There are times when feelings come burning hot and at the drop of a hat. Words land like knives or even missiles. Hurt and anger come rushing up, sometimes even loudly. I rise to defend myself against the insinuation that I am not good enough.
The word for moments like this is “offended.” Others may come out, but they are of the four-letter variety, so let’s just stick with offended.
Offended is defined as, “resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult.”
I have definitely felt all of these and felt them strongly. Hmm, notice that all of those describers are feelings, not facts: resentful, annoyed, insulted.
When trying to escape feeling offended, the good news is that it’s possible to change our feelings by tweaking our thoughts and perceptions. This is something that we can control.
Here’s what I mean...
For the last four weeks, I’ve been traveling with my sweet Hubby. We both love to pack up our little trailer, hook it to the Jeep and head out to who-knows-where! We covered some 2,500 miles, following our wanderlust wherever it would take us.
Towards the end, I saw my Hubs getting tired and, honestly, a little grumpy. My caretaking habits kicked in and I tried to be a good little helper. There was water to haul, fires to build, and hot dogs to roast.
I wanted to help. I wanted him to like what I did and, in my small efforts, to make him happier. Even just happier with me.
And when he wanted it done a different way than I did it, I felt unvalued and not good enough.
Dang, I was offended. Very offended.
Now, I was the grumpy one! I was “resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult.”
I lay there that night asking God how to escape the mindset of “No matter what I do, it’s never good enough.” I didn’t want to end our trip like this, walking around pouty and mad. It was bringing hurt and discord between my husband and myself.
That’s when God dropped this piece of insight on me---My Hubby is not my god. God is my God.
God alone determines my worth! Not my job, my boss, my culture or even my loved ones.
Thankfully, God already loves me, knows me better than anyone else and has abundant grace for me!
God says in Jeremiah 31:3 (ESV):
“…I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”
Here’s where I tend to run into trouble: When I put other things or people in this place of power, I open the gates to being easily offended. These sources can’t deliver the confirmations of worth I am looking for.
I know. I’ve tried. I bet you have, too!
Let’s be brutally honest, shall we? When I do this, I’m not only looking for validation outside of me, I’m also denying the God-given value inside of me. God put it in me, given not earned. It endures any mistakes I make, and it doesn’t depend on the good I do or don’t do.
Is it any wonder we get offended so easily? Like me, how many search to be assured that they are good enough, smart enough, useful enough? And when they don’t get it, they are hurt or offended.
The Truth is, we’re less likely to be offended when we are not depending on others to define our value.
This is a favorite mantra of mine…
“My worth is not determined by how well I do my job
or by what others think of me.
My worth is determined by WHO Jesus Christ is,
WHAT He did for the world and
WHY He did it for ME.”
When I feel the lie of “not good enough,” these words bring me back to the Truth: My worth lies in the great gift God gave and that He thought me worthy to give it for.
Now friends, think of your own life and feelings as we talk this one through.
What “job” are you letting determine your worth? How well you parent, handle your finances, or fit into your pants?
What voices are you listening to? The world is filled with judgments on our worth that we either receive or just perceive. Are you letting these opinions decide your value?
And finally, ”WHO Jesus Christ is, WHAT He did for the world and WHY He did it for ME” can be understood better in this well-known verse:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
John 3:16-17 (ESV)
Do you recognize what God is saying to us and about us? Because He loves us, He came to earth to meet us where we are and offer this unprecedented act of mercy and love.
Christ came for each of us because He sees the worth in each of us.
Friends, if we are turning to God for the truth of our worth, it makes it easier to back away from being offended. Being annoyed or hurt are feelings that can be changed by keeping that power where it belongs.
It takes some intention and practice. I know. I’ve been working on it a lot lately. I say in my head, “This is not my god. God is my God and he already loves and values me.”
You can do this, too! When the feeling of being offended starts to rise, choose to live like God sees you: loved, precious and worthy. That is where we find our worth!