Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Best Defense is to Take Offense

I hope you read the blog entry on Identity, because this builds on that. When I find myself getting hurt and offended, it's usually a clear sign my flesh, or Ego (as I call it) is in play. Because I can't see my character flaws as clearly as others can see them, it's important to recognize the signs so I can deal with it.

And by deal with it, I mean kill it.

If somebody hurls an insult my way, if I take offense, then clearly I'm insecure about my Identity and who God made me to be. If somebody violates my rights and I rise up in anger, then obviously I'm clinging to rights which is a trait of a master, not a servant... I have forgotten I have no rights. Except maybe the right to die.

Going down the Offensive Playbook, a business client, maybe abrasive and obnoxious, throws me under the bus, when another vendor let him down... My fleshly instinct is to quickly and vehemently defend myself. Because I'm offended. That has to die. If God defends me, why do I need to pick that up? As the servant here, I'll let the Master handle it.

A family member accuses me of the very crime they're perpetuating. Ewww, that's a hard one. Do I not know who I am? Then it doesn't matter... and also it's not my job to "fix" them. That's slapping back-- trying to make that pain of their punch go away by punching back-- just maybe in a passive-aggressive way. Which is still all Ego.

This doesn't mean shoving these feelings down until way day I explode. It means "diffusing" them so that they don't rule my life. Here's how I diffuse them. In prayer, I identify the flesh in myself. I determine the cause-- for instance, in the client scenario, maybe others were CC'd and so why am I offended? Ahh, because I'm worried about what they think of me... Insecurity. Finding my value and self worth by approval of men, not God. So then the important next step-- remind myself who I am. I am wonderfully and fearfully made by God.

It's not enough to fall into a mantra of "I'm not going to get angry, I'm not going to get angry, "I'm not going to get angry," while my teeth are clinched and my blood pressure skyrockets. But to calmly remember who I really am-- this diffuses the offense.

Hey, the Offender is acting out of their own Ego, probably from mountains of insecurity and feelings of inferiority. Does their opinion even matter here?

In the eternal perspective, not at all.


  1. Which is the one on Identity?