Thursday, August 1, 2013
THE BIGGEST LIE WE TELL OURSELVES
This morning I find myself crying over some very interesting things. One is that my life has been centered around me in spite of my wanting it centered around God. The fact that my heart breaks over things happening to people I love seems to be centered around how it affects me, rather than around how it affects them
I couple of women I love are having a really hard time dealing with actually submitting to God’s Love and direction. One has my attention nearly everyday on facebook. Her posts are breaking my heart. But I came to realize this morning that my pain is in her disregard of my love for her and my efforts to help her learn. That is a selfish, me centered, feeling. Seeing her still so desperate for Love should make me hurt for her, not for me. It should send me to my knees in prayer, not to my thoughts of how I would like to ring her neck and shake her shoulders until she gives in to God.
When my life was on spin cycle, during the early years of rehabilitation and recovery from a life completely controlled by anger, she was there struggling, too. We leaned on each other in many ways, even though our addictions seemed to be totally different. We became very good friends and I helped to see her through some really rough times. Even though she could not really be there for me, emotionally, she remained my friend and we struggled together trying to pull our lives out of the stream of garbage and into the river of living water that had always been there for us.
But the time came when her desperate need was diminished by finishing up her legal obligations and she began to take her life back into her own hands. Two things, maybe three, kept her from growing in Christ from then on: One, she was totally back into the life she had been living before the legalities kept her from it. Second, she was totally back with all the people who had encouraged the life she had been living. Third, she was angry. She was so angry that fire spit from her mouth when she talked about the things that were going on. She not only returned to drinking, she returned to drugs.
Then there was a respite because they were caught with the drugs and the drug paraphernalia in the house where they were raising their beautiful daughter. They shaped up quickly and began to pay attention to things so that their daughter would not be taken from them. They were on probation and they had to follow the rules. When probation was over, things fell apart quickly. They were both very angry people and they resorted once again to drowning out reality through drinking and drugs. They both blamed each other for the truth of this collapse in their lives.
They screamed and yelled and taunted one another constantly, in front of that beautiful daughter, in front of the “sons’ that were part of a very mixed up family and in front of friends and nieces and nephews and neighbors, and, finally, in front of the world on facebook.
My own parents did the same in front of me and my brother whenever they got drunk. That was every weekend. We were forever changed by that – a long story in itself – so I shuddered to think what was going on in the young ones heads and hearts through all of this.
So we drifted apart. It broke my heart but we stayed in touch on facebook and I have been privileged, along with others, to watch this train wreck in action. Once I even told her that all I was seeing was her living life exactly as she always had, with just a touch of God for decoration. She agreed that might be true but continued with her life as usual. And her salvation was through her anger; more and more anger.
And she, like the rest of us, blames everyone and everything else for her anger. Well if he didn’t… I wouldn’t. Well if they would just… I would…. Well if that hadn’t happened… I wouldn’t have…. He/She/They/It MADE ME MAD. Nonsense. That is the biggest lie of all time. NOTHING can make us angry. We choose to be angry and the only way to get our anger under control is to take inventory asking the question: What am I really angry about? If we do not do that there will never be “Anger Management” in our lives.
Why am I speaking of this, this morning? As I said, I am crying for her today. God has shown me that my own interests and the cooling of my heart toward her have been for very selfish reasons: I feel betrayed by her behavior. I am disappointed that she has not taken a cue from me and worked out her anger so that she could let God love her and love others through her. I am frustrated by the rut she has fallen into and the fact that she is no longer caring what I think. Who in the world am I, anyway? It is not my feelings I need to be concerned about. It is God’s grace and salvation for her that I should be concerned about. It is the Peace and Joy and Longsuffering that God provides for her and she refuses that I should be thinking about. My feelings are totally irrelevant to this situation. It is her heart that matters here, not mine.
Do you have anger that you need to deal with? Do you love someone who is out-of-control with anger and it breaks your heart OR “makes you” angry back at them? We all must remember that though we cannot live in the past, we must take time to remember it and to deal with it in such a way that we are sure we are not living in it anymore. Our past is what shaped our present and we must make sure that it is not holding us back from our future.
May we all take a look at how quick our trigger is and what sets us off for choosing anger over peace. May we also take a careful look around us at others we may be destroying by our own outbursts of angry, destructive words. God would have us live in love; His love. And He would have us seeking control over our feelings of hurt and insult and diminution, trusting Him to make these things right, and asking Him to help us love and forgive those who hurt us.
And may we also realize that it is not outside forces that make us mad. It is our choice to react in anger or in love. And when our choice is naturally to be angry, we can still turn to God to change our minds; the sooner the better.
May you all have a sweet day of love today as you seek God’s Pleasure in you..