Should Christians have an unoffendable heart?

I am a bit bothered by a “trend” that’s making its way through The Christian Church. Maybe you’ve heard about it. It’s called an “unoffendable heart.”

The basic idea is that Christians should not take offense to anything. It doesn’t matter how people treat you or what happens in life, your heart should remain a stone block void of emotion.

Now, most people wont describe it to you that way but ultimately that is what it amounts to. Christians have taken verses like Proverbs 19:11 and 18:19 and turned them into a means of emotional guardedness.

Some people would argue that having an “unoffendable heart” means you are emotionally and/or spiritually stable. If an offense sticks to you, then you are the problem and you need to let the Lord deal with your immaturity.

While I don’t think we need to live in our emotions and hang onto grudges for millennia, I do think having an unoffendable heart isn’t the goal either.

Here’s why.

I was going through a really tough time last year. Panic attacks became a part of my daily routine. When your body is in constant panic mode, it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep weight on. Your adrenaline gets going and doesn’t stop. Naturally, I dropped weight fast and could not put it back on. Everywhere I went, it seemed like someone had something to say about my changing physique.

“You’re too skinny.” “Put some meat on your bones girl.” “Are you eating?”

AHHHHHH. It was SO frustrating. As a girl who battled with bulimia/anorexia in high school, I never thought I would come to a place where I was mad that I could not gain weight. I got so angry with people because I didn’t understand why they had to comment on my body. Most of them were ignorant of what I was dealing with but their constant commenting served as a reminder that I was stuck in a mental battle I was losing badly.

{ Insert person who gives well-meaning but terrible advice }

“Dont let it bother you”…. “Its not a big deal. Brush it off”… “you’re too sensitive”

The problem with these kind of responses is they dont validate the way a person feels. They say “your feelings dont mean anything”, i.e. your heart is not valuable. In those deeply painful moments of struggling with my mental and physical health, the last thing I needed was for someone to tell me I shouldn’t feel the way I feel. As if I could wave a wand and magically get over it.

We cant argue emotions with logic or scripture. When a person feels a certain way, it is truth for them. We need to seek to understand what they are feeling and try to help them move past it instead of forcing them into emotional dishonesty.

In many recovery programs, they say the first step to recovery is acceptance. I would say acknowledgement is the first step to emotional recovery. Instead of trying to push the offense away like it doesnt bother you, we need to acknowledge the real effect it had on our hearts.

I think part of the reason many people avoid church is because there is a lack of sincerity among the members. As Christians, we need to be the first to admit these feelings are real. Our world has enough fake! The church does not need to waste anymore time pretending to be something it’s not.

WE ARE HUMAN. We get hurt! Christians need to do better about confessing our offenses instead of pretending we are offended by nothing.

Jesus never told us to have an unoffendable heart. He said FORGIVE sin & don’t let it eat you alive by adding unforgiveness on top of it.

In case we forgot….. Jesus got offended too! Seriously, He did. He called Peter “Satan” because Peter focused on the worldly idea of the way Jesus ministry on earth should go. You don’t use language like that unless you are ticked! Peter’s actions offended Jesus, but He forgave and let the offense go.

If Jesus never took offense at the things we did, the idea of sin would be irrelevant and so would the cross. God is HOLY. He isn’t scared of our sin, but isn’t pleased with it either. The cross shows us that sin and human ugliness are terrible and it takes more than blatant ignorance to overcome it.

❤ AKH

 

 

 

Proverbs 18:19

An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

Proverbs 19:11

Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

Proverbs 17:9

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

 

 

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