In all of history, it has never been easier to connect with other people than it is today and perhaps it has never been easier to offend them. While our culture promotes tolerance for diverse opinions, there’s a growing intolerance toward biblical views. Dr. Linda Mintle says we must learn how to be bold in our faith even when it’s unpopular.
“You have to hold on to your convictions. If it’s not popular in the culture, you have to somehow find a way to say, if I believe what the Bible says, then I believe in Jesus, and very unpopular things, like believing that sex outside of marriage is a sin. It’s going to offend people who hear that.”
“It more than just offends people. Now, people come and attack you for that belief; they’re intolerant of your convictions. So what happens is we just don’t talk anymore. I really see that there’s such an effort not to bring up multiple points of view and allow people to critically think, what do I believe, why do I believe it. In order to do that, we have to have a lot of opinions expressed and actually debated/talked about, without getting upset with each other.”
One reason for the heightened “sense of offense” is the predominance of emotional reasoning–where we equate how we feel about something to be the truth. The best defense in a culture of offense is go back to the ultimate truth of God’s Word for our convictions:
“This keeps me from getting emotionally distraught when people say harsh things. I just say, I don’t make up the rules. I don’t determine morality for the human race. I am somebody who believes in Christ. He has given me His word to help me understand how to live and how to flourish. I’m just telling you what I personally believe.”
While we can’t stop people from being offended by God’s Word, we can check that in such conversations, we are motivated to speak the truth in love.
“It’s easy to love the people who are nice to you, who love you, agree with you, believe the same things you do. But the people who don’t–how do you approach them? Do you approach them as somebody that (you) love dearly and want to have a relationship with, and be able to dialogue with? Once we do that, it’s amazing how willing people are to actually engage in a conversation.”
Dr. Linda Mintle is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed clinical social worker and national expert on relationships and the psychology of food, weight and body image. She’s a best-selling author with 19 books and hosts the Dr. Linda Mintle Show on Faith Radio.When your convictions offend