‘Unoffendable’: A Book Review
Would you be offended if I suggested that anger is one of the most fundamental problems of the human condition?
Have you ever struggled with being easily hurt or offended? I have. In fact, I still do. Life affords many opportunities to be offended every day. Over the years I have heard numerous sermons and talks on overcoming offense, and part of me has always felt that if we humans weren’t so jolly offensive, then we wouldn’t have so much to get offended by. The book of James in the Bible says much about the tongue.
‘All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water’. (James 3:7-12)
So on one hand we need to engage our brain before we act or speak, however on the other hand, no matter what others say or do to us, it is our response that affects our emotional and spiritual health. Offense is like a cancer. We aren’t free until we can let go of what others think of us, and the unhelpful things that they say or do.
If you are someone who struggles with offense, I can recommend the new book ‘Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All Of Life Better’. This book was released in April of this year by author Brant Hansen who is an award winning radio host in the U.S. He also works with CURE International, a worldwide network of hospitals that brings life-changing medical care and the good news of God’s love to children with treatable conditions. Brant currently resides in Northern California with his wife, Carolyn and his two children.
‘Unoffendable’ coaches people in how to be just that: unoffendable. This book is for “those who want grace for themselves but struggle to extend it to others. Wait: that’s everybody.” But how, you might ask? For turning the other cheek and being ‘unoffendable’ is a simple concept to grasp, but a difficult concept to apply. Many of us spend our lives trying to make progress in this area. Furthermore, we may think that we have a right to righteous anger. After all, Jesus got angry, didn’t he? However, Hansen argues that there’s no such thing as “righteous anger.” Our anger isn’t righteous. To think that our anger is righteous is to assume that our beliefs and motives are always right, and the other person’s are wrong. Hansen suggests that. ‘Choosing to not be offended will make our life better. Giving up our perceived right to anger will make us happier and healthier. And will probably make people take us more seriously. No one wants to be around an angry, judgmental person’.
Hansen also argues that becoming unoffendable is at the ‘heart of discipleship’. He is not for a minute suggesting that we ought to ignore injustice in the world, but he is suggesting that we will live more enjoyable and fruitful lives if we let things go. This isn’t rocket science, but it espouses what the Bible has said all along. It’s a life changing book that isn’t preachy or condescending, and doesn’t get bogged down in theological discussion. It’s humorous, down to earth and easy to read. This book is written from a Christian point of view, but it could also be a helpful book for someone of another faith, or no faith.
This book gave me so much to mull over. I want to live lighter and freer by letting offences go-the small ones, the big ones and the ones in between So after reading this book, am I unoffendable? The short answer is no. But the long answer is that I’m working on it.
‘Love people where they are, and love them boldly. And if you really want to go crazy, like them too.”
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”