Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rants and Silence

"In the states that confront the world at this time the confusion is augmented if you have within you a spirit of anger and resentment...."

-Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood

Anger and resentment.  Dangerous places to be.  For me, these emotions or feelings can become places.  Places where I get comfy.  Where I take up residence. My confession is that I did not know this until recently.  I think I used to be under some deception that I was a person who forgave easily.  God has allowed such to occur that that fallacy was straight stripped. I was 'thinking' about forgiving someone recently and found myself saying to God, "How can I forgive this?"  The smallness of this question was shown me immediately.  Am I kidding? As if this person has done to me anymore than what we all have done to God.  How prideful must I be to assume that the wrongs done me are greater than the wrongs which brought the crucifixion.  Seriously.  In this perspective, I was able to see that if Jesus forgives us for all that then who am I to hold onto the petty grievances I think I've endured.  This sort of compounds something I realized while sharing at a meeting last night.  I spoke of how easily I can drift into self-pity, woe is me, my life is worse than anyone else's, no one understands, whine, complain, etc.  Sheesh. Embarrassing.

In, My Utmost for His Highest - Deluxe (DELUXE CHRISTIAN CLASSICS), Oswald Chambers asks, "How long is it going to take God to free us from the morbid habit of thinking about ourselves?  We must get sick unto death of ourselves until there is no longer any surprise at anything God can tell us about ourselves. We cannot touch the depths of meanness in ourselves.There is only one place where we are right, and that is in Christ Jesus."

That guy tells it like it is.

And if you want to read about another guy who wallowed in self-pity, check out Lamentations.  I read chapter three from that book today and got the distinct feeling that Jeremiah was placing a lot of blame on God. I tried to read some commentary but all I found were statements like this:   " As an individual expresses the grief of the community, hope and consolation are sustained by a knowledge of God’s compassionate love."

Read it for yourself but I found that only about one in twenty or so lines, expressed hope.  The rest just sounded angry and bitter.  To me, it reads like a pissed off letter listing injustices and yet one of the best verses finds its way into this litany:  "...for His mercies never end.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!"Lamentations 3:23 HCSB

Maybe the point is that we're allowed to rant to God.  Not that we should but that sometimes in our limited human knowledge, it can look like even God is against us. And far better to rail at Him for a time than ignore Him. And maybe it is in this honesty, that He will find an avenue to finally still us, hush us, where we can see more clearly who's really to blame. And in His presence we can face that truth about ourselves and accept His mercy.  Then, we can ask for the ability to extend that mercy to others.

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