If It Feels Good…

Luke 7:23

And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.

I made a note about this verse because being offended seems to be such a big deal these days.  Everyone is offended by something.

First I thought I should make sure I understand what offend means, so I looked it up on Merriam-Webster.

Offend as an intransitive verb means:

  1. To transgress the moral or divine law
  2. To violate law or rule; do wrong
  3. To cause difficulty, discomfort or injury
  4. To cause dislike, anger or vexation

Offend as a transitive verb means:

  1. Violate, transgress
  2. To cause pain
  3. To cause a person or group to feel hurt, angry or upset by something said or done.

Let me preface the rest of what I am going to write with this.  You choose to be offended.  What anyone does or says is not offensive.  You decide if it is offense and then you act on that.  It is your decision and you are responsible for your actions.

I have a feeling that number 3 for a transitive verb was recently added, because all the other definitions are rather strong.  Number 3 uses the word “feel”.  That seems to be a pretty big deal today.

When I was kid growing up in the sixties, the hippies had a slogan.  It was, “If it feels good, do it.”  Eventually we all learned there were consequences to this way of thinking and acting, especially when you let it overrule common sense.

I guess we are revisiting that whole “feeling” thing again after 50 years.  Everything is cyclical and as King Solomon said, “there is nothing new under the sun”.  But this time around it seems to be used in a more negative position.

If it feels good, do it, was about feeling good and happy, euphoric.  It was a positive thought, although somewhat misguided.  It dealt with expanding, trying new things, letting people do “their own thing”.

Today the mantra seems to be, “If it doesn’t make me feel good then screw it.  You can’t do it, say it, or even think it.”  They are saying, you may believe this and it may make you feel good, but it makes me feel bad so screw you, you shouldn’t do it.”  It’s become, it’s my way or the highway.

“If it feels good, do it” and the spirit in which it was born reminds me of the saying “Live and let live.”  I researched that saying and from what I could find it has it origins in the trench warfare of World War I.  There would be times when both sides had had enough of the killing and mutually decided to take a break.

I did find that there was a book written in 1837 by Catharine Sedgwick which was titled “Live and Let Live”, but nothing mentions that as the origin of the saying working it’s way into our culture.

But today it seems to be if I don’t agree with it then it shouldn’t exist.  It’s more like the Bond film, “Live and Let Die”.

Maybe this was the mantra in Christ’s time.  Christ was challenging those in power and so he was to die, be removed from being heard or seen, so as to not offend anyone.  Christ challenged the status quo.  Leaders and their hierarchy had been in place for hundreds of years based on man’s ideas and covetousness of worldly things.  Christ challenged all of that.  The leaders were offended, they were threatened.

They saw what they possessed and what they coveted being threatened, perhaps taken away and so they sought to have him removed.

Christ is saying blessed are those who will look at what I say and do, and honestly think and evaluate.  If you do so you will see the truth.  You will realize it is not a threat to your power, your status, or your wealth.  Those things are worthless treasures on Earth.  You are only violated, angered, vexed, or have your feelings hurt in response to that which is worthless.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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