Offending and being offended have been on my mind this week. I realized that someone who I knew I offended a few years ago, was still offended by my Christian beliefs. I won't go into all the hairy details but basically this tends to happen, a lot, in our world of having non-Christian friends. They simply do not believe what we believe. That can be very difficult to reconcile when difficult conversations come up. In this particular situation alcohol was involved which is never a good thing when discussing passionate topics. I regret that what I said came across in a offensve manner. I regret that I didn't make more of a concerted effort to talk it through after the fact.
But here's the thing, I felt very strongly that throughout this week of feeling bad about how what my friends have said and thought about me, that God was saying to me, " Why do you never care about offending me?" Ouch. It's so true. I care very much how I am perceived and what people think about me. But when it comes to God's perception, that often goes to the wayside. Why?
I met with a friend and mentor this week to discuss some of the recent struggles I have been having. We talked a lot about this subject and she said something that struck me deeply. My friend said that once we become a Christian we have the holy spirit living within us. When we choose to be sinful, we take along the spirit of God with us. When we speak hatred, when we drink too much, when we scream at our kids, when we're inpatient and angry toward our spouses, when we covet what others have, when we lust, when we watch t/v shows or read books that are inappropriate, the Spirit of God is taken along for all of it. Yuck. Talk about offensive.
I am ashamed that I have let my faith and relationship get so lack luster that I wasn't even recognizing the pain I was causing my God. I am ashamed that I care more about friendships than I do the God who sent His only Son to live a perfect blameless life and be beaten, berated and crucified for me.
Again ,I am in awe of the grace and redemption that God always offers, every single time that I mess up. I know he must think to himself, "Oh dear, sweet girl,will you ever see the errors of your ways and make it right once and for all?" The beauty and crux of this faith of mine, that I am not ashamed of, is that He is always willing to help me mend it. He is always able to help me pick up the pieces of my brokenness and make it beautiful.