My Right to Be Offended
1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
The world is full of evil and stupidity (both to which I have contributed much). I, at times, find myself in the frame of mind to call it out. I find myself in that hypercritical place where everyone is an idiot and no one knows what they are doing. This world, unfortunately, is happy to supply plenty of examples of evil and stupidity. When confronted by this, what is my response? I start thinking evil thoughts and saying evil things. I return evil for evil.
It is not that I am wrong to identify evil. My error is in my response. I can be right in calling something bad but still act wrong in response to it. This is a lesson I have to learn over and over. I can be 100% right and still act wrong. Being on the right side of an issue does not guarantee that I will act rightly. Being right does not justify my evil response.
How do I return evil for evil? When someone irritates me at work, I seethe and I say wicked things to my coworkers about them. When I see someone engaged in a sin that I do not struggle with, I judge and I condemn. When I disagree with someone, I pick fights.
I am of course usually offended because I am focused on me. I have the right to be right and I have the right to be offended. This stupidity offends me and I have the right to say so. I may even try to blame God. It is my duty to carry the truth to the world! This is nothing but pride and selfishness and it is evil in itself. When I fabricate evil in response to evil, I am engaging in destructive behavior that is toxic to me and those around me.
If however, I choose to bless instead of curse, Peter says I will sow the seeds of blessing in my own life. This does not mean that I cannot identify the evil around me. It does mean that I am to ignore my desire to respond with evil. When offended, I am to respond with kindness and love. But that will only enable and encourage the evil! It is true, that my kindness may not change the evil, but it changes me. I want my right behavior to change the evil in the world, but often, the point is, that my right behavior changes the evil in me.