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Be Exceptional

I am reading this wonderful book “unoffendable”, by Brant Hansen and it has changed and challenged me a lot. I don’t really think of myself as an angry person, at all, but the more I read about anger and being offended I realize I am guilty.

 ex·cep·tion·al

ˌikˈsepSH(ə)n(ə)l/
adjective

War is not exceptional; peace is. Worry is not exceptional; trust is. Decay is not exceptional; restoration is. Anger is not exceptional; gratitude is. Selfishness is not exceptional; sacrifice is. Defensiveness is not exceptional; love is. And judgementalism is not exceptional,but grace is. (Brant Hansen – Unoffendable)

It is easier to be negative, easier to be bound to a reoccurring sin that keeps us chained, easier to lash out in anger, easier to think of ourselves first. Holding every thought captive, takes practice. Choosing joy in a dark situation, takes intentional thinking. Breaking free from bondage, takes faith and self- control. Excusing someones offense without penalty, takes grace. Grace is exceptional.

We live in a world that begs us to think of ourselves, to be angry and to be offended.

Yet, there is something powerful and incredibly compelling about someone who refuses to be offended.

Anger is always – not sometimes, always associated with foolishness, not wisdom. Eccl. 7:9 Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the lap of fools.
Anger may visit us, but when it finds a residence, it’s “in the lap of fools.” Let that sink in. When anger lives, thats where it lives : in the lap of a fool. Thinking we are entitled to keep anger in our laps – whether toward the sin of a political figure, a news network, your dumb neighbor, your lying spouse, your deceased father, whomever – is perfectly natural, and perfectly foolish. Anger will happen; we’re human. But we can’t keep it. Like the Reverend King, we can recognize injustice, grieve it, and act against it – but without rage, without malice, and without anger. We have enough motivation, I hope, to defend the defenseless and protect the venerable, without needing anger. Seek justice; love mercy. You don’t have to  be angry to do that. People say we have to get angry to fight injustice, but I’ve noticed that the best police officers don’t do their job in anger. The best soldiers don’t function out of anger.(Brant Hansen – Unoffendable)

Anger does not enhance judgement.

Choosing not to take offense is not about simply ignoring wrongs. You can address the situation. You don’t have to accept it, but you can act without anger or bitterness.

I want my usual to be a spirit of peace, to look around and give thanks in joy, to love without defense, trust and not worry, be mindful at practicing self-control, have patience with my family, show kindness to people wherever I go and  to be gentle with my words. That is exceptional. Don’t we want to live exceptional? When I look back over a week, it pains my heart to reflect on how short I fall in all these areas. Life is not fun living in offense. Learning to be unoffendable sets you free. Be exceptional! Im writing that down in my kitchen,in my car, wherever I am to remind myself. Being unusual, not the norm, takes mindfulness. Practice. A habit, that turns into a lifestyle.

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