What is offense, what is it to offend?
Offendere is the root word (Latin)
1. To strike against, to hurt, harm, injure
2. To annoy, vex, anger, displease,
3. To cause dislike
4. To cause to sin, to fail or to stumble
Offense is an interesting phenomenon, it has the ability to bring out the worst and the best in people. “The best you say, I cannot imagine, how offending me has ever helped me!”
::: A personal experience:
Many years ago, I owned a cleaning business. I was a master in my craft and had amassed several five star reviews. The main referral source was definitive, in the sense that, any business with high ratings, would be guaranteed to be successful.
This was the case for me. One day something happened. I received one of the worst reviews ever. It came from a client, who seemed set on hurting me and my business.
Yet, in hindsight, it was the best thing to ever happen. Why, because even though the intentions were to be mean and vindictive, the situation helped me to grow as a person and as a businessman.
The one star review was so negative and so scathing, that I was highly offended. The hurt was so deep, I believe I went through the entire five stages of grief.
Initially, I was angry, then began to bargain, later I was in disbelief, but essentially I got to acceptance. I realize that my five star rating was not something earned based on my past. It was something, that I had to earn every single time, for every single customer and for every single moment. :::
This single complaint and a one star review was the best thing, to ever happen to me. Why?, because It humble me and made me dig deep in to who I really was. I learned that I am not a five person by default, I have to earn my dues each and every time.
My reputation is wonderful and a great thing to have, but it is only, as good as, my last efforts. I do not get to cruise on my past achievements, I must show up each and every time. This applies to being a husband, a father, a man and as a servant of the ‘Most High’.
I was wearing my 5 star reviews on my sleeve, like a 5 star general. This experience taught me, that what took years to build can be ruined in an instance. The best me has to show up and execute every single time.
A man’s gift opens doors for him,
and brings him before great men.
The key to verse 16 is in 15.
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks it out.