Last Updated on March 21, 2024

Are you feeling offended or hurt by something that someone else has done to you? Offense is a normal human feeling, and we often unintentionally hurt each other because we all sin and make mistakes. But your offense does not have to rule your heart.

Here are 15 important steps you can take whenever you start to feel offended.

What to do when you feel offended

1. Examine your heart. Be sure you are not going to the offender in anger, with an attitude of setting them straight. The goal must be to bring reconciliation, not revenge.

2. Assume the best.  (…or “innocent until proven guilty!) Don’t assume that another person has purposely done something to hurt you. Maybe they are unaware of how they came across. Maybe they said or did something without thinking it through. Maybe they thought what they did was okay in a certain context.  Assume the best.

3. Be careful not to analyze a situation and “fill in the blanks,” possibly making more of a situation than there actually might be.“Filling in narrative that does not exist usually leads to feeling hurt by someone who may not even be aware of you to the extent you imagine them to be! ” ~ Tracey Lanter Eyster

4. Evaluate whether the offense was sin (something that is condemned in Scripture) or if it was a misunderstanding.

5. Don’t go to others and complain about the situation. Go to the person who has offended you first.

6. Before you go to the person who has offended you, ask God to help you to be open to hear the other person’s heart.

7. Let him know that your desire is to hear what he has to say, and that you are there with the intent of getting things worked out and reconciliation.“Love is patient, love is kind…It is not rude…it is not easily angered…always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13

8. Before dealing with the offense, assure the other person of your commitment to them as a member of the body of Christ. Let them know you don’t want anything to stand between you.  Affirm the person in any way possible.

9. Acknowledge that you may have taken whatever the person said or did in a way that he did not intend it to be taken.

10. Ask God to help you to humbly explain the way you view the situation that has brought offense. Try to lay out the facts as objectively as possible. Don’t accuse. Let them know how it made you feel.

11. Ask for the person’s point of view. Give them time to explain. Don’t expect them to respond perfectly. Be willing to adjust your understanding of the situation and to really hear his perspective. Be willing to admit that you may have misunderstood them.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35

12. Remember that we are required to do everything possible to live at peace with all men, and that we are called to love one another as Christ loved us…and that is how others will know you are His disciples.

13. If the person admits they were wrong, and asks for forgiveness, then speak words of forgiveness. If they do not feel they did anything wrong, and assure you that you have misunderstood them, then you must take it at face value and move on. You have done your part. If there is more that the person needs to see, God will show him.

14. If possible, pray with the person and again verbalize your commitment to him as a member of the body of Christ.  Always pray for them and that you would not develop a root of bitterness, but that you would forgive in the same way you have been forgiven by God.“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:18

15. Remember that none of us are above doing or saying something that might offend another person. We must make it our goal to approach others the same way we will want to be approached when we become the one guilty of offending.

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

Matthew 18:15-17

Which of these tips did you need to hear today? In what areas of your life are you dealing with offense where God wants to heal your heart?

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  1. l have a friend tell me a particular person dosent like me should l confront them