- Bad temper is its own scourge. Few things are more bitter than to feel bitter. A man's venom poisons himself more than his victim.
- -- Charles Buxton
- Whoever has freed himself from envy and bitterness may begin to try to see things as they are.
-- John Lancaster Spalding
I needed to realize that we are all human and we all have good days and bad. Since I have known God my whole life, I needed to surrender my "experience" and "seniority" as a Christian. Why? Because it made me feel like I was better than other people, that I understood more, knew the character of God better and it made me judge everyone unfairly. It made my counsel hard to take because people could see and smell the stench of my arrogance. Having pride in a job well done or a poem well written is one thing, but pride that lords over people is extremely unattractive.
I also needed to learn outside of the box. Since I have been brought up in the church (so to speak), I have become too familiar with the "Christianese" language as well as the mannerisms, formulas and tendencies. I have become so jaded toward religion and it's church that nothing satisfies anymore inside those four walls. Church used to feel like home, but now everything feels hypocritical and foolish, harsh and demeaning. God is still healing and reconstructing in this area. But God was and is so gracious (and delightfully sneaky) that He uses everyday things and peculiar things and songs and movies and nature and whatever else is available to speak through and get through to me. Whenever I open the door for Him, or just listen for Him, He speaks and shows Himself to my heart. Just because I am angry with God and, or my circumstances, doesn't mean I can't be open or chose to be still watch and listen for Him. God is persistent when you leave the door open.
Then there's the issue of guilt! I need to drop (again and again) the guilt that punishes and pushes me around and makes me do things that harm rather than help. I need to silence the liar that tells me how terrible I am because I do this or I don't do that, to muzzle to voices that tell me I'll never measure up and that I'm running out of time. I need to silence my brain and all it's knowledge and counter knowledge. I need to see with a fresh pair of eyes the beauty of wildflowers, of imperfections, rerouted plans, of His timing and of what it really means to work through problems and to experience the reward. I need to find out who I am and what Christianity means to me.
So in the end, and the ongoing, I am getting a new dictionary, a new perspective on words I misunderstood. It's all still so very much in progress, but I am believing that with time and healing these new definitions will redefine and hone in the person I am meant to be.
Surrendering All = Letting God take control of and move freely in all aspects of my life. It means allowing Him time and space to work while doing my best not to interfere; which also means when I find a flaw in myself, I need to bring it to Him and let Him decide if and when and how it needs fixing. I have already found yet another that I think needs to be fixed right away, but have to lay it down again... He really and truly does want the very best for me after all!
Dying to Self = Consistently remembering to keep my mind open to new possibilities.
Remembering that I do not have all the answers nor do I need to have them. Remembering that I have not been appointed judge over anyone and therefore I am not above anyone.
Giving up my pride = Letting go of any image of myself that I have made for the sake of others' opinion of me. It means truly allowing myself to be who I am in every moment, which can be pretty raw sometimes; but no more hiding behind who I think I ought to be. It means that I must constantly remember that there is ALWAYS two sides to every story. It means even when I feel completely justified, I still must leave the final judgment up to God.
In the end, I will know what traits I have always despised about myself that are actually useful. Some day soon I will walk in wholeness like I have never known before, knowing who I am and what I was made for. Until then, I will keep my eyes, ears and senses up to hear my maker's calling and instructions and whispers of love.
What views do you have that you know are skewed? Do you have phrases or words that make your skin crawl even though you know there is some truth to them? What is God dealing with in your life? Are you resisting it because you see other issues you'd like resolved first? I'd like to challenge you to take the route He gives you rather than taking on the whole mountain before you even get packed. ;)
I hope you all have a great week! :)