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool; but he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool – Brigham Young
This post was inspired by a recent life experience which left me with this beautiful lesson, “LEARN TO SEPARATE THE OFFENSE FROM THE OFFENDER”. I had this painful experience where I trusted someone and ended up greatly disappointed. (Indeed, if there is no expectation, there will be no disappointment). This experience left me very bitter and resentful. It saddened me that much because I really did trust this person. One day during my quiet time, I decided to have a little chat with myself. I asked myself these questions…
Who are you really mad at?
Why exactly are you feeling so bitter?
What has this resentment you are harboring changed?
Are you angry at the offense or the offender?
The truth is that we most times have a problem separating the person from the offense. Anger at the offense leads to rebuke and correction (you eventually get better). Anger at the offender leads to resentment and complete alienation of the person from your life (you grow bitter with time)
While correcting someone, we need to be careful to do it in such a way that it is understood that it is the offense that is been condemned not the person. We need to correct and rebuke in a fashion that does not threaten or attack the offender’s sense of worth and relevance. The offense is different from the offender. The offense doesn’t make the offender. We really need to understand that.
We are not infallible or perfect beings. Expectations may not be fully met. Disappointment is inevitable as long as you are dealing with humans. We are human beings and therefore susceptible to mistakes but the interesting thing about being human is that we are programmable. We can improve and grow into better versions of ourselves.
So friends, the next time a situation makes you angry; ask yourself if you are angry at the offender or the offense. Failure to separate these two is the reason for many broken relationships.
LEARN. LOVE. LIVE
We love you guys and we look forward to reading your thoughts on this in the comment section