Avoiding the dangers of offenses (I)

We human beings are classified as social beings and cannot do without meaningful relationships. Companionship is a fundamental factor in sustaining our wellbeing.

Life is a web of relationships, and many times it is not without problems. With relationships come crisis, confusion and pain. A common issue in many relationships is offense.

Offense is annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself. It is hurting the sense of dignity of a person. Every relationship is prone to offenses.

Offense is as a major hindrance to fruitful and continued relationship and if we are going to make the best of our relationships we need to learn to handle offences.

One of the major Greek words for offence is “Skandalon”. Skandalon is the name of the part to which a bait is attached in a trap – it is the trap itself.

Skandalon is usually used metaphorically of anything that arouses prejudice or displeasure against people, groups or organizations. The words arouse and prejudice are very important.

Arouse – means to begin, create, originate or stir into action. Offense will always create and stir up negative emotions like anger, animosity, depression etc. Offense will provoke a person, if care is not taken, to do the wrong things.

Offense also provokes prejudice – an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, group or organization. Offense will make an offended person prejudiced against the offender and prejudice is dangerous.

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.”    Maya Angelou

An offense arouses prejudice. Offense causes anger, agitation and annoyance. It leads to bitterness and bias. When we are offended, we get upset, unhappy, dejected, rejected and disappointed. It makes us feel abused and cheated.

Offence is a trap. Offence is a trap that hinders us from relating well with people. It stifles our relationship with people such that we do not get along with people with whom we used to have a good relationship with; causing disharmony and disaffection among groups. This means that when offences show up, pleasure takes its exit. Prejudice is a destroyer of joy. When we are offended, there is reversal/withdrawal of pleasure we earlier had in our relationship with the individual, group or organization before the offence. It destroys friendships.






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