My Keynote Speech on Dealing with Offenses

A while ago, I wrote on Why Leader’s Can’t Afford to Be Easily Offended. It is true for leaders. It is true for creatives. It is really true for everyone.

Several weeks ago, I had the great privilege of speaking to more than 8,000 students at Liberty University on this topic. Fortunately, they recorded it and gave me permission to post it. Since many of my readers have requested video content, I thought I would post it here.

I really do think the way we deal with offenses will determine the course of our spiritual journey. Here is my premise:

If you are going to survive—and fulfill your God-given calling—you must learn to handle criticism and overlook offenses.”

In this 32-minute video, I express four truths:

  1. Offenses are inevitable.
  2. Satan intends offenses for our destruction.
  3. God intends offenses for our good.
  4. Being offended is a choice.

I then make four applications on how you an overlook an offense. But you will have to watch the video to get those.

By the way, if you are interested in having me speak at your event or function, you can find our more information here.

Question: Is there an offense you need to overlook? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    I believe that Bible is the best guide for dealing with offenses that come our way. Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 that “Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you— for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others. “

    The sad truth is that offenses are going to come our way. It’s okay to admit that it hurts. However, we don’t have to get upset about it. We can choose to not be offended.

    Famous American Clergyman ‘Charles Rozell Swindoll’ also says “…. we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.” And I love this quote.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love the Swindoll quote. Chuck is exactly right!

    • Karl Mealor

      I shared the full Swindoll quote with a youth group several years ago. It surprised me how many kept a printout of the quote and posted it somewhere where they would see it often. Timeless truth…

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        It’s true Karl. After reading this quote, I posted the same in my blog.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      This is extremely powerful. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      That is a great quote! I posted a similar quote from Chuck on my blog a while back (http://stevencribbs.com/on-attitude). It ended with the same response that the important thing is not what happens to us; but instead, it is how we react. Definitely important words to remember!

  • Fred McKinnon

    Loved.this talk at recreate as well

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Fred. As you can see, I made a slightly broader application here.

  • Kvn_taylor

    Michael,
    Thank you for sharing this truth as God has taught it to you through His Word and as you recognized the application of the truth in your life. I have struggled with this all my life and have found such strength in your transparency and God’s application of His Word to my life. Just yesterday I received a stinging email from a colleague that we had only 24 hours prior been laughing together, I was able to stip back and revognize the power of the truth you presented and see my internal response and adjust my external one as a result of my choice at the moment.

  • http://twitter.com/JonnyHewitt_ Jonathan Hewitt

    Michael,

    It was a great pleasure to hear you speak at Liberty. I really learned a lot from what you shared and I hope you will return in the near future to share some more. I was speaking to you briefly at the end of convocation and that in itself was a blessing and a true insight to what you do at Thomas Nelson.
    I’ve been following your blogs ever since and all I can say is, keep up the good work!

    Jonny Hewitt, Northern Ireland.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jonny. I loved my experience at Liberty. It is a very impressive institution. I am not sure what I expected, but it was nothing like what I anticipated. I mean that in the most positive way. I hope I am invited back.

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic presentation. I’d add this to the list:
    5) It is possible that the offense has little to do with you.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’m offended, but after digging deeper into the conflict, the offender is typically dealing with other issues. Just like you did with the firing years ago: it turned out to be something else.

    Thanks Michael!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is a really great point. Maybe I will add that to my next version of this presentation. Wow.

  • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

    This was a great speech! I have nothing more to say except that it was really challenging. I watched the whole thing, and I learned a lot!

    By the way, do you still play guitar?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I play the guitar occasionally, but I probably play the piano more (though still not much).

  • Ellen

    Wow, what a great talk! It really hit home for me and gave me some great guidance. Thanks so much.
    Ellen

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome. Thanks for commenting!

  • Robin Williamson

    Thank you for this video. I am in charge of teacher training at a Christian School. I have a training session coming up next week. I am going to play this video as part of our session. We have had a rather difficult Spring semester with many of the things you address. I know God is going to use this to grow us – thanks so much!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Wonderful. I am so glad that you found it helpful!

  • Nathan Claycomb

    Absolutely FANTASTIC keynote address, Mr. Hyatt! Thanks for being a blessing and allowing God to use you daily!

  • Krista

    I have had 2 situations in my life where I was deeply hurt by people in ministry who I thought were close friends , and both these situations occurred within months of each other. It has been a struggle, sometimes I feel like everything is good, other times not so good. Your speech has really ministered to me. Thank you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have heard that from a lot of people. When I gave this speech at another event, a guy came up afterwards and burst into tears. He said he had been stuck for 15 years, because of a pastor who had wounded him so deeply.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I’ve been in the same boat, except that I was on staff at the church as well at the time that my family and I were deeply hurt by another staff member. We ended up having to leave that church shortly after that. But the wounds took a long time to heal… if they even have completely.

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        Wounds from those in the church are especially hard – especially since it is our church family that we need to be able to run to for help, support and guidance.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Agreed. And even more so when you’ve placed a lot of trust in the one who is offending.

      • Krista

        My husband and I are now at the point where we feel it is time to leave that church. We tried to continue to be active and involved, but it is getting to the point where it just seems like it is time to move on. Very hard to do. We have invested so much there.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          My prayers are with you as you make a tough decision like that.

    • Joe Lalonde

      I can relate to that Krista. I’ve been deeply hurt by people in the church also. I still struggle with some of the offenses. I have to remind myself that I need to forgive and keep letting it go.

      • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

        I think sometimes it is easier to forgive if we know that we have also offended someone else, whether we were aware of it or not.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Great message for Christians and non-Christians alike. The Lord is using you to deliver a powerful and timely presentation to many different audiences, many of which may never set forth in a traditional church. Letting offenses go is like forgiveness, it can lift a huge weight off of our shoulders. Thanks for sharing, Mike!

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I agree! Thanks, Mike!

  • http://mattknight.wordpress.com Matt K

    I really enjoyed your message. As an alum of LU, I am especially proud that they brought you for Convocation. One of the best things about Liberty is that they bring Christian leaders to speak to students, and they really do have some of the best speakers around. I am glad you were able to go, and certainly hope you have the opportunity to speak there again. From my experience there, most of the speakers were pastors. It’s vital that students get to hear from Christian leaders in business who can help them learn how to live out their faith in the corporate world.

    Thanks for the words you shared at LU, and thanks for sharing with us too.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Matt. I got the distinct impression that they are really trying to bring business leaders in for the very reason you mentioned.

  • Connie

    Thank you so much for allowing God to use you through the power of your words. I needed this more than you will ever know. God has been calling me to speak and has been growing me and working on me my entire life for this calling. I have no fear of speaking in front of large crowds, sharing what God has given me but I have a horrendous fear of rejection and criticism.

    I spoke at the Hearts at Home conference a few weeks ago. Everyone was invited to complete a feedback form where they were able to rate each workshop attended as well as the speaker. Space was also provided to add comments. Knowing some of the cutting remarks made about other speakers over the years, I have dreaded getting that e-mail with my feedback. So this post was very timely.

    I realize now that I can face the criticism because I obeyed God and He will keep me where He’s taken me. It’s my choice in how I respond. Before reading this post, I guarantee my first response would have been thinking of quitting. Thinking I had heard God wrong and I wasn’t really meant to speak. I’ve actually been studying the life of David and God has taught me many truths during my time of study. But God has also used others in powerful ways in telling me, He’s in control. It’s about Him. And everything that comes my way is meant to grow me and use for His glory.

    Thanks so much for the lesson you taught me today!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am so glad that the timing was right. Isn’t that just like God, to send us some encouragement right when we’re about to throw in the towel? He knows exactly what we need and when we need it!

  • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

    Skimmed through the video. Great use of pictures and video, very personal and applicable. Thanks for the insights.

  • Deserie

    I see many in ministry get hurt and offended when people leave their church.

    A couple of years back when we had left one I took the time and energy and RISK to delve deeper into the why’s.

    What I found was that many leave and go over and over the situation, truly seeking understanding for their hurts (which most of the time pastor has no idea). However, they refused to make ANY attempt to move on.
    While others were so mean and hypercritical of our pastor. These people were not going to be happy no matter what our pastor did or said. There are some whom you will NEVER be able to please. It caused me to reflect on my own behavior, challenged my integrity and taught me a very valuable lesson.

    James 3:5-7 (New American Standard Bible)
    So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
    And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

    These people did not realize it but were constantly setting a fire and no ministry needs that.
    Instead of being hurt or offended by those who leave and allowing it to leave you jaded in ministry, praise God! People are brought for a season in God’s timing for a reason, a purpose. God’s purpose.

    It has taught me to be solution minded.

    We are so happy when He opens a door, but how about when He closes one?

    Our old pastor will never know it, but I am grateful for him.

    If your in ministry dont focus on who has left, trust God. He knows who needs to go and who needs to come. BUT, enjoy and embrace those who are there in the present.

  • http://www.itsallabouthome.com Jo Rae

    Oh, how this speech speaks! I particularly loved the Daniel Defoe quote and will post it where I can see it often. Opportunities to take offense abound in my life currently. I praise God for His faithfulness in sending messages like yours. Thank you.

  • De

    I watched your video and felt stirred to add the following about offenses: We journey from one thing to another, and from one place to another, and from one state of mind to another — doing so only to become better at making choice. God is indeed the only consistent Whole of which we are but a spirit-path–a fragment becoming more consistently attached individually and collectively.

    For 35 years I have been writing a book on my reasoning for becoming more consistently attached to The Whole. I must add: the spiritual comfort and assurance I sense in your physical manner and word-intent only represents the being of the individual-to-collective “language” that is so dreadfully needed–and not just from those deliberately on their spirit-path, but from those who choose to educate the masses. The Language of Riithink©–the Language of Riilinking© for become deliberately purposeful on our spirit-path.

    Thank you for the purposeful moment. I made a wish choice by downloading your web-presence.

    De’ Kridge St. Cyr

  • Jeff

    this was a well organized and well thought out presentation. good message and points

    to be honest, I have not been successful in handling the offenses that have come my way. the horrendous physical and verbal offenses have worn me down and gotten the best of me. they have broken my spirit. I have not been able to endure them.

    I appreciate this message and agree with other posters that this is a timely message.

    I hope that I will be one of the ten percent.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I pray you will be, too, Jeff.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    I tend to get offended when I report a problem and well-intentioned people throw simplistic fortune-cookie-style platitudes at me in response as if they expected I’d never heard those before and would go “Oh, thank you so much for opening my eyes!” (An example of a typical platitude would be to counter my complaining about platitudes by pointing out that maybe what I call “platitudes” are platitudes because they are true.)

    “Satan” intends offenses for our destruction? I’d like to see the science to back up this assertion. After all, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (which is also a platitude, of course, but it’s true).

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m afraid I don’t have any science; only divine revelation. But why is science for you the final authority? I am always curious about people’s assumptions.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        Because my computer, my cell phone, and my Kindle work, and every bit of “divine revelation” anyone may have had in the course of their design and manufacture was independently tested using secular criteria before it was incorporated, and that’s why the final products operate exactly as intended. You probably wouldn’t want to buy a laptop built on faith alone.

        And would you want to get on a plane whose engineers had relied on “divine revelation” rather than science, science, and more science to make sure that the bird stays up in the air every time? Would you feel comfortable with an untrained pilot in the cockpit who “knows” he can get you safely from Nashville to New York because God has told him he can? And if you would not feel comfortable with such a pilot, why not? Because you don’t believe him, or because—although you may believe that he sincerely believes it—when push comes to shove you wouldn’t want to stake your life and the life of your family on such an unscientific claim?

        The problem with “divine revelation” isn’t that it is necessarily right or wrong, but rather that it is unfalsifiable, like the proverbial faraway planet made from milk chocolate that I “know” exists but whose existence conveniently can neither be verified nor falsified, which enables me to accuse anyone who doesn’t believe in my chocolate planet of simply lacking “faith” and be stubbornly clinging to their beloved scientific world view which obscures the real truth and feel sorry for such spiritually impoverished souls.

        Remember, the folks who steered those planes into the twin towers acted on “divine revelation” as well. And you can’t even objectively prove they were wrong. All you can do is pit your brand of divine revelation against theirs, and so now we have all these different religious factions running around on the planet who are all equally convinced that they are the ones who are following the real God and all others are falling for wily Satan posing as God.

        This, of course, isn’t news to you or anyone else, for it presents the oldest and most vexed conundrum in the history of civilization.

        To me, any belief in “divine revelation” signifies a deep-seated fear of uncertainty, specifically a fear of nothingness, i.e., the fear that when we die, the lights may go out, and that was it.

        That said, I certainly hope there’s a God and/or an afterlife, but in the absence of, yes, “scientific” criteria I must confess I’m having trouble locating the line between “knowing” and wishful thinking, assuming there even is a meaningful difference, provided that whatever we believe makes us happy, less scared of death, and less inclined to hurt others, animals included.

  • Dazzilin_star

    Hi Michael,

    I am one of your new followers on Twitter! Ever since I’ve been following, I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog posts. I get really excited when I check my email and see there’s something new for me to read.

    Your post today almost brought tears to my eyes. After experiencing a string of repeated offenses over the last several years, I can now say I am on the other side. As a new blogger, I’ve been writing about these trials (http://thewellreport.wordpress.com), but after viewing your speech, I’ve gained new insight.

    One of the chapters you mentioned in your speech is one of my favorites: Luke 17. Jesus in v. 1 was speaking to his disciples about how offenses will come (or have purpose). Then he discussed how they needed to forgive the one who trespassed against them.

    In v. 5, the apostles ask that the Lord increase their faith. He told them that if they had faith as a grain of mustard seed they could speak to their offenses and their sycamine trees (or stumbling blocks) SHOULD obey them.

    Verse 7 starts with the word, “But,” implying there are exceptions, then he goes on to talk about what it means to be an unprofitable servant.

    To be an unprofitable servant, you may have to experience some things longer than others which would have been the case of the apostles, who were called to be the founders of the church.

    I am determined to grow in grace and keep my eyes on the purpose and not the pain.

    Thanks for your wisdom, knowledge and down-to-earth persona. It’s refreshing.

    Tamara

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great comment, Tamara. That is a blog post in itself! Thanks for taking time to share it.

  • http://twitter.com/BrettVaden Brett Vaden

    I have to overlook the “offense” of criticism from my wife after I’ve preached or taught while she was in the audience. I am overly sensitive just after preaching. Her feedback is usually clear and right-on the nose; it’s less a matter of her harsh words than it is my over-inflated ego–which she pops like a balloon! This offense is not meant to destroy me, but to renew me. I have to remember that “the wounds of a friend are faithful.”

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    My human nature makes it very hard to overlook offenses. My natural tendency is to put me first. It can be so hard to let things go. Thanks for the encouragement to do so.

  • Cynthia Herron

    You are so right, being offended is a choice. In our humaness our first inclination might be to reciprocate. Perhaps, we should stop, count to 10, and see things like Jesus does with His eyes.

  • http://cynthiaherron.wordpress.com Cynthia Herron

    I just wanted to add…We’re not that much different than our own children, are we? You’ve made great points applicable to all ages, Michael. Thank you for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/kpalmer71 Kerry Palmer

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Good reminders for all of us!

  • Joe Lalonde

    Great post. It’s very true! Look forward to watching the video.

  • planssucceed

    I must admit I learned a LOT! I took 7 pages of notes. 2 books that have helped me a lot is
    30 Days on Taming the Tung
    Hung By the Tongue

  • planssucceed

    I even shared some of the notes I took from the Video with my Sisters in Christ
    Grateful to have you as a mentor
    Blessings,
    Yvonne
    Yes I really did take 7 pages, Michael

  • cyclegirlcanada

    I actually got to listen and view the entire video today. Thank you for sharing and for your honesty.
    I really liked the Daniel Defoe quote. We can learn so much from leaders like yourself that willingly stand up for Jesus, and work hard. I am learning, and growing everyday, and I am thankful for all the good and bad that I have experienced. There will be much more, but he will be right there with me.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I was really moved by that Daniel Defoe quote, too. It certainly been my experience.

  • Barbara

    I was blessed by this speech. Thanks, Michael.
    Barbara

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Barbara. I appreciate that.

  • TNeal

    As a defensive coach who just got back today from a football coaches’ conference in Madison, Wisconsin, I liked your title. I find offenses bothersome as well. ; – ) –Tom

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Hilarious!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Very nice speech. Thanks!

    And I didn’t take offense to it!

    A willingness to forgive.

    Amen.

  • Luis

    Thank you so much for sharing this video, Michael. I found it very helpful as I’m dealing with similar issues at work. The one part that I continue to struggle with is rebuilding trust: I *think* that I have forgiven the offenders; however, based on the damage done by that offense, I don’t see how I’m going to trust them again in the short-term.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think for giving someone and trusting them are two different things. The first doesn’t require the second. You can forgive someone, but then be cautious. I wouldn’t rush to trust them.

      • Jeff

        Look at the way God forgives us. The Bible says that God remembers our sins no more. If we are to live out the Lord’s prayer of asking God to forgive us in the way that we forgive others then we must remember their sins no more and trust them. That is what made Jesus choosing Judas Iscariot so beautiful and he even put Judas in charge of the money, knowing that he would betray him. Choose to remember their sins no more and trust them. That is the way you want God to forgive you right? So then you should do that for others. Trusting those who cannot be trusted is what Jesus did.

        Look at this story below from Dale Carnegie’s book:

        Bob Hoover, a famous test pilot and frequent per-former at air shows, was returning to his home in Los Angeles from an air show in San Diego. As described in the magazine Flight Operations, at three hundred feet in the air, both engines suddenly stopped. By deft maneuvering he managed to land the plane, but it was badly damaged although nobody was hurt. Hoover’s first act after the emergency landing was to inspect the airplane’s fuel. Just as he suspected, the World War II propeller plane he had been flying had been fueled with jet fuel rather than gasoline. Upon returning to the airport, he asked to see the mechanic who had serviced his airplane. The young man was sick with the agony of his mistake. Tears streamed down his face as Hoover approached. He had just caused the loss of a very expensive plane and could have caused the loss of three lives as well. You can imagine Hoover’s anger. One could anticipate the tongue lashing that this proud and precise pilot would unleash for that carelessness. But Hoover didn’t scold the mechanic; he didn’t even criticize him. Instead, he put his big arm around the man’s shoulder and said, “To show you I’m sure that you’ll never do this again, I want you to service my F-51 tomorrow.”

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          At best, I would “trust but verify” (to quote Ronald Reagan). But that is only the case in minor offenses where no one is at risk.

          Let’s consider a worst case scenario: you leave your seven-year old daughter with a married couple from your church, so you and your wife can spend a few days away. A week after you return, your daughter tells you a shocking story. Sobbing, she tells you that the man molested her while you were gone. You are furious and hurt. However, you regain your composure and confront the perpetrator. He seems genuinely repentant.

          Questions:

          – Do you file charges against him since this is a criminal act?
          – If you don’t, what if he molests another child? Will you share in his guilt because you failed to report him?
          – Would you leave your daughter in his care again? If not—given your premise—why not?

          There are many warnings from Jesus, Paul, and other apostles about wolves in sheep’s clothing, false prophets, and others who are NOT worthy of our trust. This doesn’t mean we don’t forgive them. But again, I maintain that forgiveness and trust are two different things.

          Note this passage from John 2:23–25:

          “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.”

          Thanks for your comment.

          • Jeff

            In this passage you mentioned, Jesus is talking about not needing man’s testimony to confirm that he was telling the truth. Of course he does not need to rely on man’s testimony. He is God. This does not mean he did not trust man, but rather he did not need man’s testimony. When he was on trial, the Jewish custom required two witnesses. He could have easily called his apostles for this. Like Peter who had a divine revelation from God and knew for sure who Jesus really was. But he did not ask Peter to come into the courtroom and be a witness. He did not need man’s testimony. In fact Peter completely denied Jesus right in front of him. Did Jesus stop trusting Peter? No. He sat down with him, asked him three questions, and put him among the apostles in charge of leading the entire world after he left. How successful do you think Peter would have been in ministry if he thought God didn’t trust him anymore?

            Luis is confronted with a business situation. He is deciding if he should trust those people he is in business with. There is no way his business will operate optimally if he does not trust them. He either needs to talk with them and reestablish trust, trust them anyway, or find another job. But choosing to work with people you don’t trust is not going to make for a peaceful and productive workplace.

  • http://upinthecorner.wordpress.com/ Nic

    I think you have done an excellent job of helping us to understand how God has a plan for us, not just in daily life, but especially in times when we are hurt, offended and feeling vulnerable. After watching this, I was able to slowly put the offenses of a coworker away on the self and think about what such offense has done for us in terms of bringing us closer to Christ. Thank you, Michael.

    -Nic (blogger of Up in the Corner: An Orthodox Graduate Student Making Sense of Things; http://upinthecorner.wordpress.com)

  • TNeal

    I finally watched and listened to your video. You added fuel to my coaching and writing fire. In both arenas, criticism is inevitable.

    Your blog has also added a lot of words to live by and share which includes the Defoe quote and quotes others have shared in response to this post.

    I just fired off a quote I copied from your “Silver Bullet Thinking” post 2-1/2 years ago. Great stuff that echoes over time.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. I appreciate your kind words.

  • TNeal

    Some insight from 3 days of hearing some great football wisdom. Part of game preparation is putting the players into positions where they will fail. It’s how they react to adversity that helps them maintain poise in a difficult game.

    Turnovers are never pleasant when you’re the one giving the ball away. But they happen. Coaches would be idiots (and often we are) not to be realistic and prepare their teams for the unpleasant realities of a football game.

    Leaders have the same responsibility whether they lead a team, a church, a business, or a family.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing this talk! I’ll second Robin’s comment, below. In a school setting, I have many opportunities to talk with students about the law of love. I’ve come to realize that overlooking an offense is one of the most powerful–and least used–disciplines of the Christian life. Number four, “Being offended is a choice,” hit home for me. In the past, I’ve let email get under my skin, only to have a good friend remind me that ignoring the offense could be the best choice.

  • TNeal

    Can’t help but hit this nail one more time.

    I tuned into the second half of the Kansas-VCU championship game to the Final Four. Talk about a team that’s overcome criticism and adversity. According to the sports pundits, VCU shouldn’t have ever been selected for the tournament. They didn’t deserve to be there.

    True or not, I’m sure the Rams coach and his players chose to excel rather than listen to the critics. Hats off to those guys and to every other underdog in life who allowed tough times to prepare them for success. Bitter or better? They chose better.

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  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing the video, great advice for dealing with being offended. We are far too quick to become offended and those of who really like to be right seem most at risk.

    I wrong a short post on why being offended is a choice http://goo.gl/TLOIy and I love to hear other readers input.

  • http://www.barbaraparentini.com Barbara Parentini

    I really appreciate your post and video. This is a message for the masses! It brought tears to my eyes; though, your posts often move me beyond an intellectual experience. I’d love to apply your message to two of my Living Letters seminars planned in 2012: one for Brides; and the other, Letters of Forgiveness.

    I’ve never heard a more powerful message with such practical application concerning forgiveness and grace. Thank you for your gifts, Mike.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thank you, Barbara. That means a lot coming from you. Blessings.

  • Andrea

    This was a great speech. It was very uplifting.

  • http://www.honoracademydirector.com Heath Stoner

    What a great message! Your ethos at the beginning was so impressive. I saw that you spent 5 minutes just getting the crowd engaged to you as a communicator. Can you tell me what Powerpoint you used to present as I love the video of the baby you put in there?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words. I use Apple Keynote instead of PowerPoint. You can embed video directly in a slide. (You might be able to do this with PowerPoint as well.)

  • http://twitter.com/dbonleadership Dan

    Great talk. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/micahbgreen micahbgreen

    Mr. Hyatt:

    Thank you so much for coming to Liberty! Unfortunately, I was working on the other end of campus, but I watched the video the next day. I am so thankful that our students were able to hear some very helpful words from a leader in the business world. Hopefully, they are discovering the wealth of advice that is to be found here as well!

    Blessings to you,

    Micah Green

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Micah. What a great school.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 Jim Whitaker

    Great message, especially for young folks who need to be prepared for real leadership and what it is like in the real world. I think that all too often we think if God/Satan battle as a moral battle for the bad sin in our lives. We seldom acknowledge that this battle can occur in our regular lives especially in our work life. Any way that a chink in the armor can occur will happen and others will try and take advantage of that. The Bible is full of reconciliation where God has taken bad and turned into good. And we have to be prepared to accept that in our lives too. After all we cannot control what others do, but we can control how we react to what others do. We have the power of choice and we have to exercise it.

  • Karl Mealor

    Can I share this with a 10th grade boys’ Bible class (about 25 students)?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Absolutely.

      • Karl Mealor

        Thanks. I’m planning on showing it in a couple of hours. It fits right in with our devotions for today.

      • Karl Mealor

        Video just finished. It really seemed to make an impression on many of them. Thanks again.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Excellent. Thanks for sharing it with them.

  • Karl Mealor

    Can I share this with a 10th grade boys’ Bible class (about 25 students)?

  • http://twitter.com/ThatGuyKC K.C. Pro

    A phenomenal presentation. Thank you for sharing with your readers. Timeless wisdom that I need to absorb as a young professional.

  • http://twitter.com/ARDaleJones Dale Jones

    Michael,

    Thank you for writing this speech and for posting the video. I wish I had seen this many years ago, and had applied these truths consistently. Fortunately I have learned in recent years how to do this and am still learning. Thanks again!

    Dale

  • http://www.inspirebusinessconcepts.com Scott Arrieta

    Great talk! It’s really tough to choose not to be offended when people criticize you, but as you point out – we are called to forgive because Christ first forgave us. I think it’s especially important for leaders to be conscious of how they deal with offenses. I was reading a Harvard Business Review article a while back about how leaders tend to become more self-centered as they progress higher through their organization. As they acquire more and more power, they gain the ability to overrule anyone with a contrarian opinion, and some even use their power vindictively when they are opposed. I’ve found that once these traits start manifesting, that leader’s ability to influence lasting and meaningful change begin to diminish. No one wants to follow a tyrant, or a narcissist – and without committed followers – there can be no leader.

    By the way – great slides! Did you do them yourself or have them done?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is scary to hear about leaders as they advance through a corporation. However, I think it is probably true. It takes enormous self-control not to abuse your power and stay focused on serving.

      Yes, I created my own slides. Thanks!

  • http://www.deiricmccann.com Deiric McCann

    After a few months fo reading your content it is great at last to hear you speak live.

    Great job! So nice when the writing and the reality match up. Keep up your excellent

    Cheers
    Deiric

  • http://www.convenientcalendar.com Online Calendar

    I heard a great quote saying how easily offended you are is a measure of your spiritual maturity!

  • Neal MD

    A great message for ministry leaders. Thanks for all you post & for sharing with my alma mater!

  • Leigh Snyder

    What a relevant and powerful message. Thank you!

  • Mitch Muncy

    The front-page story on Paul Allen in today’s Wall Street Journal appears to provide a clear example of someone who has nursed offenses for years. Being one of the world’s wealthiest and most accomplished men hasn’t made up for things that happened decades ago, even though the offending person (Bill Gates) was by Allen’s own account his “most regular visitor” during a recent serious illness. Reading this story was an opportunity for me to reflect again on your outstanding talk.

  • Carla

    This was a great video and I appreciated the visuals as I don’t sit still easily. But also it was an excellent reminder of how I need to be vigilant and let God do the healing. Many years ago my friends would warn me, “you take yourself too seriously.” It was years before I realized how easily I took offense and how busy I was trying to correct what I thought were misinterpretations of my best intentions. It is healing and freeing to learn to overlook an offense!

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    But it doesn’t work i think because know one sure how it will going to happen
    It looks like just coping ideas which someone has already written. I found even on
    popular blogs guest bloggers bring same theories which I already know. I observed they
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  • http://profiles.google.com/pollywogcreekporch Patricia Hunter

    What an excellent speech, Michael – much wisdom and multiple take-home applications for me on more than one level. Thank you, and Liberty University, for making it available to your readers.

    Your opening comment reminded me of a conversation I had with my9 year old nephew Michael shortly after he moved in with us over 30 years ago. After the neighbors had been taking Michael with them to their church on Wednesday evenings for a month or so, Michael asked us for a Bible. I asked him which version of the Bible they used at the neighbor’s church. “I’m not sure,” he answered, “but I think it’s the holy one.”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You would be shocked how often Christian retailers report that customers come in looking for a Bible. When they asked, “What kind?” the customer responds, “The Holy Bible.”

  • Kent F

    Thanks Michael – this really spoke powerfully to me after last week’s experience at a rather intense church board meeting.  Part of me wants to retreat with some internal comment such as “this management stuff is not for me, I’d rather be left alone and just do ministry”

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  • Daniel

    I’m an atheist and have no belief in any god in any form.

    However I choose to live my life like this, I am slow to anger and I choose to not take offence.

    There is a very, very valuable lesson in these words even if you are not religious.

    :Offenses are inevitable.

    :Satan intends offenses for our destruction.

    :God intends offenses for our good.

    :Being offended is a choice.

  • http://DesireeMMondesir.com/ Desiree M. Mondesir

    Thanks so much for sharing this speech with us Michael! I’ve written on this topic recently myself and my pastor has preached this time and time–and time–again this year so this is most definitely something God is trying to get us as His people to grasp and live.

  • ananya

    really this post made me to share it with others also , very nice

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