Sunday, July 1, 2012

Oops...I Offended Someone (Again)!

Awhile ago, I was at a ladies retreat and at one point we were sitting at a round table and after our discussion, we held hands and said a prayer.  It was a sweet, intimate moment.  But later on, my girlfriend told me how she giggled to herself when right after the prayer, I took my hand sanitizer and cleaned my hands right in front of everyone!  I don't even remember doing that.  I'm horrified that I did it, too!  It must have been subconscious.  I hope nobody was offended.  I can be such a goober sometimes.

Anyway, I began to wonder why I would do such a thing, even if it was subconscious.  I suppose it's because I knew that the flu was going around and I'm way too undisciplined to keep my hands away from my eyes, nose and mouth.  Keeping my hands away from my face is quite a challenge, for some reason. I even thought about how I needed to train myself by getting one of those Elizabethian Dog know the ones that they put on dogs when they have surgery so they don't bite at the wound?  Yeah, that's a great look.  Think I'll go get one later.

My point in this is that I don't always realize how the things I do, whether conscious or not, are often seen by others.  I never want anyone to get the wrong impression about me but sometimes they will, whether I like it or not.  I just experienced this when I said something on my Facebook a couple of days ago that was taken offensively to some people.  I didn't mean for it to be offensive and was mortified when I realized some people found it inappropriate. Yup, there I went again.  Offending people.  Unintentionally.  Woe is me....

I could drive myself crazy worrying about making the wrong impression (you've heard the saying "perception is reality"?) or I could hope that others just realize I'm human and know that my God loves me just the way I am - even if I am a wacky, germ-a-phobe who occasionally does really dumb things.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only human like that. 

My friend laughed as she realized how horrified I was about the subconscious "offense" with the hand sanitizer because she said her first thought, and probably the first thought of everyone else at the table, was "Hey, pass that stuff over here!" and when she told me this, I realized that I may have made a bigger deal of this than I needed to in my mind.  Why do we do this to ourselves?

Has someone offended you recently?  If so, have you spoken with them about it? Maybe they don't even realize what they have done.  You never know until you speak with them personally about it. Matthew 18:15 says, " “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back..."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go wash my hands.  No telling who or what has been on this keyboard....

 Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.  Proverbs 10:12


Kristi Butler said...

Oh girl, we can torture ourselves worrying about little things like that. We need to all extend grace, don't we? And allow ourselves to receive it.


Leslie Nease said...

Yes!! Grace!! I love it. I don't deserve it, but I'm thankful God is the Judge and He extends it far more than any of us ever seem to. :)

Blessings back to you!

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