Egg Shell Carpets

I’m just going to say it. Girlfriend, we are too easily offended. Yes, you. And also, me. If I see one more blog re-post of what not to say, I’m going to scream. I’ll probably be alone in my living room, so you won’t hear me, but just know it’s happening the moment you hit “share.” You know the posts I’m talking about, the top (insert random number) things not to say to a new mom, or an expecting mom, or a nursing mom, or someone without children. Its not just about parenting though. I’ve seen posts about what not to say to runners, to singles, to any career path you can think of, etc. In fact, I just typed “what not to say” into Google & received 1,890,000,000 results. That’s a lot of results.

When did we become so easily offended by people showing interest in our lives? When did we start carrying around carpets made of egg shells to throw down anytime a friend or casual acquaintance might approach? Why do we feel its necessary to take home someone else’s baggage?

When we throw down our egg shell carpets it hurts us and it hurts our relationships, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t bother the haters at all.

Egg shell carpets keep us isolated. Those that are brave enough to navigate the landmine don’t have the freedom to be authentic. Those that respect the boundaries of the carpet miss out on getting to know YOU, and you them. We are designed to be in honest & authentic relationships. In order to grow as individuals we must give the people we trust permission to ask questions & speak truth into our lives.

Yes, we need to create healthy boundaries. Not everyone should have the same access to you, the same clearance to speak into your mind & your heart. And what-of those well-meaning loved ones that sometimes get it wrong? Or what about those abrupt ogres blindly barreling over your egg shells with abandon? Do they get to determine your identity? NO! Like any “truth” you MUST compare it to God’s Word. Is this what God would say about you? Does this sound like His voice? Were these words spoken from a place of love & concern or of brokenness & hurt? It makes a difference.

What of those side ways glances from strangers in the grocery store or casual acquaintances on your way out of church? You know, the looks that give you the super-human ability to suddenly read their minds & know exactly how much they’re judging you with absolutely no knowledge or life experience to do so. Here’s a secret… Its probably not about you. True story. We live in a fairly self-absorbed culture. Chances are that glance had more to do with self-focused inner talk than it did with you. Even if the thought was about you, its still their thing to carry, not yours. Hurtful words, hurtful glaces, and hurtful thoughts flow from hurt-filled people. We all have enough of our own stuff to carry around, lets give ourselves permission to not lug that stuff home with us too.

When you’re offended, its either rooted in your own insecurity or in the insecurity of the offender. Life is messy, inconvenient, and often incredibly frustrating. If you focus on that, you’ll just be miserable and you’ll find yourself surrounded by miserable people.

As Lysa TerKeurst says, “What comes out of a person’s mouth is a reflection of their heart, not yours.” What do you say we take this opportunity to set aside our egg shell carpets, be kind to one another and ourselves, and choose not to be offended by the things that likely have very little to do with us. Yes? I think yes.


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