I was talking on revenge this week in church from Romans 12. It was a subject that I didn't think I struggled with much, quite honestly. I'm not a vengeful person by nature and I'm really easy-going and carefree most of the time. So I initially thought of myself as somewhat free of revenge. As I read the Word preparing for the message...something odd started to happen. It started reading me. I typically take the Word and tear it apart looking for hidden truth lodged within. But it started tearing me apart looking for hidden truth lodged deep within. And it found some stuff. Some really dark and foul stuff that I have repressed in concealed corridors of my soul.

I realized that I'm living with some things to prove and some people to pay back just like the rest of the human race. I thought I stood removed from the bitter pack of people who have rage and wrath harbored in their hearts. But I've got some of that poison working its way through my own veins. "my own"...hahaha...I'm seeing that I feel the need to be redundant to affirm the fact that I need to take a sort of "ownership" of this issue. It isn't just my's my own life. I have this cancer spreading in "my own" heart as well. This is important to see and own.

I wonder what I'm trying to prove to people based on little injuries along the way. Here are several that came to mind...
That I’m smart.
That I’m skilled.
That I’m strong.
That I’m savvy.
That I’m sensitive.
That I’m secure.
That I’m silly.
That I’m serious.
That I’m social.
That I’m serene.
That I’m spontaneous.
That I’m sound.
That I’m satisfied.
That I’m spirited.
That I’m sincere.
That I’m storied.
That I’m scholarly.
That I’m successful.
That I’m suave.
That I’m stirring.

It's important to note that some, not all, of these needs come from wounds or voids in my past. I have to show someone something, to pay someone back or prove someone wrong about me. I need to set the record straight or settle the score. I have to make up for some deficit or some surplus in my personhood or personality. If someone has hinted at an imbalance in one area or another...I feel a need to prove that I'm balanced and so I set out to move the fulcrum a touch to the left or right to recover an equalibrium with my "inside" self translating into a balance being seen in my "outside" self. This happens from the earliest of memories to the present. It's funny how you don't have to teach humans to recognize voids and to fill them with whatever they have to in order to survive. So you grow up with learned responses and conditioned tactics of recovery in order to prove that you're on top of your game, that you are never caught off gaurd, never taken by surprise. If there is a vacuum or a vacancy...I will be or do whatever it takes to be the well-rounded, good-natured person I need to be to be what I sense you need me to be. These are the conversations going on inside the head that lead to modes of operation and knee-jerk defaults. I can't believe how much "good" change and growth that has happen in my life because of midguided motivations. Jealousy. Pride. Revenge. It's scary.

I just want God to purge me of these foul schemes. I want to make room for God's wrath, to make room for God's love, to make room for God's grace, to make room for God's that I don't have to carry the weight of proving something to someone, or paying back someone for something. This could rob me of years of my life if I don't "let it go", "give it up", or "lay it down". I can't carry the responsibility of judge and jury. I just can't...God didn't create me to fulfill those responsibilities...those are His. His alone.

It's hard to function apart from these strategies of survival. But I can't carry them anymore. I need to let God divy out justice, and dish out the verdict. He's the executioner. Not me. I have to let go of hurt. I think freedom waits on the other side of this thick and heavy veil. Lord, tear it asunder, from top to bottom....from heaven to earth, from You to me. Rend the heavens and come down!


Blue Like Jazz said…
Jason, i wrote about pain once... maybe you'd like to read about it...?

i think pain is something a lot of Christians never fully deal with... they never fully understand its presence in our lives and how it fits in with God's plan for the Kingdom...

i recently found a new perspective of God and pain in Psalm 112...

"Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands... Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man... He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD..."

i used to think that the righteous man would have no fear of bad news because there wouldn't be any... but now i can see that we will have pain, but it's nothing to fear... there will be darkness, but we will always have a light...

God is so much more than the obvious, and what seems like an obvious contradiction is sometimes the deepest truth...

...just thought i'd share my stream of thoughts...


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