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The Unoffendable Heart (YouVersion Bible Plan)


Do people irritate you? Are you easily offended? Could we be jumping to the wrong conclusions in our responses? Join Roxanne as she discusses her search for an unoffendable heart.

Day 1: Taking Offense

Years ago, I asked the Lord to show me all the places where I had an “offendable heart”. I thought this would be an exercise in Christian maturity. Little did I know. Never could I have realized the extent to which there are opportunities to take offense until I opened my eyes to see such. Today, I can recognize an “offendable heart” so quickly. In myself. In others. Taking offense is rampant on the news, in social media, and in our homes. An easily offendable heart can destroy relationships.

Offense can be defined as something that outrages the moral or physical senses, the act of displeasing or affronting. Everyone is certain to feel offended at one point or another. The problem with living offended is that it doesn’t hurt someone else… it hurts you. Like unforgiveness and bitterness, an offense is a poison that we choose to drink only hoping that the other person, our offender, will be affected. Just because we have the right to be offended doesn’t mean that we should be offended. I desperately want a life that is truly free and “floats above” an offense. At peace with all men.

Generally, we experience offense in two stages. Stage one is feeling the offense. Maybe your pulse starts to rise, your emotions may rise, and you may even get angry. Stage two is the choice of whether or not to live offended. The resulting life impact of an offensive situation is my choice. It may sting but the continuing pain of the sting is my choice.

Typically, when people find themselves tired, stressed, hungry/hangry, or lonely they may be more easily offended. I love the way that Lysa Terkeurst says, “A depleted girl can quickly become a defeated girl when she lets her emotions dictate her reactions.” Whenever I am living in my self-centered nature, I tend to be more easily offended which is the ultimate display of me living in the center of my smaller story. When I am walking in the “Bigger Story” of God’s greater purposes, then I am not as easily offended.

The Word of God tells us that love COVERS a multitude of sins, and it is to a man’s glory to overlook an offense. Scripture also reminds us that a fool is easily annoyed and that the prudent man overlooks an insult. We must not forget that each of us can inadvertently offend others as well. It goes both ways. Do I want to be the victim of the offense? Do I want to stay a victim of the offense? We choose if we want to drink the poison. Are you easily annoyed? Being unoffendable is a healthy choice and a pathway to our peace of mind. My pastor reminds us that “our lives are too short, and our callings are too great to be offended about something small.”


Consider how you respond to the offensive actions of others. Do you easily forgive and overlook the offense?  Or do you choose to wallow around in being easily offended?


Lord, I want you to be my defender. I need You to help me quickly release any offense so that I may live a more peaceful life.


Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Day 2: Perfectly Imperfect

Relationships can be so difficult to navigate sometimes. Taking offense starts with my response to others, and my response is my choice! Last I knew, I will be a human being until I die. I will live with humans, marry them, birth them, work with them, and have them as bosses and as neighbors. I call this our common ground: the human condition. Upon accepting Christ as Lord, we are given a new nature through the indwelling Holy Spirit. But, unfortunately, we remain living in the “human condition” often described spiritually as living in the “flesh”. Since our enemy wants to kill, steal and destroy all relationships, it is easy to understand struggles with offense caused by people…even people we love.

If we are on a continuous search to be offended, then we will always find reasons for such. Being easily offended or irritated leads to poor responses stemming from our self-nature. We all want love, acceptance, worth, and security but those things can only be truly fulfilled by Christ within. We live fully when we live from our new identity in Christ.

The main reason people live offended is unfulfilled expectations whether they are unspoken, unmet, or even unrealistic. We are often offended when others don’t behave like we want them to.  Each human is intentionally designed to be different. We are all designed perfectly imperfect. We have different personalities, viewpoints, and experiences all leading to different rationales and behaviors. Even my children, growing up in the same home, live with completely different personalities and viewpoints.

It is easy to see another person acting like a brat, but it is not easy to see it when we behave like a brat. It is easy to see when others are irritable, easily offended, or even blamers. Yet so often we don’t see that we have it within ourselves to behave the same way. We can see the splinter in another person’s eye, yet we cannot see the log on our own. With an unoffendable heart, one chooses to quickly forgive and release the offense. God doesn’t ask you to forgive to heal the other person. God asks you to forgive to heal you. This quick forgiveness sets you free from the burden that comes with an easily offendable heart. It is a shame for one sinner to throw a stone at another sinner. We all live from an inborn sinful nature, which is a bit messy. We all need grace and mercy for those days when we are not our best. We don’t need to be provoked by offenses that can bind any of us. We don’t need to live defensively either. Life is full of adventure with other perfectly imperfect humans. Let’s extend lots of grace as we are all navigating the human condition.


How are you responding to other humans when they act differently than you think they should? Are there scenarios where you easily take offense? Do exhaust yourself with such.


Lord, I want to forgive quickly even when people “know not what they are doing.” I need you to be my refuge and strength in times when I want to have an offendable heart.


Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 (ESV)                                                                                                              

Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you have cursed others.

Ephesians 4:32                                                                                                                                   

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Day 3: Giving Grace

Years ago, I decided to give others the benefit of the doubt, to believe the best in them before assuming the worst. That decision brings a lot of freedom to relationships. It was a choice to wrap my heart around the child-like faith that people aren’t trying to behave poorly, trying to get it wrong, or making stupid mistakes on purpose. Here are some definitions for “benefit of the doubt”: 

1)  The state of accepting something/someone as honest or deserving of trust even though there are doubts.

2)  To default to a belief that another person’s intentions are honest, and not assume malice when there is uncertainty or doubt surrounding the circumstances.

3)  To decide that you will believe someone, even though you are not sure that what the person is saying is true.: 

4) The withholding of judgment to retain a favorable or at least neutral opinion of someone or something when the full information about the subject is not yet available.

5) A favorable judgment granted in the absence of full evidence.

I might behave poorly but I never intentionally choose poor behavior. Why would I assume that of others? When you give people the benefit of the doubt it allows you to believe the best in others and it brings out the best in yourself. Any of us can have bad days that can lead to bad moments. Life is not perfect, and none of us are either.

Giving people the benefit of the doubt can help offset our offendable hearts. It takes us out of the center of our small story and everything is about us. It is a way that we can honor others, even when they may not deserve it. I am simply giving away the gift of grace that God has given to me. And we cannot out-give the Gift-Giver. Do I think that a friend running late, someone canceling plans, my husband not emptying the dishwasher, another spouting a short hurtful comment, or having a bad moment, is some plan against me? The truth is that all of their behaviors are for reasons other than mine. It isn’t a plot to irritate my heart.

If we are to obey the Lord and love the way that scripture tells us to, then we are to never give up hope that we are all learning and becoming better. The Lord loves us unconditionally and is so patient with us. He sees our sinful nature and still chooses to extend us grace and new mercies every morning. Don’t you think it’s time we gave each other a break and cut some slack? Imagine the peace if we all started extending the benefit of the doubt. Our offendable heart is a tool of the enemy to rob us of better, more fulfilling relationships. Let go of the offense!


Do I allow the poor behavior of others to produce an offensive poor response from me? I should consider if they are having a bad day and quickly extend grace.


Lord, help me honor others with the same patience and love that You have so generously given to me. Help me extend grace and give others the benefit of the doubt as I am not to judge their behavior because I can behave poorly myself.


1 Corinthians 13:7 (NASB)

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Romans 12:10 (ESV)                                                                                                                    

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Day 4: Vantage Points

If you remember the movie “Vantage Point” from 2008, you’ll be familiar with the concept that we can’t assume to know the reasons for other people’s actions. In the movie, during a historic counter-terrorism summit in Spain, the President of the United States is struck down by an assassin’s bullet. Eight strangers have a perfect view of the kill, but what did they see? This movie portrays the story from the “Vantage Point” of each eyewitness. Although each story has similar components, they differ in their “point of view.” This movie depicts how life can easily be seen from many points of view.

There are many things out of our control. Such as who are our parents, what nation or decade we are born into, what our skin color is etc. We all have a mother and a father. We all have a story. We all have unique personal experiences, strengths, weaknesses, personalities, core values, etc. So, our perspectives can be wildly different from one another. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (by Stephen Covey), habit #5 is “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Empathetic listening to others compels them to reciprocate that listening model. This leads to greater understanding and communication. It is easier to give grace to others when we understand their point of view, whether we agree with it or not.

The other day I was standing behind a lady in the Walmart line that was so angry about not being able to find her credit card that she took it out on me as well as the cashier. Her cuss words made the cashier super responsive and angry (an easily offendable heart).  Her cuss words to me made me wonder what her background story had been, what had been troubling her that day, and what else was going on inside of her. I wanted to give her a big hug. I felt so sorry for her as I understood her frustration and embarrassment. But that was no reason for offense. I sought to understand her predicament. I was grateful for my journey with an unoffendable heart.

God is the only one with a pure and true vantage point. His has an eternal vantage point! We cannot know the heart of another. We probably don’t know their story or the pains that drive their behaviors. But we can be slow to anger and quick to forgive even when we don’t understand. We can live from a heart of compassion versus a heart that simply chooses offense.

May we all consider the vantage point that we are all a work in progress and that we all need love, grace, and mercy from others. Let it start with me.


Consider the fact that an irritating person might be so because of something in their background that you don’t understand. Consider that others are a work-in-progress just like you.


Lord, help me seek first to understand before being understood. Help me to see through Your eyes of mercy, grace, and patient love.


Proverbs 18:2 (NIV)

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.

James 1:19 (ESV)                                                                                                                             

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

Day 5: Why Am I Irritable?

A short time into my new marriage, I found myself irritated by something my husband had done “incorrectly.” At least in my opinion. I may have even rolled my eyes. I was irritated. My husband responded “Wow! After 28 years, I am so glad that you finally told me that I was doing it wrong.” I was humiliated by my behavior. There is more than one way to cut the apple. I was easily irritated by the behaviors of others that did not match up with my expectations. What small thinking that the world should revolve around my opinion of what was “right” and how it SHOULD be done. What arrogance!

What do people do that makes you feel irritated? How about bad drivers or rude people? Does your response cause you to feel offended as well as irritated? How could you think differently to help you feel differently? Could you extend mercy wrapped in patience?  Have you ever been rude? If I am offended or irritated, that is my chosen response, and that is on me. The behavior of others can’t be responsible for my reaction. What you feel and how you respond are based on what you think!!!!

After being completely irritated by the behavior of my teenagers, my husband asked, “If they are always irritating you then why are you so irritable?” I was stunned by this question. I felt so immature. They were sucking me into their issues and I was buying it. When we complain about the behavior of others, it reveals our offendable heart.  If I had chosen to focus on all that was praiseworthy about my children, about the blessings that they are, then just maybe I would be able to navigate those years a bit differently. They were hormonal and certainly needed some grace. My constant irritation with them gave me pause to consider my maturity, my behavior, and responses. I double-timed my prayers for grace, patience, and understanding.

An oyster takes what was at first an irritation and intrusion…a grain of sand and uses it to enrich its value. With time, a beautiful pearl is formed. How can we reframe the irritants of life to allow growth, harvest beauty, and gain wisdom? We have to be willing to open our eyes and our hearts to see the opportunity for growth presented with every irritation. Can my irritant be my blessing to greater personal maturity and positivity? Maybe my irritant can smooth me out just as the sand grain smoothed the pearl into a thing of beauty and value.

Since testing produces strength and perseverance (James 1:2-4), let the transforming work begin. Ask God to give you new eyes to see and a new strength to become the great pearl resulting from life’s irritations. And remember, “your life is too short and your calling too great to spend time offended.” Forgive, let go and move on to the greater glory at hand.


Am I easily irritated by others? Am I quick to give grace and forgiveness? What does it say about me when I am so easily irritated?


Lord, forgive me for being quick to judge another. Help my love to be long-suffering, patient, kind, and full of grace.


Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)                                                                                                                    

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his interests but also to the interests of others.

Hebrews 12:14 (ESV)                                                                                                                    

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

END NOTE: Roxanne’s passion is to speak life-giving truths into the hearts of others. She loves to speak at retreats and conventions. She hosts her own DEEPER Intensive workshops and works with clients nationwide as a personal life coach. She would love to speak for your group or serve you in any way the Lord leads. You can get more information at RoxanneParks.com