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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Onion Skin

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Onion Skin -  Lisa U Maki


We have a term in the Philippines that refers to being over-sensitive, and it is called "balat sibuyas" in Tagalog, or "onion skin" in English. I have been one of those people who fit into this category. I remember even as a child how I got easily offended over the pettiest things. It was just one of my weaknesses which I didn't make a big deal out of.
No big deal I thought, but definitely not in God's eyes. In fact, this is a big deal with God to the point that He included it as one of His standards for loving others. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that love is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong). Whoa! This means that if I am being over sensitive because of what other people said and did, then, I do not love them. Honestly, I never knew this part of love until I got married.
Isn't it crazy how the people closest to us are the ones who can offend us the most? They are so close to us that we expect more love from them, and so when they say something hurtful, it is so easy to get offended. This was the case with my husband. I used to take personally every hurtful word he says to me and allowed it to offend me, creating in me a feeling of resentment. All these hurt feelings were stored in my brain and each time he offended me, those stored memories got activated and added to my feelings of resentment. It surely robbed me of my peace and joy.
It took a while and a lot of chastisement from God, before I finally learned how to brush off an offense. The first step was taking His Word about love seriously. Each time I get offended, I go back to 1 Corinthians 13:5 and surrender my thoughts and feelings to God. Is it easy? Not at all, but it gets easier each time. Besides, the only other option God gives me is losing my peace. I mean, I am not talking only about feeling hurt the whole day but having panic attacks. Seriously, my heart starts pounding so hard and so fast if I entertain even a little feeling of offense. This is how hard our Father is on me.
Another Scripture that God showed me recently is in Ecclesiastes 7:21 which says: Do not give heed to everything that is said. God is instructing us to take things with a grain of salt. I remember another Filipino proverb that I learned which means "listen with one ear and let it exit the other ear". In short, we can't take everything too seriously.
The second step that God used in teaching me how not to be easily offended is through an understanding of where the other person is coming from. When my husband does something that offends me, I immediately pray for him and what he may be possibly going through. I have learned to become more sensitive of other people's motives: why they do what they do and why they say what they say.
From here, God also showed me what my role is in other people's lives. To my husband, I am his wife and help-meet. It is expected of me as a wife of a strong man of God to have the same strength as well. We are frontline soldiers and should therefore have the kind of strength that wins battles. Being easily offended does not help at all. It weakens me. But if despite the feeling of offense I can stand up and brush it off, then I gain more strength.
In all those times that I have entertained a feeling of offense and those times when I cried out to God, hoping for His sympathy, all He reminded me of was what Jesus went through. What can be more offensive than what Jesus went through? What can be more hurtful than being put to death by the very people you created? Jesus had every right to get offended and to even fight back. He had all the power to defend Himself and destroy all those who offended him. Yet, He chose to obey God and fulfill His purpose for him.
What is your purpose? If you are a born-again believer of Jesus Christ, then you are enlisted in His army. You are called to follow Him. You are called to obey His Word. We were instructed not to be easily offended and not to keep a record of wrongs, and therefore we should obey. It doesn't matter if you have a thin-skin personality, or if genetically you are more emotional, or if you have been this way since you were a kid. There are no excuses in God. All we have to do is follow, regardless of how we feel, and regardless of the circumstances.
At the end of the day it is not just for the heck of obeying God but to have a better life ahead of us. All of God's instructions, including this one on not being easily offended, are for our own good. It is for our joy and peace. It is for the release of God's miracle working power in our lives.
So the next time you get offended, go before God and bring the matter to Him. Tell Him you want to obey His Word. Release it to Him and He will strengthen you and see you through.
Lisa Maki is the founder of God'z Gurlz, a Bible-based online magazine for women whose mission is to is to provide a place where women can learn to manage their emotions, experience healing, receive love and acceptance, be free to be who God made them to be, and be the best they can be in their homes, schools, professions, relationships, and calling, through sharing of insights and experiences, counseling, prayer, and devotionals, thereby learning from and supporting each other. For more of Lisa's articles, visit http://godzgurlz.com/ Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lisa_U_Maki Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7409052

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