Thomas Nelson: 4/14/2015
eBook review copy, 224 pages
My Thoughts:It’s a radical, provocative idea: We’re not entitled to get offended or stay angry. The idea of our own “righteous anger” is a myth. It is the number one problem in our societies today and, as Dallas Willard says, Christians have not been taught out of it.
As it turns out, giving up our “right” to be offended can be one of the most freeing, healthy, simplifying, relaxing, refreshing, stress-relieving, encouraging things we can do.
In Unoffendable readers will find something of immeasurable value—a concrete, practical way to live life with less stress. They’ll adjust their expectations to fit human nature and replace perpetual anger with refreshing humility and gratitude.
The book offers a unique viewpoint, challenging the idea that Christians can ever harbor “righteous anger” or that there evenis such a thing for believers.
Few other books exist with such a radical, provocative proposal to consider. We have no right to anger. We are to get rid of it, period. Completely. And it is possible to choose to be “unoffendable.”
Through the author’s winsome, humorous, and conversational style, this book doesn’t add another thing to do on a stressed-out person’s ever-growing list. Better, it actually seeks to lift religious burdens from readers’ backs and allow them to experience the joy of gratitude, perhaps for the first time, every single day of their lives.
Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better by Brant Hansen is very highly recommended life changing book. Today I am choosing to not be offended.
Hansen, in a very accessible, conversational style full of self-deprecating humor, draws the attention of Christians to a Biblical truth that we may be ignoring. We need to deliberately choose to not be angry, even righteous anger, and not take offense. We need to take a step forward in our faith and walk with God and choose to be unoffendable.
Hansen writes, "Not only can we choose to be unoffendable; we should choose that. We should forfeit our right to be offended. That means forfeiting our right to hold on to anger. When we do this, we’ll be making a sacrifice that’s very pleasing to God. It strikes at our very pride. It forces us not only to think about humility, but to actually be humble."
As humans we actually like to be angry. Anger offers us a sense of moral superiority. The problem is when anger takes up residence in our hearts. We need to do what Dr. Martin Luther King recommended: "recognize injustice, grieve it, and act against it - but without rage, without malice, and without anger." Learning to let things go, not take offense, not make it personal, is the biggest hurdle we face. Often whatever we are scandalized over or upset about doesn't even have anything to do with us; it's someone else's behavior.
If we can manage to not be offended and keep a mindset of gratitude life will go much better for us. "Because that’s the thing about gratitude and anger: They can’t coexist. It’s one or the other. One drains the very life from you. The other fills your life with wonder. Choose wisely." And if you are constantly being offended it might be time to honestly evaluate your inflamed ego. If you can have an attitude of gratitude and humility, you will quite naturally be less easily offended.
Hansen summarizes that, "Choosing to be unoffendable means choosing to be humble. Not only that, the practice teaches humility. Once you’ve decided you can’t control other people; once you’ve reconciled yourself to the fact that the world, and its people, are broken; once you’ve realized your own moral failure before God; once you’ve abandoned the idea that your significance comes from anything other than God, you’re growing in humility, and that’s exactly where God wants us all." "When we surrender our perceived “rights,” when we let go of our attempts to manipulate, we find—surprise!—joy." And wouldn't anyone choose joy over being angry and offended all the time?
This would be an excellent resource for a small group study or any individual who wants to break the easy-to-take-offense cycle that seems so common today. And, although this is firmly a Christian book, the world at large could do with a dose of being unoffendable. This is an eye-opening look at something most Christians know at some level but need to take that knowledge to heart. It's time to be unoffendable and acknowledge that God is in charge.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Thomas Nelson Publishers for review purposes.