No matter how hard you try, you’re going to offend someone, somewhere, sometime.
I went to the grocery store today. I had to get a couple pizzas. I had some specific requests: one pepperoni with thin crust; another with cheese-filled crust.
I found the thin crust pizza easily enough. As I looked for the other I noticed the space was empty.
The people running the store took a risk. Perhaps the space was filled when the product first arrived. But it had sold out before I got there. Since they hadn’t refilled it fast enough, they risked offending customers like me who wanted that product.
If that wasn’t enough, I risked too. I chose regular crust to fill the need the unavailable cheesy pizza created. I risked offending my son by not bringing home the cheese.
But then again, he might just eat it anyway.
Dr. Manuel Smith said that you cannot live in constant fear of hurting someone’s feelings. It’s going to happen. That’s life in the real world!
Tonight we read from John 8:39-47. In this passage, Jesus risked offending the leaders of the church of his day by telling them that they were children of Satan.
Think about this. If Jesus was a people pleaser, he would have made a lousy savior. If he hadn’t told the truth, he would not have honored his mission to redeem humanity. If he hadn’t risked offending, the church leaders might not have wanted him dead. And if he hadn’t died, we wouldn’t be redeemed.
If Jesus wasn’t worried about offending anyone, why should you be?
But you are.
First, you don’t want to hurt the people you love, especially if they live with you. If you do that, they can make your life hell for the rest of your days.
But they probably won’t. Just like you have to, they will get over it and move on. Besides, you can talk with them about it and work past it that way.
Don’t forget this fact. If you love someone, you will risk offending them. You will tell them the truth with as much love as you can muster, because it wouldn’t be loving for you to lie to them, would it?
Go ahead and offend. Don’t bother doing it on purpose. And don’t let the possibility scare you from loving others.
Jesus will have your back.