Have you ever tried walking on eggshells? Real eggshells?
If you lay egg shells out over the floor and try to walk on them, they cut into the bottom of your foot and it makes you pull back. They break under your feet because they are so fragile. You must walk carefully in order not destroy them completely as well as being careful of hurting yourself in the process.
In the same way, some people are so sensitive and so easily offended that you feel you have to tip toe around them just to make sure you do not accidentally hit a nerve. You have to withdraw yourself in veritably to protect yourself from getting hurt as well. You have to "Walk on Eggshells" when you are around them.
I have to throw this out there because when you start getting to the heart of Proverbs 31, you will hit some nerves. God's word will hit people's nerves. So, God decides to write a chapter about this woman who he praises. I in turn decide to write about how it impresses upon my life. Subsequently, people read what I write and they think that somehow I know them personally and have somehow made a person assault on them. Everyone has their own level of sensitivity.
We all have buttons. If people push a certain button, we will get our feelings hurt. We are touchy.
I know we all have sensitivities. Some people have had certain situations happen in their lives that made them sensitive. Circumstances can shape us. They can make us react in many ways that we ourselves can not comprehend. If we lost everything, it is hard to rejoice with someone if they have a season of abundance. If we are talented and capable but have a husband that is controlling, we have a hard time when another lady has more freedom.
If we are lazy and we do not feel motivated to get up and clean our home each day, our first reaction is to lash out and say other people who clean their homes do not spend time with their kids or put faith as an importance in their home. The hypocrites of this world love to throw stones at people that are working hard at something because it makes them feel better about their non productive life.
Another person has a lousy relationship with their husband and children. They nag and rag and live in constant stress. When they see someone that actually has a HAPPY family life, they automatically assume it is dysfunctional and that the person enjoying the bliss of it all must be delusional somehow or they have done sick twisted things to produce it. Wicked imaginations. Well, news flash, sometimes people choose to be obedient to God's word, love their neighbor as themselves, joyfully submit to their amazing husband, and teach their children by example, it takes effort--and Tadah!!!!, enjoy the blessings that follow.
Jealousy can cause us to behave beneath our dignity. We are upset with our lot, so we get nasty when others succeed. People have to be so careful around us because if they say the wrong thing, we may get our undees in a bundle.
If someone is telling you that they feel like they have to Walk on Eggshells around you, what is that telling you?
- They can not be themselves around you.
- They feel trapped. There is no pleasing you, everything upsets you.
- They have to be careful what they say to you because they fear your reaction.
I have put people in prison like this before. I have had people tell me this in the past and I took it to heart. I saw the ugliness of this and strived to overcome my sensitivities. I was very fragile, easily broken. I was easily offended and hurt.
What are offenses? By definition...
- a breach of a law or rule; an illegal act
- annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one's standards or principles: he went out, making it clear he'd taken offense
- the action of attacking
You can offend people that are weaker in the faith, causing them to stumble. We have to be mindful not to do things to cause this type of offense.
Romans Chapter 14
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed [are] pure; but [it is] evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21 [It is] good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor [any thing] whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
Some speak truth or follow truth and when persecution comes, they get offended because it hurts when people accuse you or judge you for choosing the right path. I have been spit at for the gospel, ridiculed, and even told I will be all alone with my bible, but I had to keep pressing forward through those fiery darts. It is easy to become weary and stop the good fight of faith.
Matthew Chapter 13
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
There are offenses that are vile. If a child is abused, it is considered an offense and Christ tells us how much he detests the perpetrator. Woe to the person who defiles an innocent child...
Matthew Chapter 18
6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast [them] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Some people hear the truth and they know they are guilty. They get offended because they do not want to deal with their own sinfulness. Their heart races and their face snarls. They fight back the holy spirit who is convicting them. The first instinct is to blame the deliverer of the truth. Find fault with the messenger. They may get out their ugly claws for a time, but if they love the Lord, He will slowly show them truth in time.
I have seen people come around on things that first set them off because they want to follow what is true and right in the end. The beauty is that once a person has been offended by truth and later comes around, they become more steadfast then the person who passively agrees to start with. Paul is a grand example in the bible of this. He was the vilest offender to the work of Christ, actively persecuting its followers. When he finally came to the knowledge of the truth in his heart, he became the greatest defender of it.
What if you have offended someone?
I have offended people. I stick my foot in my mouth, and eat my words. It is such a horrible feeling. I have done things that I should not have done and it took me years to mend those relationships and build their trust in me again. We reap what we sow.
Proverbs Chapter 18
19 A brother offended [is harder to be won] than a strong city: and [their] contentions [are] like the bars of a castle.
20 A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; [and] with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
People have choices whether they take offenses. Especially if they choose to take offense easily.
When you stop allowing other people to control your feelings, you will start having more peace and joy in your life. Here are a few realizations I have made that helped me overcome in this area.
- God created each person unique, they do not have to be just like me. I can not expect others to see things just as I see them.
- God gave us all a free will, therefore, they have a right to be who they want to be. I do not have to answer for them.
- I do not have to let things bother me. When I get hurt, it is my own fault.
- If someone does not agree with me, it is okay. They have a right to have their perspective.
- I can't control others. They have to make their own decisions and make their own mistakes just like I have.
- I need to love my neighbor as myself.
- I can not please everyone. It is an unrealistic goal.
- When I get easily offended, I am really feeling sorry for myself.
Whoa Nelly! There are actually people out there that LOVE to offend people? On purpose?
There are people out there that thrive on pushing buttons. They like the feeling of power they get when they set off a bomb. It is a cheap thrill for them. In fact, there are people that incite riots just to sit back and laugh at how crazy people can get. Now more than ever there are insecure people that get a rush off of being a bully. It is more convenient than ever because you can bully people around on the internet. No one knows what you look like, who you are, or what kind of life you live. They do this just for kicks.
You can pretend to be someone else, empower yourself to cause divisions, dissension, and mock people without ever having to face them in person. These people are not exactly offended, they just love to stir the pot. When there is a good preacher or teacher of God's word who is speaking truth, these cyber bullies will come out of the woodwork and try to shed doubt in the heart of the hearer. They put a hateful comment and usually trick people. The purpose is not to share their heart, they do this solely to get the readers to see that comment and reread what was taught and second guess everything. Mainly to get them to jump into the trap they set. It is all a game for these types of people. They have feet that are swift in running to mischief to sow discord among the believers.
If you go head to head with them, they actually get a kick from it. Know that you are not talking to a normal human nor to a true believer-do not feed into them. They are set there for a purpose to bring others down. They love the control they have over others. What a waste to spend your days trashing other people just for the fun of it.
According to God's word, there are 6 things the Lord HATES...
Proverbs Chapter 6
16 These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
You get what you put into life. If you are constantly getting offended and hurt, your life will be full of hurt and bitterness. If you let things roll off your shoulder, choose joy no matter what the circumstance, your life will be full of gladness. Joy is a choice. Being offended is also a choice. You are in control of your mind.
If you are a person that has been told others have to walk on eggshells to be around you, examine your heart today. Figure out why you are so touchy. Remember, it is hard to be around you when you are so fragile. Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. Would you want to be careful about everything you say? Probably not. Why place that burden on others if you would not like it yourself.
If you are offending others on purpose ask yourself what this nasty behavior proves. Are you a part of the world's problem or are you a part of the solution? There are plenty of people out their swift to cause mischief and dissension, and you are just playing right into the devil's hands. I speak from experience when I say that serving Christ is way more fulfilling than your greatest thrill of self gratification. It is much more rewarding to love than to hate.