Have we created a society of wimps? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Recently, a news story came out involving Clorox Bleach. Apple had come out with a long list of Emojis. For those who don’t know, these are little icons that you can use when messaging someone. Clorox had a bottle of Clorox with all the Emojis on it with the following quote in a tweet:
“New emojis are alright but where’s the bleach.”
Now if you happen to be a normal rational person on planet Earth, you see that Clorox has just looked at a list of emojis which includes one of several household items and asked where bleach was. Unfortunately, Earth is filled with many people who aren’t normal and rational.
That is because this tweet was said to be racist.
Yes. You heard that right. Racist.
Why was it racist? Because there were emojis also of people with skin of different colors. The assumption being that surely, the PR person at Clorox was secretly a racist and sent out a message saying that the list of emojis needed to be bleached to get rid of all of that and return us to white skin. Clorox explained further they were speaking about objects in there that are usually messy or cause messes, like a bathtub or red wine.
Leave it to the offended crowd to not see that.
Unfortunately, Clorox caved with an apology. What would have been better in the adult world, is to simply ignore people who are whiners. Give them more attention and they keep going this route. Our world is unfortunately getting more and more full of people who think the worst possible thing that you can do is to offend someone and that if you have offended someone, then you must make up for it in spades.
This is an ideology that as Christians we must fight.
Now let’s state something at the start. I am not at all suggesting that we should seek to be offensive in everything. While I do believe often in hard-hitting apologetics, I do not believe in offending for the sake of offending. I consider it more like if stepping on your toes is the only way to get you to move, then I will step as hard as I can. I am more concerned about getting you to the Gospel or protecting those who already believe the Gospel than I am about your feelings. We are getting closer and closer to a time where if we keep this up, the government will be increasingly used to protect peoples’ feelings.
If this is you, then just grow up.
You might not being able to help being offended. In fact, many times, you should feel offended about things, and if you are, there can be appropriate responses to that, but you do not police the world looking for things that offend you and in fact reading meaning into statements and deciding that if you think it is offensive, then the other person surely intended to be offensive. Try to practice some charitable interpretation. Do not assume the worst possible thing about what someone says. Of course, the worst possible thing could possibly be true, but there is no reason to assume it.
Why is this our enemy? Because the Gospel is guaranteed to be offensive. You really like being told you’re a sinner? I’m a Christian as it is, and I don’t like being told that message a lot of times. It is painful to be told that you are doing something wrong. It is painful to be told that something you are doing is sinful. It is painful to have to repent for something. These are meant for our joy in the long-term and to lead us to be happy and holy people, but they sting at the time. As the writer of Hebrews says, no discipline seems pleasant when we are going through it.
If we are to be ministers of the Gospel, we must build up our resolve and ignore passive-aggressive behavior like that. People are often going to try to guilt us into things. This is why I try to tell people, and even I slip up at this from time to time, is that no one can make you feel anything. You cannot make yourself feel happy. If you were feeling miserable, you’re not just going to say “I will feel happy now” and then feel happy. It will take work on your part. I do think you can get yourself to that point, but it will take work. It is a mistake then when you go to people, and this can often happen in marriage and again I am often guilty, and say “You made me feel angry when you did this” or something similar. It makes more sense to say “When you do X, I feel angry.” Now it could be that the other person did indeed do something wrong and has an issue to work on. It could also be you are way too sensitive and then you have an issue you need to work on. In some cases, it could be both.
And could that partially be what is behind this? We are living in an era where people do not want to take responsibility for their actions? We think that if you have sex, you should not be responsible for some outcomes, such as pregnancy. We do not encourage overcoming. This is also seen in the message of the problem of bullying. Bullies are not going to go away. Sorry. As long as there are people, some of those people will be jerks. Now should we try to stop that behavior? Sure. The number one thing we should be doing is making sure the behavior is irrelevant so people don’t even bother doing that. Bullies do what they do because they get the response that they want. When people are scared of them, they thrive.
How about building up victims instead? Instead of painting them as victims, let them see themselves as overcomers. They can overcome the bullies, but it will take work. Some cases could take a lot of work and they could take therapy in some cases. That’s okay. We need to be kind and encouraging at these times and let people work out any emotional issues that they have, but in doing this, we are empowering them to be stronger. If we are Christians, this is imperative, because we have to do that which shows that we are truly conquerors in Christ. We bear the image of God. We are to rule for Him. How dare we think we are going to be nothing. How can we possibly lower ourselves when God does so much to raise us up?
When you see the victim culture, do not give in and do not accept responsibility for their feelings. You can accept responsibility if you do wrong, and indeed you should. If someone misunderstands you, you can say you are sorry they thought such a thing and if you need to be clearer, you can do that, but a person who is truly someone worth it will also be interested in that relationship with you. People who are just trying to guilt you are not people you need to waste time on. To offend someone is not the end of the world. Offenses will come and sometimes they will be necessary. It is our choice how we respond to them.
We should be adults. Let’s stop being children.