No Offense, But…

This weapon of vocal destruction is widely used by youth towards their peers.  It allows them to unapologetically be as offensive as they would like.

2 Corinthians 2.5-11

Reference:  v.5  If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent – not to put it too severely. (NIV Bible)

Explore:  “No offense, but…”  This is a horrendous start to a sentence that usually finishes with an incredibly offensive criticism. It seems that if you place the words ‘no offense’ at the beginning of a sentence you can then proceed to be as offensive as you like!  The statement usually ends with a judgment like ‘…but you have really annoying siblings’ or ‘…but that top looks terrible with those pants’ or ‘…but you really suck at maths’.  As you can probably tell, this weapon of vocal destruction is widely used by youth towards their peers.  It allows them to unapologetically be as offensive as they would like.
It would seem that the writer to the Corinthians has their very own ‘no offense’ statement.  In the NIV Bible it translates to ‘not to put it too severely’.  If we were putting this verse into today’s slang it would read, “No offense, but ‘cos of what you done, everyones hurtin’.”

Application:  Our scriptures can often bring up some home truths.  They can bring our actions into the light and confront us with the potential consequences.  While it would be lovely if we actually learnt from the early church’s mistakes, it seems that it’s more like history repeating itself.  We do cause other people grief and our actions do impact others.  However, the difference between a teenager starting a sentence with “No offense, but…” and the words of this passage in 2 Corinthians, is the writer backs up their statement with love.  He starts the passage by saying, ‘No offense, but you have really hurt others’ but he finishes by saying ‘but even if people hurt us we need to love them anyway.’  It reminds us that God can often confront us by highlighting our wrongful actions, but He always backs it up with love.
Our words can be powerful and they can be hurtful.  While we may be aiming to correct another person we must never leave out the love element.

Prayer:  Lord, you never leave out the love element.  You love us over and over and over again.  Thank you.  Amen.

Have you had an element in your life brought to the light, by God or by others?  How would love have affected this situation?

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.

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