“Love... is not provoked.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Everyone gets offended every once in a while. However, I’ve come across people who are offended by everything, all the time. These people are extra sensitive. Their sensitivity causes you to monitor everything you do and say. Although we’re called to love sensitive people, it’s difficult to be in a friendship with them because you can’t be yourself. You’ll find yourself continually explaining and apologizing for things you didn’t realize offended them. If you’re the friend who is easily offended, pray and ask the Lord to heal you. Also, please remember that your friend isn’t a therapist.
Special note: While friends discuss many things, we can do more harm than good when we try to step into the role of counselor or therapist. Many people have deep-seated issues that a Christian counselor should help them resolve.
The key to all these toxic behaviors and attitudes is love. The Bible does a wonderful job explaining what love truly is: Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails... (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
Let us love one another. If friends truly loved one another, we wouldn’t fall into the trap of being toxic in any of our relationships.
Aretha Grant serves her local church as a Bible teacher and elder. She loves writing and is the author of Overcomer: 25 Keys to Walking Victoriously. Aretha resides in Hagerstown, MD with her husband and two youngest children. You can read Aretha’s blog at www.arethagrant.com.
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