WHEN OTHERS ARE OFFENDED
I had an interesting interaction with a man not too long ago. The family and I were out eating at a restaurant. Our waiter came to the table, introduced himself and kindly asked for our drink order; usually waters for all and then maybe a strawberry lemonade for Arlene, and a root beer for Robert when we order our food. The waiter gets our drinks and says he will give us some time to look over the menu. He was very friendly and our interaction up to this point was going well. After a few minutes he returned to take our order. Arlene let him know what she was having, and also let him know what Robert wanted off the kid’s menu. He then turned to me, I gave him my order, and he asked some follow up question to make sure everything was correct. “Yes sir” was my reply and then he became very upset and visibly annoyed.
At first, I did not know what triggered this response, but after a moment or two, and remembering the fragile culture in which we live, I realized that it was something I said. One word ruined this man’s interaction with us, and I would dare to say ruined his entire day…my use of the word SIR. This was a grown man I was talking to; 5 o’clock shadow, broad shoulders, eye shadow, and painted nails, but clearly a man. Apparently because I did not ask him his preferred pronouns and proceed to use those pronouns, he was done with us and another waiter assisted us for the remainder of our meal.
Yes sir, yes ma’am, no sir, no ma’am is something I learned from an early age, and it has brought about comments like “Please, sir was my father” and “I’m not old enough for you to be calling me ma’am” but nothing like this experience. For me, using these words is a form of respect, and at this point in my life has become somewhat of a habit. I was not intentionally trying to offend this man, but there are some who are going to be offended by us.
Jesus says in Matthew 5:14-16—“14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
As a Christian I understand my responsibility to the Lord as well as the great need in the world for more Light, more instruments (faithful Christians) willing and able to allow God to shine through us into this dark and dying world. My interactions with my fellow man are going to bring glory to my God because that is what I have been called to do, that is what all Christians have been called to do.
Should we be having a bad day, should we allow the cares of this world to bring us down, we still need to be lights. And when we stop and think about it, how bad a day could we really be having knowing that we are in Christ and in the best position we can be in spiritually? The joy of eternity should be visible in us. It is not our job to do our best not to offend people, Jesus Himself offended people! But it is our job the by like Christ Jesus who was also kind, loving, compassionate, and humble, doing what He did, saying what He said all in an effort to help lost souls come to Him. Helping the lost come to the Lord and keeping the saved souls saved must be goals possessed by all Christians.
We do not need to go through this life apologizing for being lights for the Lord, living righteously, or showing kindness, respect, and compassion towards those around us. But we also cannot go through this life accepting the sins of those around us, failing to stand up for God, and allowing the world to sway our conduct and our way of thinking.
I WOULD RATHER OFFEND MAN BY LIVING LIKE I’VE FOUND GOD THAN OFFEND MY GOD BY LIVING LIKE IT’S OK TO BE LOST WITHOUT HIM.