What is some praise that you would like to give to God this week?
At times, thinking of the good things in our lives may prove difficult and it may be because like many others, we can have a hard time focusing in on the good in our lives. This week Ivan mentioned that we are so overwhelmed with negative news in our daily lives that often enough it can consume our attention, taking our thoughts away from what is good.
What source of information is a constant source of bad news in your life?
1. Ivan proposed the idea of being unoffendable. He suggested that we can accomplish this by surrendering our right to be angry. We can take excess liberties when dealing with our emotions to justify our actions. Ivan gave the example of driving his car and owning the space surrounding his vehicle up to fifteen feet in front as well as from behind. He also mentioned that when someone would violate his space or take it from him then he would become angry.
What rights or liberties do you take in excess when dealing with your own emotions? Is your go to response anger?
How would the people who see you most explain your method of dealing with offenses? Would they be able to explain it at all?
Let’s see how Jesus instructs us in how to deal with being offended.
Luke 6:27 – 36
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
What insights or challenges did you find from reading this scripture regarding the notion of being offended?
What does loving your enemies look like?
2. Ivan also mentioned how we can get offended because we failed to receive the things we wanted or having the plans we have made not pan out. Often enough, we can have righteous indignation regarding those things that do not go our way and Ivan suggested that these indignations typically lean towards our opinions more than the opinions of God. Typically our opinions can cause dissensions between us. Let’s see how James addresses this:
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
In what ways do you allow your opinions to separate you from other people?
Why is it difficult to move past these differences?
Bringing it Home:
Ivan also asked the question “What would happen if we looked at people the way God looked at them?” If we practiced this question’s principal then we would see ourselves in more submissive roles. We would deny ourselves the right to be angry, to get upset or even offended.
If we loved people this way what rights would we give up by doing so?
How by practicing the above principal can we find it easier to love our enemies?
How can you look at people differently today, to start loving like Christ?