I’ve been thinking about something a lot over the last few weeks, and after speaking to someone about it, here it is.
This issues lies at the heart of all of my frustrations in walking this life with God, and I think I will always struggle with the “whys” of it.
We know that when we are saved, we are new creations with renewed minds, a new spirit…new everything. Belonging to Him and walking with Him is supposed to make us more like Him, in His heart and spirit. And for the longest time, I have thought the way I’m learning to handle conflict and anger is the “right” way. I mean, I give myself a “timeout”, so I can reflect before I act. I take “breathers”, or a walk, or swear under my breath. Sometimes I take on my old self and just lash out and quickly follow up with a nice, sincere apology. Even that deep breath I take to calm down…none of these are actions of walking in the Spirit! Jesus didn’t need to take a breather to keep himself from having a complete meltdown, like I do.
I’m talking in terms of “I” and “me”, but if you’re honest, maybe you will lump yourself in with me in this shameful category.
Will I ever be perfect? Will I ever reflect Him TRULY? Will my gut reactions, my sincerest actions, ever reflect Jesus? Will I ever just naturally and impulsively respond to pain and conflict with grace, humility, patience, and gentleness without taking even the smallest nanosecond to consider my actions? Are these verses about God being greater than our hearts even when our hearts condemn us…are they being misused to pacify the guilt we experience when we screw up?
What would the world look like if we were at least a little more honest about ourselves? I think it would make it incredibly difficult to criticize, judge, and condemn another’s mistake. Maybe THAT’S why this sometimes unbearable struggle seems to go on and on and on… Maybe it’s so that we would never forget how much we need His mercy every single day of our lives, and so, be more willing to be merciful to those around us. I realize , too, on the flip side of that, if I spend the rest of my life condemning myself for not being all I see I could be, then I think it will be become easier and easier to condemn others as well.
The key is not to work on our anger management skills, but maybe to work on our mercy skills! Today, I will start with me.