Thicker Skin: The Benefit of the Doubt

05 Mar

I’m currently in a season where I believe the Lord is molding me into having thicker skin. This is simply a part of growing up and maturing, not only as a Christian, but even just as an adult. I’ve learned that overly sensitive people have a pride issue that they are usually unaware of and they require so much validation and affirmation to the point where it pushes people away. For me personally, one way of developing thicker skin is simply giving people the benefit of the doubt. I am learning to choose to believe the best about people, despite their actions or inactions because this is the only way to remain at peace with others and not allow offense come into your heart. Because in actuality, I’ve found myself getting offended with people for a variety of reasons, but I realize that it’s solely based upon my perception of what they did or didn’t do. I’ll give you a couple of examples…

I was part of a men’s small group at my church for about a year and overall it proved to be somewhat of a hurtful experience. However, the good news is that I also learned from it. God will sometimes allow us to experience situations in order to grow us up and to remind of us of our need to keep our focus on Him. During my time with the group, I would often get left off of the email list when it came to group activities and overall, I just seemed to remain on the outside looking in… I would think I was making a connection with some of the fellas through conversations before, during and after group but would soon realize that the connection was only in that setting… However, some of their relationships amongst each other clearly extended outside of the group. Yes, rejection sucks (especially within the body of Christ), but I now realize that it is not always intentional and sometimes it can be more perceived versus being reality. Yes, it would have been nice to have connected with some of the guys on a deeper level, but friendships can’t be forced. Being in the same small group with someone doesn’t guarantee friendship, no matter how much you might try to show yourself friendly, like the Bible says. Hard lesson learned, but it has made me stronger. As a result, thicker skin is forming in my personhood. Now in retrospect, I don’t believe the rejection I experienced was necessarily intentional or malicious. The other men are genuine followers of Christ and just have different interests and have had different life experiences than I.


As I said earlier, I’m in a difficult season of growth and maturity. Unfortunately, I lost my grandfather and father within months of each other. What shocked me during this whole experience was the number of people whom I’ve known for a long time who didn’t seem to show a whole lot of compassion or empathy. Some folks still to this day haven’t reached out to me or even asked me if I needed anything. As a result, I began questioning my relationships and was very hurt by my perception of their lack of compassion. However, Holy Spirit reminded me that there were those that prayed for me and my family, even though I was unaware. Also, through conversations with others, I also had to consider that people respond to situations differently simply because of the fact that they’re human. What’s best for me is to release the offense and move on. I can’t expect everyone to respond to situations the way that I would. I now realize that’s unfair. People are different and process life events in their own way, and so another layer of thicker skin is being added to me, as I choose to believe the best about folks, even in this situation. I must have peace because offense only keeps me internally conflicted and suspicious of others. Thick skin is a must in order to get promotion from God. Thick skin is a must in order to walk with Him even when you’re disliked and/or ignored. I must have thick skin if I’m ever going to truly be Christ-like. I must have thick skin if I’m going to love God’s people in a way that truly honors Him.

Colossians 3:12-14 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (NKJV)

Jesus Christ’s willingness to the cross as a sinless man was evidence of His thick skin. He had to rise far above human emotions as He was beat, marred, mocked and ultimately killed. But I also notice that he evangelizes one of the thieves on the cross, despite the horrific brutality that He had already suffered. That’s the ultimate example of having thick skin!

Lord help me to continue growing layers of thick skin that will help serve as armor on the battlefield so that I’m not unhealthily dependent on others. I will be the clay as you shape and mold me into who You desire me to be. Help me to love people even when that love isn’t returned and help me to keep my eyes fixed on You. Affirm me with Your love and hide me in the shadow of Your wing so that I am free from the opinions of others. Amen.


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4 responses to “Thicker Skin: The Benefit of the Doubt

  1. Scarlett

    March 5, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Sometimes we simply have to be willing to be misunderstood.

    Stellar post…thank you brother. We all need to have a thicker skin when it comes to having to deal with offenses, or even perceived offenses.

    Jesus is in our corner. Amen


  2. Julie George

    March 6, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Thanks for your vulnerability in writing this blog. It is true ” being in the same small group with someone doesn’t guarantee friendship, no matter how much you might try to show yourself friendly.” I have something I call my rhinoceros suit. I have to consciously put it on when I go in certain places. Like you, I refuse to allow rejection real or otherwise to rule my life. In Christ, you are loved to depth that is incomprehensible. I pray you experience that today.

  3. PrayzQueen

    March 7, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Beloved, your transparency in this blog is both admirable and humbling! Allow me to recommend a reading that will transform, not only your thinking, but your ENTIRE life! John Bevere authored a book titled, “The Bait of Satan”. The book exposes one of the most deceptive snares satan uses to get believers to step outside of the will of God. That snare is OFFENSE! The book details how offended people produce an abundance of fruit, just not the kind Galatians 5:22-23 speaks of. The fruit of an offended person is anger, bitterness, envy, hatred, hurt, jealousy, outrage, resentment, etc…. Those who are offended don’t even realize they’ve been trapped viciously by the evil one!

    Interestingly, JeSus already warned us – in Luke 17:1 – that it is impossible to live this life without offense. If not managed properly, offense will imprison Christians, sever relationships, and even handicap you from functioning properly in your calling! The possibilities for offense are as endless as time. It’s a deceptive trap of satan to bring people into captivity! he’s able to do it effortlessly and successfully because offended people view themselves as victims – mistreated and misjudged – so they are blinded to truth. Their attention is turned INWARD so the enemy is able to wreak havoc (outward) as hearts become hardened, producing more fruit of sin!

    So, my prayer for you…my brother…my dear friend….is to immerse yourself in the WOG and begin to blood block satan’s fiery darts, allowing His Word to purify and refine your heart and free you from any emotion…any thought that could potentially have you bound! You know i luvu2 “reeces” pieces!!! 🙏 😘 🙏

  4. The P.O.E.T. aka The Anointed Pen

    March 7, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Offenses aren’t always easy to handle or accept, especially when they come from the people closest to us, but your perspective here shows that with God’s help, we don’t have to let offenses overtake us to the point of us walking out of the light of Christ. We have to see the bigger picture with each offense and know that in spite of it, God is still in control & molding us to represent him, which is something we all have to strive for as believers. Thanks for sharing.


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