Recently I found myself getting offended really easily at the littlest things. I found myself mumbling to myself in response to situations or things that were said or done. When my husband said something in a teasing way, I would take offense at it; I was easily “hurt” by things my kids said.
When I realized this was happening, I stopped to think WHY I was letting little, innocent comments or actions offend me. Why was I being so sensitive about everything?! As I thought about it, I realized that there are four things that often contribute to this.
WHY AM I EASILY OFFENDED?
Things were busy during the holidays. We had family here for over a week, and stayed up late talking, and playing games. There was more cooking and clean up than usual, with a bigger group here. The result, I was TIRED! When you are fatigued, it’s important to realize that you aren’t thinking too clearly. It’s a time to be very careful about how you respond, and a time to make an extra effort NOT to let things that don’t matter bother you.
Sometimes we are carrying extra burdens, whether it be concern for a situation regarding our kids, our finances, or other difficulties. It could just be a temporary time of extra stress for various reasons. When I am extra stressed, it weighs on me, and I have found that I am easily irritated and frustrated by things that normally wouldn’t bother me.
3. Poor communication
Communication is SO important! Many things can be taken wrong if there isn’t clear communication. Be sure you understand not only what was said, but what was meant. Ask questions, and talk about it, rather than assuming someone meant to be hurtful. Lack of communication just opens the door for misunderstanding to take place. There have been times when I felt hurt by how one of the kids responded to me, and I took offense, thinking they were being rude by not wanting to talk, only to find out that they were hurting and upset about something. They were responding that way because they weren’t ready to talk about what was bothering them at the time, or feared they would cry if they said much at the time. Give people the benefit of the doubt, and don’t assume the worst!
4. Lack of time in God’s Word
“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165
Often we allow fatigue or stress to push aside our quiet time in God’s Word. I love the quote I heard recently: “I’m too busy to NOT take time to be alone with God.” Spending time with God and His Word help renew our spirit, and give us a peace that helps us not be easily offended.
I don’t enjoy being around a person who is always getting their feelings hurt or getting offended at the littlest thing, and I certainly don’t want to BE that person!
If by chance, you find yourself in that “mode”, ask which of the above factors may be causing it. Get rest if needed, let go of some of the stressful things if possible, keep the door of communication open, and spend time in God’s Word seeking His peace!