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what a question…!

a wise man once said, “He who takes offence when none was intended is a fool, and he who takes offence when it WAS intended is still a fool!” it’s far too easy for people to get offended these days; heck, t’would appear there are plenty of people who go out of their way to LOOK for reasons to get offended. “taking offence” is such a subjective thing, too — what I’m offended by might not ruffle the next person’s feathers at all…

BUT, if my feelings are hurt (or my personal values affronted) by something someone else says or does, does that mean I’m supposed to (or even allowed to) verbally flay the “offender” or otherwise “get a little of my own back”? au contraire, mon frère! not if I’ve read and have ANY understanding of Gen. 39:7-12 (the story of Joseph and in particular his run-in w/Potiphar’s wife — what did Joseph do when he was offended by the queen’s advances? turn and berate her? spread rumours about her? complain to anyone who would listen? no, he “got him out”: he simply LEFT the situation he found offensive, imagine that!) or of Matt. 18:21-35 (the Lord’s own counsel to Peter on forgiveness taught through the parable of the king and the debtor servants)…

when someone says or does something to me that I find offensive, whether they said or did it intentionally or unintentionally, it behoves me as a Christian to be merciful and forgiving, and if necessary/appropriate, simply remove myself from that which offends me, be it a conversation, a situation, or whatever… the Lord has commanded us to be forgiving (D&C 64:10) not for the benefit of those who trespass against us, but for our OWN benefit: when we refuse to forgive and instead harbour ill will toward or nurse a grudge against someone, etc., we maintain an emotional connection to that person, even when it’s unhealthy and won’t allow us to move on and progress. yes, “forgive and forget” is often easier said than done, but it’s worth the effort — every grudge we bear, every resentment we hold makes our souls shrink; imagine how small and shriveled up our souls would be if we held on to every grudge, resentment, offence, etc…! and surely it’s not our Creator’s intention that we progress (or more accurately, REgress) toward smallness…

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