Day 14 of Stuff I wish you’d quit saying: No Offense But….
Truly, this is a precursor to an insult. The statement, “No offense but…” Was never followed by: “You’re gorgeous! So perfectly thin! And your kids are so well behaved!”
I’d rather just be insulted up front. Just surprise me with, “you’re old to be still fighting acne!” The, “No offense, but you should try Proactive!” is the coward’s way.
And if you have the mindset to say: “no offense but,” you know you are about to say something offensive. So, just stop. Think. Now, if you still want to say the offense… Go ahead, but don’t pretend it’s not offensive.
I had a beautician who would say, “no offense but your ends are trashed.” Or “no offense but this color is brassy!” I was offended. Now I see another stylist, and I love him because he’s honest. He might suggest another color or recommend my ends be trimmed, but he never says, “No offense Jami, but you look like a crow is nesting on your head.”
Because: this would be offensive.
Granted sometimes there are barriers to clarity. A few months ago I got my nails done, the Vietnamese woman doing my manicure had very broken English. As she finished my nails, she said, “you want me wax eyebrow?” And I said, “Sure!” And then, once I was on the table, and the light was blaring on my face she said, “I wax lip too.” And I thought she was asking.
As she tried to assult my lip with hot wax I objected, “Oh! No thanks!” I am blonde? Why would I need that? And she said, “Oh no. I no asking? How you say? No offense you need lip wax.”
And that made sense to me. I can’t be offended by this. Obviously, she sees something I cannot and apparently she thinks that our language allows criticism with the aforementioned – “No offense…” Now I regularly get my eyebrows and my lip waxed without the awkward un-pleasantries.
I attended a Kairos healing retreat recently and one of the seminars was on breaking off offenses. I hadn’t ever really considered them as baggage. But once the dialogue began I realized that I did own offenses that had been spoken to me. When someone hurts you or embarrasses you it often is something that sticks to you. But no offense comes from the Lord. So owning them is ownership of something from the enemy.
These are deep concepts. Personally, I figure the Blood of Jesus covers that mess, but spiritually speaking, it was quite a freeing practice.
I pray for my children, “Let no word fall on you that does you harm. Only embrace that which blesses, and heals.” Granted, the two littles are fondly referred to as “The Vandals” in our home. But it is a term of endearment – for they do vandalize often. But we embrace and love them. We hold hope that someday they will outgrow their rascality ways. In the meantime, we keep paints, tapes, adhesives, markers, crayons, golf clubs, knives, forks, felines, yard tools, eggs, flammables, radioactive materials, and combustibles under lock and key.
We needn’t explain this to them with evasive pleasantries, “No offense, but you cannot have a fork until your brother is completely healed, and the eye patch comes off.” No, we just state the facts. “You must eat with your hands as long as you continue to behave like a crazed, rabid badger when handed something shiny.”
It is more effective and they know what to expect.
And so, as we enter into the second half of the “31 Days of Stuff I Wish You’d Quit Saying” it is time to cut to the chase. Say what you will. Tell me you love Osteen, or that you’re trying really hard to get pregnant, that I am not that great or that I look like I am expecting. I am sure tomorrow I will feel different and the Lord will have renewed my strength…
No offense… but I’m exhausted.
So then, let us follow after things which make for peace, and things by which we may build one another up. Romans 14:19
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained! Love, Jami
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