Not entitled to get angry? Really?
It’s a radical, provocative idea: We’re not entitled to get offended or stay angry. The idea of our own “righteous anger” is a myth. It is the number one problem in our societies today and, as Dallas Willard says, Christians have not been taught out of it.
As it turns out, giving up our “right” to be offended can be one of the most freeing, healthy, simplifying, relaxing, refreshing, stress-relieving, encouraging things we can do.
In Unoffendable readers will find something of immeasurable value—a concrete, practical way to live life with less stress. They’ll adjust their expectations to fit human nature and replace perpetual anger with refreshing humility and gratitude.
The book offers a unique viewpoint, challenging the idea that Christians can ever harbor “righteous anger” or that there evenis such a thing for believers.
Few other books exist with such a radical, provocative proposal to consider. We have no right to anger. We are to get rid of it, period. Completely. And it is possible to choose to be “unoffendable.”
Through the author’s winsome, humorous, and conversational style, this book doesn’t add another thing to do on a stressed-out person’s ever-growing list. Better, it actually seeks to lift religious burdens from readers’ backs and allow them to experience the joy of gratitude, perhaps for the first time, every single day of their lives.
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How Just One Change Can Make All Of Life Better
By Brant Hansen
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2015 Brant Hansen
All rights reserved.
BEING UNOFFENDABLE: THE RIDICULOUS IDEA
Okay. So this may sound like the dumbest thing you've ever read, but here goes:
You can choose to be "unoffendable."
I actually heard a guy say this at a business meeting. That is striking to me for a few reasons: (1) I'd never, ever thought about that before; (2) I remember something from a business meeting; and (3) I was actually invited to a business meeting.
I remember the guy saying it's a choice we can make, to just choose not to be offended.
Sure. Right, man. Choose to be unoffendable. Just—you know—choose, as if it's really just up to us.
I found this offensive.
* * *
By the way, I just looked up the definition of offended, and all the dictionaries say something about anger and resentment. When I'm writing about the word here, then, that's what I mean.
There's another definition, about having your senses affronted, or offended, but that's not the definition we're dealing with here. We just made some homemade barbecue sauce the other day, and we unanimously and immediately agreed, right then and there, that it was highly offensive. That happens.
It's the taking of offense, and the very presumption that I'm somehow entitled to be angry with someone, that I'm talking about. Surely there's got to be a place for "righteous anger" against someone, right? Surely there are times we are justified in our anger ...
But what that guy said at the business meeting did get me thinking, because he was so obviously wrong. And besides, since I call myself a Christian person, wasn't I supposed to be angry at people for certain things? Isn't being offended part of being a Christian?
So I did what any rational, fair-minded, spiritually mature person would do: I scoured the Bible for verses I could pull out to destroy his argument, logically pummel him into submission, and—you know—win.
Problem: I now think he's right. Not only can we choose to be unoffendable; we should choose that.
We should forfeit our right to be offended. That means forfeiting our right to hold on to anger. When we do this, we'll be making a sacrifice that's very pleasing to God. It strikes at our very pride. It forces us not only to think about humility, but to actually be humble.
I used to think it was incumbent upon a Christian to take offense. I now think we should be the most refreshingly unoffendable people on a planet that seems to spin on an axis of offense.
Forfeiting our right to anger makes us deny ourselves, and makes us others-centered. When we start living this way, it changes everything.
Actually, it's not even "forfeiting" a right, because the right doesn't exist. We're told to forgive, and that means anger has to go, whether we've decided our own anger is "righteous" or not.
* * *
I sense a lot of people think this idea is stupid, and they don't agree with me on this. And I sense this because lots of people say, "That idea is stupid, and I don't agree with you on this."
I've got antennae for subtlety like that. I pick up on things.
Plus, lots of the Christian literature out there says I'm wrong.
Typical: This entry from an online devotional, dealing with anger. The writer gives what I think is the reigning understanding: anger's often just what we need!
There is also a positive, even essential, side to anger. I doubt that we ever accomplish anything fruitful when anger isn't part of our motivation, on a certain level at least.
We don't ever accomplish anything fruitful without anger? Including, say, writing devotionals?
Here's another example of how we retrofit actual scripture with our current embrace of anger-culture:
Ephesians 4:26 NCV
When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day.
Ephesians 4:26 MSG
Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge ...
Did you catch that? I love Eugene Peterson—the guy who wrote The Message—but sheesh! "You do well to be angry"? That's not in the original, folks. That's an updated version. Hope you like it better.
It's remarkable that Peterson does this, considering that just a couple of sentences later, Paul wrote, "Do not be bitter or angry or mad" (v. 31 NCV). And somehow, from this, we get "You do well to be angry"?
Honest question: Why do we decide to read the Bible that way when it comes to this issue?
And another question: Why, when I talk about anger on my radio show, do so many believers instantly go to the scripture about "In your anger, do not sin," and then skip the rest of the paragraph? Why ignore the context? Do not be bitter or angry.
Paul was saying, clearly, that, yes, we will get angry; that happens; we're human. But then we have to get rid of it. So deal with it. Now. We have no right to it.
Another fair question, and one you're likely asking: But isn't God allowed to hold on to His anger? Doesn't Jesus get angry?
My well-read, thoughtful, theologically nuanced response to this is, "Well, yeah, of course."
God is "allowed" anger, yes. And other things, too, that we're not, like, say—for starters—vengeance. That's His, and it makes sense, too, that we're not allowed vengeance. Here's one reason why: We stand as guilty as whoever is the target of our anger. But God? He doesn't.
For that matter, God is allowed to judge too. You're not. We can trust Him with judgment, because He is very different from us. He is perfect. We can trust Him with anger. His character allows this. Ours doesn't.
God loves you and thinks you're special, but no ... you're not God.
* * *
We won't often admit this, but we like being angry. We don't like what caused the anger, to be sure; we just like thinking we've "got" something on someone. So-and-so did something wrong, sometimes horribly wrong, and anger offers us a sense of moral superiority.
That's why we call it "righteous anger," after all. It's moral and good, we want to think.
Problem is, "righteous anger" directed at someone is pretty tricky. It turns out that I tend to find Brant Hansen's anger more righteous than others' anger. This is because I'm so darn right. I'm me. I tend to side with me. My arguments are amazingly convincing to me.
But inconveniently, there's this proverb that says, "You may believe you are doing right, but the Lord will judge your reasons" (Prov. 16:2 NCV).
So it's not just me. We all, apparently, find ourselves pretty darn convincing. Of course my anger is righteous. It's righteous because, clearly, I'm right, and they're wrong. My ways seem pure to me. Always.
In the moment, everyone's anger always seems righteous. Anger is a feeling, after all, and it sweeps over us and tells us we're being denied something we should have. It provides its own justification. But an emotion is just an emotion. It's not critical thinking. Anger doesn't pause. We have to stop, and we have to question it.
We humans are experts at casting ourselves as victims and rewriting narratives that put us in the center of injustices. (More on this in a bit.) And we can repaint our anger or hatred of someone—say, anyone who threatens us—into a righteous-looking work of art. And yet, remarkably, in Jesus' teaching, there is no allowance for "Okay, well, if someone really is a jerk, then yeah—you need to be offended." We're flat-out told to forgive, even—especially!—the very stuff that's understandably maddening and legitimately offensive.
That's the whole point: The thing that you think makes your anger "righteous" is the very thing you are called to forgive. Grace isn't for the deserving. Forgiving means surrendering your claim to resentment and letting go of anger.
Anger is extraordinarily easy. It's our default setting.
Love is very difficult. Love is a miracle.
Today I read an article in Inc. magazine about anger and Martin Luther King Jr. The author quoted King's autobiography, where he wrote, "You must not harbor anger." But that's not all. Even when attacked, wrote King, we should love our enemies.
The author did the usual thing, and spun King's statement into something of an endorsement of anger, saying we should just make sure we use anger constructively. Fair enough, but I disagree with the author. A couple of things are remarkable about this article, one being that the author purports to agree with Martin Luther King Jr., while saying something nearly the opposite! At a minimum, it's much less radical, and far less poetic.
King says, "I must not harbor anger," and the author says, "I agree; let's use our anger constructively!"
I think we do this with Jesus all the time. We take something like "Love your enemies," and "Pray for those who persecute you," and tack on, "But, really, holding on to anger is justified."
We do it with the apostle James, who, in the Bible, said point-blank that anger does not produce the kind of righteousness God wants in us: "The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:20 ESV).
We do it with Paul, when we read one of his many lists of sins, like Colossians 3:8: "But now also put these things out of your life: anger, bad temper, doing or saying things to hurt others, and using evil words when you talk" (NCV).
We don't like the "anger" part. We think that when he said to put anger "out of your life," he really meant "except when it's constructive." I've yet to hear us apply that logic to the rest of his teaching in that verse: "Get rid of your evil words—except when it makes sense," or "Rid yourself of evil words—except when they really had it coming."
Let's admit it: we like anger—our own anger, that is—at some level. We're just so ... justified.
* * *
Upon hearing my ideas on anger, a radio listener told me, "I don't get it. Shouldn't we be angry at those guys in the news who beat up homeless people?"
Here's what I think, given that we're to "get rid of all anger": Anger will happen; we're human. But we can't keep it. Like the Reverend King, we can recognize injustice, grieve it, and act against it—but without rage, without malice, and without anger. We have enough motivation, I hope, to defend the defenseless and protect the vulnerable, without needing anger.
Seek justice; love mercy. You don't have to be angry to do that. People say we have to get angry to fight injustice, but I've noticed that the best police officers don't do their jobs in anger. The best soldiers don't function out of anger.
Anger does not enhance judgment.
Yes, God is quite capable of being both just and angry, but if I'm on trial in front of a human judge, I'm sure hoping his reasoning is anger-free.
Some people think I'm nuts when I talk about this, when I say we're not entitled to our anger. And maybe I am. At first, I hated this idea too. The thing is, now I'm hoping I'm right, because life has become so much better this way, and I think I can understand Jesus more.CHAPTER 2
EVERYONE'S AN IDIOT BUT ME
This book isn't an autobiography, but it's worth telling you where I'm coming from. By my very nature, I'm a Pharisee. I'm a rules guy. I'm also naturally very resentful.
What's more, I was raised in conservative churches, the son of a preacher man. I am very practiced at seeming righteous and impressing people with my outward piety. I know how to play the religion game. You should also know, given the nature of this book, that I'm not a pacifist, and neither my conservative nor my liberal friends would say I'm particularly liberal, theologically or politically. Further, I'm not advocating that there is no wrong or right, or that sin doesn't exist.
Choosing not to take offense is not about simply ignoring wrongs. If someone, say, cuts in front of you in line, you can address the situation. You don't have to simply accept it. But you can act without contempt, anger, and bitterness.
Yes, there is right and wrong, and what Jesus has done for us is the antidote to both fuzzy-minded relativism and self-righteous religiosity. According to the radical teaching of Jesus, I stand as guilty, morally, as any other sinner, period.
Whatever anyone's done to me, or to anyone else, I stand just as guilty. People have lied to me, but I've lied too. People have been unfaithful to me, but I've been unfaithful too. People have hurt me, and I've hurt them. I get angry toward murderers, and then here comes Jesus, telling me if I've ever hated someone—and I have—I am the murderer's moral equal.
No one likes to hear this. We want to think people are worse than us. It's one of our favorite pastimes.
Don't believe me? An experiment: Go to a mall food court, grab a chicken kabob or something, sit down, and listen to the conversations around you. Compare how often people are telling stories about hurtful, wrong things other people did, versus confessing hurtful, wrong things they, themselves, have done.
We're brilliant at this. Geniuses, really. Would that the Nobel Committee had a prize for this.
Happens in traffic all the time. The other day, I was leaving our gym's parking lot, waiting in my car to turn left, sitting toward the middle of the exit, and some guy pulled in quickly and almost hit me. My mental response: Geez, that guy's an idiot.
And then, this very morning, I was the one entering the lot, and some guy was sitting there waiting, in the exact same place I'd been, and I thought, Geez, that guy's an idiot.
Geez. That guy's an idiot. I've done the exact same thing he was doing ... but that guy's an idiot. And the other guy who did exactly what I was now doing? Yeah, that guy's an idiot too. "That" guy is always wrong, because he's always that guy. I'm always this guy.
In other words: Everybody's an idiot but me. I'm awesome.
(Inspiring quote for you to highlight and tweet, immediately: "Everybody's an idiot but me. I'm awesome."—@branthansen)
Moral of the story: The other guy is always the jerk. Many times in my life, I've vocalized, in traffic, something like, "Man, what a jerk." I can't remember ever, not once, saying, "Man, I'm a jerk." Why? Because I'm a victim. My intentions are pure. Other people are the perps. I'm never a perp.
It's as natural as breathing, but that doesn't make it right. It's as universal as eating, but that doesn't make it right either. Because whatever they did? We're just as guilty.
I'm not entitled to my anger against them, and I'm not entitled to think I'm entitled to my anger. And yet, many tell me that we can, even should, keep our anger for a time. I ask, "How long are you allowed?" and I've heard the same answer, many times: "You can keep it for a little while."
Sounds reasonable. Sure. Absolutely. But merely "reasonable" isn't what we're going for here. We want to follow the gospel, wherever it takes us. God has a way for us to live—a humility that He has called us to—and it's the way we humans happen to really flourish.
It's how you will flourish.
* * *
I hear this objection too: "What about being angry at sin, Brant? Of course, we're supposed to be angry at sin."
It's probably worth noting that, usually, when this question is asked of me, it's about something more specific. By "sin," we mean, other people's sin.
Are we to cling to anger at their sin? God took out His wrath on Jesus for other people's sin. And I believe Jesus suffered enough to pay for it, and my sin too. I'm so thankful for that. He will deal with others' sin; it's not my deal.
That's a huge relief. Again, life is better this way.
As for my own sin, well, He says He's taken that sin away from me as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12). I suppose I could whip up some anger, but I'm honestly just stuck feeling grateful right now.
What's more, for those who still want to make anger a nutritious part of their spiritual breakfasts: in the Bible's "wisdom literature," anger is always—not sometimes, always—associated with foolishness, not wisdom. The writer recognized that, yes, anger may visit us, but when it finds a residence, it's "in the lap of fools" (Eccl. 7:9).
Let that sink in. When anger lives, that's where it lives: in the lap of a fool.
Thinking we're entitled to keep anger in our laps—whether toward the sin of a political figure, a news network, your dumb neighbor, your lying spouse, your deceased father, whomever—is perfectly natural, and perfectly foolish.
Make no mistake. Foolishness destroys.
Being offended is a tiring business. Letting things go gives you energy.
And while I thought the idea of choosing to be "unoffendable" was ludicrous, I've tried it. And I'm not perfect at it, but I'm much, much better than I used to be. I just let stuff go. I go into situations thinking, I'm not going to be offended. No matter what.
Excerpted from Unoffendable by Brant Hansen. Copyright © 2015 Brant Hansen. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 Being Unoffendable: The Ridiculous Idea 1
2 Everyone's an Idiot but Me 9
3 Six Billion Rings 17
4 Artists See Things 23
5 Bert and Ernie and Satan 31
6 Beautiful Exceptions 39
7 The World's Worst Bedtime Story 45
8 Ain't You Tired? 53
9 Reverend of the Dumpster 63
10 Idea: Let's Punch Brant in the Face 71
11 Atheists, Socialists, and Toast 79
12 Anger's Fun-Except for the Boiling, Blazing, and Burning Part 85
13 The Big Question: What About Injustice? 93
14 This Is the Chapter About How We're Just Barely Smart Enough to Be Stupid 105
15 Nothing Left to Lose 117
16 And Here's the Chapter I Kept Putting Off… 123
17 We're All Waiting for Something… That Already Happened 131
18 On Winning-and by "Winning," I Mean, of Course, losing 137
19 The World's Worst Neighbor 145
20 Imbalanced? You Better Hope So 151
21 I Can Worship a God Like That 163
22 Here's the Part Where I Talk About Some Danish People 175
23 Forget Danish People-Let's Talk About Your Elbow 183
24 And Lo, the Kingdom of God Is Like a Terrible Football Team 195
About the Author 211
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you just look at the title of Brant Hansen's Unoffendable- How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better, it appears to be another self help book designed to teach the reader how to develop a tough skin. That assumption couldn't be further from the truth. I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of the book. It isis written from a Christian point of view, but even skeptics will be able to get something out of this book and enjoy it in the process. Hansen isn't preachy or teachy. He doesn't even come off as an expert on the subject. In fact, each page is laced with humility which is very appropriate for the subject matter because through the pages, we discover how important humility is in being unoffendable. Hansen chides those that want to cherry-pick scriptures justifying their anger and has a firm answer to them, but of course he does it without taking offense. The unoffendable message is given to the reader packed with humorous and heart touching stories told in Hansen’s quirky, but charming way. He draws on Christian authors and artists and isn’t shy about picking on evangelical culture, as much as he does himself.What I found out as I approached the end of the book was that Brant Hansen is right. I was not as prone to be offended in my daily life as I was before reading. Sure, I had times where the gut reaction of offense wanted to surface, but from reading the book being unoffendable wasn't quite as difficult as it was before and will probably get even easier day by day unless I turn loose of the concept. I do not plan to do that because I prefer peace in my life rather than strife. I whole-heartedly recommend Unoffendable by Brant Hansen. Although it helped me a great deal, it doesn’t come off as a self-help book. It is more like a memoir or an amusing conversation with an interesting friend at a coffee shop. It was so enjoyable that I was always ready for another cup.
So we look at the world and we think "Oh, the road rage and the internet unkindness and the short tempers and long grudges! Oh it's all so unpleasant." Yeah. Now imagine if somebody boiled it all down to a personal challenge for you and for me: Become "unoffendable." Take yourself right off the market of being mad, get off the bus to bitterness, deal with injustice without outrage. That would be really hard. And maybe really beneficial. And maybe it's even got roots in the Gospel. That's what Brant Hansen is here to try to persuade you of. Living life unoffended (by other people's snappy responses and inconvenient stupidity and downright sinfulness) will set you free to do God's work during the day and to sleep better at night, and maybe it's what Jesus called us to all along. There are about a hundred objections to this theory- "What about righteous anger? What about anger that fuels constructive work? Shouldn't I be angry at evil?" - and I think Brant answers most of them. When Brant starts leading us to Scripture, showing us things like James 1:20, we wonder why we've never heard about this before. For the last decades we've been told all these things about how anger can be positive, while personal experience tells us it's a cruel and ugly master. No wonder we're confused! Brant knows what we are as humans. We're concerned about our rights, we want to get back at those who insult us, we check out everybody's behavior and respond to them accordingly- often with anger. And he knows who God is. God is the only One with the right to be angered, and only He can handle anger's power with perfect justice and mercy. For the rest of us, anger is really effective if we're attacking someone, and really unhelpful when we're solving problems. And the whole time you're reading this book, trying to swallow the curative pill of releasing your right to be angry, Brant will make you laugh. He has some terribly funny stories to tell, most of them him picking on himself. This book is a shove in the right direction- toward rest and release and restoration for us and the world. Go read it. Thank you Booklook for providing me with a review copy.
This book has it all: humor, truth, and a directness that makes it impossible to resist self-examination. A must read for all. Every chapter is applicable and easy to read. Brant is a down-to-Earth writer who brings you into his personal life and is open and honest about his own struggles, causing the reader to self-evaluate. I will read it again when I get it back from lending it out. A great read, indeed!
In a society where people can say so much, especially when hiding behind their computer screens, it's easy for people to get offended. In this book, popular Christian radio host Brant Hansen challenges us to be unoffendable, which really is a radical way of thinking, as it's in direct opposition to what the world teaches us. If you're familiar with Hansen's radio show, then you'll definitely appreciate how his on-air insight and personality translates to the page. If you're not familiar with him and his show, you'll quickly warm up to and appreciate what he has to say. The information Hansen presents isn't necessarily revolutionary, but when you realize how avoiding offense when you encounter adverse situations with others, it will definitely impact every facet of your life. I strongly recommend Hansen's work because we have bigger fish to fry then being offended and holding grudges. The only reason I can't give this book five stars is, as a writer and editor, Hansen overuses commas and apologetic quotation marks - REALLY overuses them - which I found abrasive just because of my background. But I managed to get past that and not let it ruin the message. Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson.
UNOFFENDABLE-- by BRANT HANSEN Grace Esedeke Tuesday, April 28, 2015 Add Comment BOOK REVIEW , CHRISTIAN Being unoffendable was just one of those thoughts in my head. I didn't think it was something real. But now it is. I struggle with anger-- when I am angered by somebody, I just ignore them and behave as if they don't exists, meanwhile I struggle with the hurt in my mind whether to let it go or confront them (which i always don't do). Give me a few hours or days (depending on the gravity of the offense) and I'll just push it aside. Not because I have forgiven (which I actually do) or forgotten, but because I just decide to lay it to rest-- for peace sake. I am always in between getting angry and not getting angry. While a lot of people believe that anger is right and shows how strong you are, and expects me to be angry and probably explode; others simply think that Christians are not supposed or do not have the right to be angry, and so they tend to question our Christian faith when they see you angry or act out of anger. Well, I just believe that whether one is a Christian or not, we can decide to either be offended at everything or be unoffendable (be it righteous or unrighteous anger). The idea of being unoffendable has always been a topic of interest to me. I have always wanted to be that person that is unoffendable, even when I have the right to. So I read a lot of self help books on anger and how to deal with it, but I didn't seem to find a strong reason to make me decide to be unoffendable. Then I found this book:Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better and requested for a review copy. Though I kept the book for weeks without actually reading it because I felt like it would be like other books I have read on the same matter. But it wasn't. This book is different from any self-help book you've ever read. It is not a self-help book. It is more like a memoir. It contains personal stories, experiences and scriptural references. It doesn't tell you how to do or not do anything. You just read and learn and decide. This book is fun, easy to read, simple and conversational. It's a book you can easily relate to-- whether you are a Christian or not. I like how the author presents the truth in a simple logical manner. I like how he admits his own struggles and sometimes makes fun of himself. He doesn't sound preachy, judgmental or self-righteous. This book is challenging and absolutely worth reading. It is a must read for everyone. Do you have a right to be angry? Is it true that we cannot do anything meaningful without anger? Brant Hansen answers this question with personal stories and Scriptural references giving us reasons to drop anger and chose instead to be Unoffendable . This book has helped me immensely. I have finally been able to move from being in between being angry or not to choosing to be unoffendable. Anger feels right and powerful. It feels like it can change things when nothing else can. But after the reaction, or explosion, or yelling, or cursing, or ordering, or silent treatment, every other thing we do in the name of anger, people are left friendless, convicted, guilty, sinful or even worse than they were (including the one who was angry)... Does it change anything? I mean make things better? No! I think it doesn't always make things or people better. We may try to rationalize it, give reasons why we are right-- to make ourselves feel better or rather justified;-- and in that way we change our anger from a sin against God to a virtue that we have for God, even when we know deep down that we didn't do right. That's the message Brant Hansen has in this book Unoffendable. We have bought a lie that anger is Okay for Christians, and in believing this lie, we've placed ourselves on par with God Himself. So Whats the solution? Read this book!! Let me share some thoughts I took home from this book: "The thing that you think makes your anger 'righteous' is the very thing you were called to forgive" This is for those Christians who get angry and tag it 'holy' or 'righteous anger'. "Only God God has the right to be angry. Only God is allowed anger and vengeance." "Vengeance is mine, says the Lord"... Yes, only God is allowed anger. Because we stand as guilty as whoever is the target of our anger. God is everything that we are not-- Perfect... We can trust Him with anger. His character allows it. "The world is broken... people are selfish, self-centered, perverse, wicked, rude, and everything we can think of, and will always do things that will get you offended. But don't offended by what people do or say to you or offended at the corrupt and declining state of the world. Instead, thank God that He's intervened in it, and He's going to restore it.--- Gratitude and anger can't co-exist. When we love people where they are, and love them boldly, it will be difficult for us to be offended by them. Refusing to be angry about others views or acts or cruelty isn't conflict avoidance or happy -talk. It's the very nature of serving people. Loving others, forgiving others, and being Unoffendable shows humility, our sense and level of maturity, strength and how Christlike we are. The Bible recommend that we be childlike. Because It takes a childlike heart and humility to embrace the love of God, to realize how "unfair" it is, and then add, quickly, but "it's OK!', "I'll take care of it!", "I forgive you (even before the offender ever thinks of apologizing)!" Being Unoffendable , people might think you are stupid, never mind, you can be the Christian they know. We can't be believers, and remain angry with the people who hurt or offend us. These are simply incompatible. Read this book; If you have ever stayed up at night stewing over an offense or recounting what Mr B said that got you angry or how he embarrassed you in front of that girl or guy you've been eying or in front of your fans or general public. Read this book, if you have ever lost your temper, throw things around, destroy things, wound people, curse, or refused to do certain things because of anger. Read this book; If you have ever lost a sweet relationship or friendship, lost a job, missed an opportunity to love, care for or help someone because of offense. If you have ever wondered how to respond to those nasty emails, annoying critics or comments on your facebook wall and blog, this book is for you. This book is an ideal read for everyone. I encourage you to buy this book and read it. You can buy from: AMAZON or CHRISTIAN BOOK BARNES AND NOBLES I received this book as a complementary from BOOK LOOK BLOGGERS for my honest review. I was paid or compelled to right a positive review.
You can choose to be unoffendable. If you listen to Brant Hansen on the radio, this book reads just like a conversation he’s having with Sherri or a listener seeking advice. And in his genuine, humble way, he turns common thinking upside-down. He asserts that humans have no right to righteous anger – because we are not righteous and therefore can’t be trusted with it. As followers of Christ we must give up our right to being offended by sin and by sinners. Sin exists, of course, and refusing to be offended does not mean accepting the sin. He points out, though, that a bunch of angry Christians arguing a logical case doesn’t convince anyone to change. Instead, by truly loving those with whom we disagree and by refusing to be offended, we show the love of God. We are called to love and show grace to those who disagree with us, to those who have wronged us, because God has forgiven and shown grace to us. If you’ve ever been offended by the actions of others, you have to read this book.
This is a book that you must read slowly. Not because it's difficult, but because these simple and foundational truths will have you sitting in bed with your mouth hanging open. Or dope-slapping yourself. Or crying. Or laughing out loud (literally) and sharing that nugget on Facebook or Twitter. Do we have a right to be angry? Is it true that without anger we can't do anything worthwhile? Brant Hansen addresses these questions. Personal stories, along with scripture and other references, do a very good job of giving us reason to drop the anger and choose instead to be Unoffendable. Personally, this book has helped me immensely. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, I have seen a huge improvement in my emotional health. My favorite concept was giving up the phrase, "I can't believe they did that!" Once I stopped being surprised at others' failures, as well as my own, I was able to let things go and celebrate the good. My stress levels are much lower and I'm happier, that's for sure. If you've ever stayed up at night stewing over an offense, lost your temper, or wondered how to respond to those nasty comments on your blog, this book is for you. This is one that I will be reading again and again!
This book is life changing! Brant Hansen has such a beautiful outlook on life. We can be unoffendable. I do not have to snap at others. I can just let them go. I will be looking for other books by this author.
I loved listening to Brant Hansen on the radio, so when I heard he was coming out with a book, of course I had to have it. And I think this book perfectly encompassed what one has come to expect from Brant: willing to talk about the hard things in an honest and blunt way, but still with humor and good will. The book is short and sweet and to the point. I don't think anyone would find the subject matter terribly hard to understand. But I think one look at into society, at even just the political climate of today, shows that is book is very necessary. He brings up things in new ways, and frames them to make you rethink what you were taught. Like I said, I don't think this idea is super hard or revolutionary. But it does bring up the question of why have we, in this American Christian culture, gotten so far away from this idea. Brant keeps this simple, lightened up with his own anecdotes and humor, yet isn't afraid to get deep and spiritual with us. I think this is a very important book that I wish I could shove on most of the Christians I know.
It took me a while to get through this book. No, it's not written in a muddy or overly scholarly way. It's written in a way, and with a truth, that makes me want to go back and re-read each page over and over and over. It addresses something that has bothered me for a very, very long time. As Christians, aren't we supposed to love? Aren't we supposed to be good neighbors? Aren't we supposed to be the people that others will look upon and want to know what our wondrous secret is? Instead, I see so many angry Christians, angry people, and I don't want to be one of them. Oh, and some have Scripture to yield that shows they are correct in their righteous anger. But it never felt right in my heart. And the fact is, I have been one of them. I have let anger speak for me instead of love. And I've struggled, struggled so hard to overcome this anger. But Brett shows us a way out. Just be unoffendable. It's as easy and as hard as it sounds. I've long listened to Brett and Sherri, first on Air1 and now via their totally awesome podcast. There is something about Brett that allows him to take the complicated and make it understandable. So many times I'm listening to those podcasts episodes, and I think he's talking direclty to me. Directly to my heart. It's a true gift he has. He backs it all up with Scripture. One of my favorite passages reads: "We think we want a right to "righteous anger." It takes a tremendous amount of humility, and extraordinary "dying to self" to hand over this desire, this job, this obsession, to God. But He made us, and He knows how we operate best. He says to hand it over." Reading this book didn't change my heart overnight. But it's working, and I'm starting to reap the benefits. This is not a book that's going to go on my bookshelf to gather dust. I will re-read it again, and again, because the truth is I need this reminder. One day it will become part of my life fully, but until then, I'll rely on Brett for reminders. My greatest wish? That I could afford a hundred of these books, so I could just hand them out to everyone.
This book and the idea that we can choose to be unoffendable challenged me to think in a way I’ve not done before. Frankly, I didn’t care much for the idea at first. I like, sometimes even LOVE, to be offended about things and people with which I don’t agree. But Hansen argues that’s not my, or your, right. Whether you agree with the premise or not, this book will help you see aspects of God's grace and love in a fresh way. Unoffendable is an easy read that contains some profound truth. Like Hansen’s radio show, it’s really quite funny and seriously smart at the same time.
Giving up your "right" to be offended is something that everyone needs more practice at and this book has helped open my eyes and understand why we don't have a right to be angry. Brant Hansen has inspired me for a few years as a radio tv host and I was so excited to be blessed with the opportunity to be on his pre-launch team and read this early. So reading this was a no brainer. It is not a book you should zoom through, but relfect upon and read slowly and let is sink in. Struggling with our "right" to anger is still something that I struggle with and will continue to struggle with for the rest of my life. But now, after reading this.. I remind myself to be Unoffendable when I start to get mad at someone, especially if its for something I can't control. This book as taught me that holding on to anger only hurts you. I read a quote once that said anger is like drinking a poison and waiting for the other person your mad at to die. How true that is. How much less stressful is it to live a life Unoffendable? MUCH!
An enjoyable kick in the pants. Life is so much better when you make the choice to be unoffendable.
Brant Hansen, you had me at less stress. Seriously, who could turn down the opportunity to reduce stress and anger in their lives? Unoffendable is that and so much more! With honesty, humility and humor, Hansen challenges us to forfeit anger and forgive others as God has forgiven us. In turn we are freed to love people, faults and all, the way Jesus did. Readers are spurred on to impact the world with the care, love and compassion of Christ by remembering the level playing field of our own sin compared to “others” and God’s great love, mercy and plan of redemption available to all. In a mere 200+ pages I feel like he has provided me the scripture & practical tools to leave behind the things that would hinder me from truly loving others like Jesus. It's a process, but I'm on the way! I can already see the encouragement in the words of Brant Hansen resonating in my family & ministry life. Praying it will begin a tidal wave of change in the body of Christ. Read this book….but warning! You will never be the same, in all the best ways. ¿ “Being offended is tiring business; letting things go gives you energy.” “Forgiveness frees up a lot of mental space.” “Gratitude and anger can’t coexist. It’s one or the other. One drains the very life from you. The other fills your life with wonder. Choose wisely.” “Refusing to be alienated and put off by the sin of others is what allows me to be Christ like.” “Love people where they are and love them boldly.” “If I’m to love people the way God loves me, I have to love them faults and all.”
My favorite quote is the soon to be releasesed "Un-offendable" is: "Choosing to be unoffendable not only helps me sleep at night rather than worrying about my latest online 'Stand for Truth'; it helps me remember that Jesus didn't even ask me to take a stand for truth on everything. He told His followers to go and make disciples. Make other followers. And that takes patience with people. It takes me taking a deep breath and trusting that God has plans for, and even loves, the evil Bob371." Even as we speak all over the internet there are people currently pending their own online "Stand for Truth", spending great amounts of time formulating the next argument that will silence their opponent. I've been there myself, having that feeling that I have to stand against the "wave of evil" that has just come across my facebook status feed, but Brant makes the point in here that God doesn't demand that we answer everything that comes across our path, that we have to be the lone warrior standing against the horribleness that we see before us. God has not placed that demand on us. Yes, there are times to stand for the truth, but it's God's place to put that prompting on us and He doesn't demand that we try to save the world with our cleverly typed words. We can't, but He can. I definitely encourage you to take a look at this book as it's been a great challenge for me spiritually to give my anger over to Christ and replace it with his love as my motivation for what I do.
Unoffendable is not a self-help book. For me, it was more of a, get over yourself, book. There were so many times I felt like Brant Hansen was writing about me. I am so happy that someone wrote on the topic of not being offended and I am even happier that it was Brant Hansen. Brant is very humble and humorous while being truthful about a difficult topic. I have never enjoyed being challenged this much before.
It's been approximately three weeks since I've finished this book and I am still mentally digesting everything in it (I was able to get an advanced copy, but am SO excited for the hard copy also, to really dig in...I'm a book in hand type of learner!). I feel like anyone would benefit from this book, even though it is written from a christian perspective (truth is truth!) i also find myself wishing this was required reading for anyone involved in a leadership position, at church especially, but outside of that too! There is so much good content contained in this book yet it's an easy read...I love that Brant is able to use analogies and stories to really make a concept clear and memorable. One of the things. I noticed thus far is that when I am free to not ne offended by people, I'm finding I'm more gracious to myself also. Not meaning i let things slide, sin needs to be dealt with, no excuses. but realizing that Gods not finished with me, disgusted by me, and he has a bigger picture of me that is probably greater and more beautiful than I realize...life is truly greater when living unoffendable!
This is an awesome book that will cause you to examine your life and how you treat and think about other people. In this book, Brant Hansen is candid and uses his own personal experiences to explain why our lives will be better if we choose not to get offended. We do not have a right to anger because we are sinful and we have the done same thing, even worse things, than the one whom we are angry towards. As Christians, we are called to be Christ-like, which means to forgive others even when they don’t deserve it (Luke 23:34). Hansen makes it clear that we are human - anger is a natural emotion and we shouldn't deny this emotion, but the Bible teaches that we should get rid of ALL anger (Ephesians 4:31) when it happens (and it will happen). Hansen writes the book in a conversational style and you will feel like he is sitting down at your table talking with you while enjoying a cup of coffee and toast. Honestly I'm not much of a reader, but I was thoroughly amused by his entertaining stories, challenged by his teaching about anger, and inspired by his humble attitude.
This book is for Christians and non-Christians alike. If you are Christian, it may challenge some of your beliefs, and that is okay. If you actually become "unoffendable", you will live a more free. I highly recommend this book!