Early this week some words scattered carelessly by someone I love wounded me.
Longing for approval and falling prey to measuring myself by others assessment of me, I was an easy victim.
Narcissistic, it was an easy opportunity for a dark festering to take root in my mind.
Self-doubt overcame me as lies informed the narrative of who I am.
I once again became ‘one offended’….
Let me not deceive myself, this week, this day I offended too…. I spoke without thinking and my words lightly off my lips went straight to another’s heart. My actions intentionally or unintentionally excluded. I wounded a friend.
It is clear that the one thing in life over which we have no control is the constant barrage of offenses (Luke 17:1). It’s the way of this fallen world. I also know, academically, that there is a way to stop the pain caused by the offense and in so doing end the cycle of hurt. Living it out is not always so easy. Jesus warns us (as the offended) to “watch out”! I think because we are at great risk when feeling exposed and vulnerable. Just as an animal is often most dangerous when wounded, it is easy for us to hide, or lash-out and to justify all manner of self-destructive behaviour simply by the fact that we are in pain.
In this situation, that brought all this to light, the words so easily spoken, paralyzed me. It made me want to protect myself. Filled with self-doubt I vowed never to expose myself again. Confused and in pain I wanted to hide. By allowing the offense to linger I opened myself up to bitterness, defensiveness and suffering.
10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy….
Yet He called me back to His heart, He searched for me as I fled.
Even now, in my fear and with all my reservations, He holds me to Him.
In Him alone there is truth and freedom.
He tells me my self-perception is of no relevance.
He calls me to Trust Him.
In accepting His view of me, I am set free from the bondage of self and ‘other’ judgment, and able to live this life without limits that He has for me.
…..I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).