ask and it shall be given unto you. welp. ok.
my first of two little nuggets from God hit me today, while driving back from tuscaloosa listening to Rob Bell (oh, how i do love that man). he was talking about honoring people, what that really means, and what that actually looks like. and then rob said two really profound things: 1) you can't honor them if you are bitter toward them and 2) you'll only internalize that bitterness, let it fester into hate, then be disgusted and surprised when it takes hold of your life and you suddenly become the very thing(s) that you were rebelling against.
and here's the nugget: the hate, the bitterness, the frustration with the other person that i can't forgive, it's rarely about them. it's about me. at the heart of the thing i hate most in others is the recognition and rejection of that same disgusting thing in me. ouch. that one hit me like a ton of bricks.
i evaluated the people i had beef with and asked myself why, and it was revolutionary what happened in my soul. it was like i finally confronted what i didn't know i hated within me, then, having separated the person from the [my] issue i was able to let them off the hook and let go of the bitterness and anger. i realized that all this hating and seeping and raging inside me [that satan cleverly let me overlook and downplay] was really huge and really ugly. and keeping it up was exhausting. the moment i could finally quit blaming them for the hurt in me or the anger in me or the frustration i felt, i was relieved. like i could breathe again. like i didn't have to keep a running tally of their screw-ups or hang-ups or things that drive me crazy. and i could just be. and deal with the ugliness in me that i didn't even know was there. and, wow, was there some ugliness. i think satan uses our minds, our intelligence, against us sometimes; plays us against ourselves b/c he knows we'll lose and fall deeper into his trap all the while, without realizing it at all, though thinking it to death. how can i be so self-aware and full of constant self-evaluation, and yet unable to recognize the ugliness in my heart? AND unable to make the connection between that other person's faults and MY OWN? speck and plank, for goodness sakes!
but God doesn't give out freebees without expecting us to take the knowledge and apply it to our lives [shoot.]. so, i've decided to tell them i've been harboring stuff against them, that's its my fault and my judgment and my own stuff from the beginning, not them, and ask them for forgiveness because i have truly wronged them in my heart.
nugget number two: i cannot gain wisdom without forgiveness of others/ self; if i can't realize my own stuff and call it what it is and deal with it healthily, it's like i can skim the top of the water, but never dive into wisdom.
so, i mentioned i was cleaning house. i truly am. i'm throwing out bitterness, hatred, anger, and blame. i'm cleaning out the ugliness in me, [only] with God's grace. and i'm replacing that crap with forgiveness, ready for God to dwell richly in my newer, cleaner space and teach me a few more nuggets about wisdom.
ps: rob quoted colossians 3:13, 16: "13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts." amen, sister friend!
what do y'all think? xoxo