Season: 8 Episode: 118
From cancel culture to micro-aggressions, the culture is easily offended. Are people overly sensitive? What does this say about where we are in society? How do we face speaking the truth and the consequence that comes with it? Shanda talks about all of this in this encouraging episode.
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Hey guys! Welcome back to Her Faith Inspires podcast where we take cultural issues and align them to biblical truth. I’ve got an amazing episode for you today but first, I want to let you know about Online Christian Courses and a fantastic class coming up on March 7th with Dr. Frank Turek called Jesus vs the Culture.
Use code SHANDA10 to register!
It’s a 12 week class and OCC is where I have received a lot of my certificates in different areas of apologetics and defending the faith, and I now work for OCC as a course admin, so if you want to take this course with Frank and have LIVE zoom sessions with him, use my code SHANDA10 for a 10% discount. You will not regret it. Frank is going to go help equip you to defend the faith in our current cultural crisis by facing the tough topics of our day. Go to onlinechristiancourses.school to enroll and find out more.
Ok, so today we are talking about how to survive in a culture of offense.
I mean, have you noticed people are so easily offended over the craziest things? Why do we have cancel culture, micro-aggressions, body-quality, everyone gets a trophy, etc, etc? Why do we have that? Because we are a culture of offense. But why are we so easily offended? Because we are the self-absorbed selfie generation.
People literally can’t deal with social media because they compare too much.
They want to cancel ideas that conflict with their ideas. Is it getting out of hand or is it just me? It’s not just me. It’s getting out of hand. But there is a deeper issue here and we need to talk about it today.
What is an offense? Per the Oxford Dictionary, an offense is annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles.
So you can be looked at as an offender because you cause someone to feel upset, annoyed, or resentful.
But the question we want to ask is, well there’s a couple of questions:
- Are people easily offended?
- What does it say about you when you’re easily offended?
- How do we survive in a culture of offense?
We’ll get to those questions in a minute, but I want to lay a little more groundwork here before we do. Proverbs 19:11 tells us how we are to handle offenses. Because the truth is, you’ve offended people and people have offended you. It says, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”
So one of the attributes we are to have when it comes to offenses is patient which is a fruit of the spirit. And then it says it is to the person’s glory to overlook an offense (who’s glory? The one offended).
You get glory when you overlook the offense.
And to overlook it means we don’t retaliate, get revenge, or become angry over the offender. We let it go. Do you see that attitude in our culture? No. This is cancel culture. You’re considered dangerous if what you say doesn’t align with the mainstream narrative. You are ostracized and cast out.
The Bible talks about offenses.
The Bible tells us how to handle offenses and when we have 6% of the American church with a biblical worldview, you get a culture that is easily offended because we don’t know what God says about offenses.
Proverbs 18:19 says, “A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.” What does that mean? It means they’re stubborn and will hold grudges. ** look up
Offenses and being easily offended has a lot to do with pride, unforgiveness, and self-centeredness.
It’s a me-centered attitude that cultivates cancel culture- micro aggressions and all.
So let’s talk about our first question: are people easily offended?
Our colleges are the breeding grounds for some of the most offended and weak minded young people. And I say that with all sincerity. When colleges provide “safe-spaces” for students because they can’t handle ideas they don’t agree with, we are fostering an emotionally weak generation.
A few weeks ago, the Miss USA winner from NC jumped from a building in NYC and killed herself.
A few posts and articles she wrote leading up to her death said she was struggling with micro-aggressions, and mean people on social media. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a tragedy and anyone struggling with mental health issues needs to seek out professional help. However, micro-aggressions can be anything – from someone saying your shoes look nice to complementing your hair. You never know when you may be indirectly or unintentionally offending someone because they see it as a micro aggression.
The definition of micro aggression is:
a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.
Another example given was: In many cases, the aggression can be difficult to pinpoint and resolve because it is not so outright and obvious, or even malicious. baker.edu
Does that clear it up for you because it doesn’t clear it up for me.
It can be pretty much anything someone deems as offensive. And you may not have had any intention of being offensive. So when we build a society of easily offended people who take everything personally or read into it and conclude that it’s an offense, then we create a society of mentally weak people.
Social media has created a culture that needs constant validation through likes, shares, retweets, and snapping back. Society needs those validations to feel valuable. Social media can go both ways .. it can be good or bad depending on how you use it.
Just like a weapon.
However, many can’t handle it because they are easily offended. And I believe it too has fostered a culture of offense. We have more access to others people’s opinions and ideas whereas we didn’t before social media. It was much more difficult to get information outside of text books, educational institutions, and people who took the time to actually write because they were literate and critical thinkers.
Now, that doesn’t mean all literature and ideas back then were sound.
Of course not. But at the same time, it takes effort and thought to write books, and publish your ideas. So it wasn’t just any Jo Shmo who was able to throw opinions out there.
And this is where I want you to hear me … if we can become offended on the micro level such as social media, we will do it on the macro level if we do not wrestle with this and control it now.
What’s the macro level?
Being offended by truth when it hurts. Truth hurts at times. God’s words is useful for correction and reproof and that never feels good. So if we are easily offended, we will take offense with anything.
A few weeks ago, Joe Rogan was being boycotted by some old people who used to sing because they were offended by his previous episodes that discussed COVID-19. The White House came out with statements that said the information is dangerous.
Why? A culture of offense?
I don’t listen to Joe Rogan, but I also hate it when people try and stifle the speech of others. I also don’t like it when people insult my intelligence by pulling the ideas of someone else off the shelf because they think I can’t make my own decisions once I weigh information. That offends me.
Is our culture easily offended? Yes. And it gets worse and worse every day.
What does it say about you when you’re easily offended?
There are three things being easily offended says about you. Now get me … everyone will get offended at times. I’m not saying no one will ever be offended. I get offended. I just gave an example of when I am offended. But how often are you offended? Are you easily offended?
I remember a few years ago I gave a pair of pants to a friend and they were a size 8. I wore them when I was pregnant and once I lost the baby weight, I passed the pants on to my friend because that’s the size she wore. Well, a few months went by and she finally let it all out about how she was offended that I gave her the size 8 pants. I explained that I only gave them to her because that’s the size she wore, and although that was true, she told me it hurt her feelings because she thought I was insinuating that she was fat.
A size 8 is not fat at all, and second, I never had one thought that she was fat … at all. I was very surprised by the whole thing and really thought I was just giving her my pants that didn’t fit. I had no idea what I did or even how to do it differently in the future. The only thing I knew to do from that point forward is to never give her clothing because even if it was her size, she didn’t want it from me.
What’s my point?
If you are easily offended and get your feelings hurt all of the time, you don’t get offended occasionally, you have a victim mentality.
A victim mentality affects how you see yourself and how you see others when they interact with you. Those with the victim mentality never take ownership or responsibility. They often put the blame on someone else or always have an excuse for why they did what they did.
This ties in well to being easily offended because the person thinks he is the victim and everyone else is the offended and needs to change so they are not offended again. It doesn’t work though. The person with the victim mentality will continue to find offense because they see themselves as the victim. Thus the reason for micro-aggressions. They take offense where none was given.
A person who is easily offended is a grudge holder and unforgiving. When we are offended it is because someone has hurt us. That means someone has deliberately done something to cause hurt. I believe our culture has confused offense because we take everything personally; especially when people don’t agree with us or have differing views.
Ephesians 4:26 tells us not to let the sun go down on our anger.
That means not to stew over offenses and not to allow bitterness to take root.
So why all of the offended people today? I believe it’s because of what Paul told Timothy would happen in the last days. In 2 Tim 3 he says, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
Being easily offended means we lack love for the other person which means we are putting ourselves first … there you have “lovers of self”.
Which means we also have pride, which also means we don’t forgive, which means we don’t love. It’s a domino effect here. When we put ourselves first, the worst of us comes out and we do not … because we cannot … love our neighbors like we love ourselves.
Being easily offended means we are earthly minded and not eternally minded. Where is the focus? Again, it’s on self. 1 Cor 13:5 says that love is not easily provoked or offended. That means we do not have God’s view of love in mind.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul endured many offenses because he knew the mission was to tell others about Christ.
How can you say you’re content with insults?
I surely can’t give you the answer to that because I am working on arriving to that point myself. That’s hard. But I can tell you that we all must strive to be content with insults, knowing that as we live for Christ, we will offend others by the life we choose to live.
When we are easily offended, our focus is on ourselves which is earthly minded. When we let offenses go because we know our purpose is to live for Christ, it is easier to let them go because we are eternally minded.
And that brings me to my final point today: how do we survive in a culture of offense?
We have to first understand where we are. We’ve arrived at a place where everyone is easily offended and we can become a part of cancel culture. If we don’t embrace that … and yes, I said embrace it … then we will not survive.
In Matt 16:26 Jesu asked, “What does it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his soul?” How do we gain the world? By trying to be accepted by the world. By trying to align our convictions up to theirs. It will never happen.
It can also be running after the world and chasing the pleasures of this life, but it also happens because we want to be liked and accepted by society. Jesus also says in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, know that it hated Me first.” Why did the world hate Jesus? Because He spoke the truth and they rejected it.
Think about it.
The world rejected Jesus. Do you think they’re not going to reject you and me too? They will. Even if there wasn’t cancel culture, they would still reject us because of what we stand for. The bible is always counter-cultural.
So first things first … know what time you’re living in and embrace the fact that you won’t be liked.
Secondly, don’t play the game.
If you don’t play the game, no one is going to checkmate you. You can’t lose the game if you’re not playing it. What do I mean by that? Be you and speak truth. Also, don’t cancel or smear the opposing view. Keep your cool.
We must look different than the world and that doesn’t only mean when we’re speaking truth but in how we respond to those who don’t. Do you know how many times I want to call people stupid idiots when they say something like men can be women? I start to type and then before I hit post, I tell myself to take it off. Shut it down, Shanda. That is not a good representation of Jesus.
So don’t play that game.
Engaging in cancel culture is a trap. Speak the truth, keep your cool and stand firm.
Finally, don’t apologize.
Nothing irritates me more than when people speak truth and either retract it or apologize for it later. Weak. Scared. Intimidated. Bowing to the mob.
It never works.
No one wants to hear you say you’re sorry. The people who applauded you for speaking it are disappointed and the people who are offended because you spoke it don’t care. They want you canceled.
This reminds me of the verse where people heard the truth about Jesus, knew He was the Son of God, but would not join Him because they, as John 12:43 says, “Loved the praises of men more than the praises of God.”
When we love the praises of men, we will bow to the mob and apologize that the truth offended them. This only hurts your message. It only shows weakness and when there’s blood in the water, the sharks only come to devour.
Stand firm. Do not waiver.
To be early offended is a terrible place to be. It’s a place of unhappiness. Again, the victim mentality is the one who sees everything as an offense and ever person as the offender. The Bible tells us that love is not easily offended.
I was thinking about this verse a few weeks ago: it’s from 1 Peter 4:8. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” We are in a culture of offense because love is lacking. I have never heard so much about love and loving others in the last few years but it’s not working. Why? Because you cannot truly love without God because He is love.
When we love others, we overlook a lot of things because of our love for them.
Love covers a multitude of sins. It hides them. It does’t disclose them or go tell others about the offense committed against them. This is the verse I try and remember when I do get offended. Because if I hold a grudge or can’t forgive or run and tell others how this person has wronged me, I’m the one who is unloving and easily offended.
This is something we need to live out and set an example for. It’s not easy, but we must work at it under the guidance and conviction of the Holy Spirit.