Taking Offense

Years ago, I taught a short story (I do not remember the name) about a father who had to raise his five sons after the death of his wife.  The father was a good man who worked for two brothers.  The brothers were not very good businessmen, so the father becomes the one who kept the business prosperous, but he did not receive any type of reward.  At that point, I would ask my students if they thought the father was too kind so as to let the brothers take advantage of him.
That question led to many good discussions about whether or not we can be too good.  Does our kindness mean we let others use us?  Does being kind and doing things in the name of Jesus make us weak?  Some o the news stories caused me to remember this story.  I am constantly reading stories about people being shamed or offended.  If you do not like a particular hair style, you are “hair shaming” that person.  If you comment on someone’s body, you are “body shaming” him or her.  Every day I read of another way to shame people.  Disagree with anyone about anything, and you are shaming that person.  In Broward County in Florida, the recount was a mess.  They recounted the senate votes first.  After they started the recount for governor, lawyers discovered they were counting the wrong ballots.  The person in charge lost her job.  She claimed it was due to racism.  
Now, as followers of Jesus Christ, where do we fit into all of this?  This brings me back to the short story.  The father was a gracious, kind person.  Those brothers were not taking advantage of the father because the father chose to help them.  As Christians, people cannot shame us unless we let them.  Look at all that was said about Jesus, yet He was never offended.  No one could shame Jesus because He was doing what the Father wanted.  We will be persecuted, but that is a path we have chosen to follow by following Jesus.  As Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16).

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