By now, most of you know San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick has started an ongoing protest of either sitting or kneeling during the pre-game national anthem. This has created a national debate of frustration and anger between those who are either for or against Kaepernick. Why is everyone getting sucked in?
This all started 3 weeks ago during a pre-season game when Kaepernick stated, “I won’t stand to show pride in a flag for a country that continues to oppress black people”. The response was immediate and people started publicly responding with opinions, anger, and even burning Kaepernick jerseys. All the major news channels carried the story, providing their own personal commentaries. The tension continues to grow today between protesters and supporters of Colin Kaepernick. So how can a 2nd string quarterback cause such a national stir?
The answer is simple…
We Don’t Know How to Handle an Offense!
It seems as though we live in a day and age that is easily offended. If someone says something that doesn’t fall in line with popular opinion, it gets labeled as “offensive”. Once that label is made, the name-calling and shaming soon follow. It almost feels like we are back in grade school when this type of behavior was an art form. Most parents would tell their children this is a sign of immaturity, which is true! Yet, we turn around and respond like children when we become offended. So, who is really the immature one here?
Here’s the trap. Being offended is a regular part of everyday life. You will often hear or observe things that are offensive to you. But when you think about it, being offended doesn’t change anything and only impacts you. In other words, being offended is a personal issue and nothing more. I mean, why should we really care if Colin Kaepernick sits during the national anthem? What does it matter? He isn’t doing or changing anyone or anything! The football game will continue to be played. People will continue to eat their hot dogs, cheer for their team, and go home. Nothing changes because Colin sat for 2 minutes while everyone else was standing. But when we take offense and don’t handle it properly, it does have an impact and makes mountains out of molehills, creating more offense, more division, and more debates.
Remember, Jesus was constantly offended and misjudged during His 3-year ministry. He was called names and ridiculed by others on a regular basis yet He didn’t retaliate. Why? Because He was more humble and mature than those around Him, not letting a personal offense grow into a battleground of payback. He cared more about things that made a difference than He did taking care of Himself. He responded to an offense with silence and prayer. He “covered” it and didn’t let it gain momentum by falling into its trap!
Proverbs 17:9 – Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
So don’t fall for the Kaepernick trap and let an offense take root by becoming verbally defensive with counterattacks. You will only be making something out of nothing and adding to today’s playground noise and division that is taking place.
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