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“That was just my opinion.” “I was just joking.” “If that offends you, build a bridge and get over it.” “You are over sensitive.”

Oh, how we try to justify being offensive. I know that I can offend people without trying. I don’t know what will offend sometimes. Yet, like all of us, I can be offensive and offend everyone I meet. I can say things that will offend. If I know a person, I know what will push their button.

I can also be pleasant and non-offensive, especially if I know someone. Much of being pleasant comes from one’s personality – and also maturity. A grown-up has learned the hard way that being offensive makes life more difficult for himself/herself.

Here is my paraphrase of today’s verse: “Because we all offend in many areas. Yet if one is not offensive in his speech, he is a grown-up and able to control all of his body.”

It comes down to this: I can be offensive if I want to be. I can be kind and considerate, as well. Sometimes I can offend and if it is over something silly, I can apologize. If it is about standing with God and the Bible, then I need to stand. I may offend, but I don’t have to be offensive.

“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” James 3:2.

© copyright 2016 Kevin T Boekhoff