I have a very ingrained response mechanism. It’s something that has, on too many occasions to list, gotten me into trouble. It’s the lash out response. It’s the “You’ve hurt me, so guess what, I’m going to hurt you back, and harder.” As much as I joke about wanting those non-realistic whips like in Iron Man 2, I think deep-down I have those already. The ability to cut someone in two and do some unfathomable damage to a person.
And that’s exactly what I’ve been fighting for ten days. I’ve wanted to unleash some rather biting whips onto a couple of individuals for reasons…some justified, others extremely petty. I’ve bit back words more than I’d like to admit, even to God. I’ve had thoughts and planned out full monologues with these individuals in my head. I’ve had such a push to “give them a piece of my mind” so I’d feel better about the hurt I experienced. So I’d get a little revenge on their life and their superiority.
I saw myself doing it again in the pastor’s office this afternoon. We were discussing one of the situations because he’d heard murmurs or whispers…ie, someone went and told him. (I’ve learned pastor code in the small amount of time I’ve been interacting with him.) He wanted to talk about it…I didn’t. He told me what I should do…and I got angry. I have untold respect for this pastor, he’s been a great leader and mentor to me the last year and a half. We’ve had our moments of butting heads and personality clashes, but at the end of the day, I respect him and what he has to say. I wanted to tell him to butt out and mind his own business. I wanted to spill exactly what had occurred with this individual and scream “I TRIED!” Instead I got emotional (shocking as I do this alot lately), and said I had attempted reconciliation and got what I felt like was a proverbial slap in the face and told “Get over yourself.” He pointed out that this person may be going through some things too and lashed out…I wish I could say I was gracious in that moment and saw myself reflected as a stubborn child who needs to go back to the friend and say “sorry” again…but I didn’t. I didn’t see the triviality of it in that moment. I saw my hurt. I saw the trust I had in that person gone. I saw the pain of that conversation. I saw the continual teeth-grinding frustration.
Here’s where I sit…I am firmly camped out in the thought that I don’t want to be the person to say I’m sorry again, to ask for forgiveness again, to humble myself and put myself out there again. I don’t. My self keeps rewinding back to that conversation and the words that were said. It keeps pausing and replaying exactly how that person treated me over the weeks. I hear in my head all these things…and acknowledge that I love this person as a fellow Christian. However, right now, I don’t like this person. I don’t, in all honesty and truth. But I know that as a Christian, I am called to love each person. I’m called to unite with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and love them as I love Jesus. I feel this inward tension-this battle between self and Spirit. Head knowledge and heart knowledge are two very different things….look at Jonah’s story.
And right now, at this very moment, I want to run to this person and say how sorry I am, that I’ve been mad about what was said and I need to seek forgiveness for that anger…