Today we continued our series, “They Promised Me Chocolate: The True Confessions of a Disappointed Christian,” with installment number five, “I’m Not Crazy, but I Am a Carrier.
Oftentimes we become our own worst enemy. We like to blame it on culture, our parents, or the people we work with. But the truth of the matter is, we have enough weirdness residing in our own soul, to wound ourselves for the rest of our lives. We talked about five self-inflicted wounds:
- The wounds we inflict upon ourselves by the words we speak in anger.
- The wounds we inflict upon ourselves by the shortcuts we take, and the pain it causes when we get exposed. Remember there is no shortcut to anyplace worth going.
- The wounds we inflict upon ourselves by the lies we spread, by the gossip that we encourage and ultimately comes back to bite us.
- The wounds we inflict upon ourselves by the promises we make and break over and over again so that we wind up with no one close to us and few who trust us.
- The wounds we inflict upon ourselves by the jealousies we justify through self-talk that robs us of our joy, our freedom, and our future.
In order to deal with these self-inflicted wounds, we form some coping mechanisms:
- We withdraw and retreat. We stay away from people because we don’t want them to see how we look and maybe figure out how we feel. We feel ashamed and humiliated so we stay away from people. We sit on the couch, eat, and feel worse about ourselves. And over time this becomes a cycle.
- We turn inward and entertain dark thoughts. When all you think are your own thoughts, the doubts and accusations in your brain can help you justify almost any behavior.
- We end up living shame-bound and bitter, which is the very opposite of trust.
Remember we’ve said that God uses disappointment to push us past our current state to a place of delight. Delight in my life is in direct proportion to my ability to trust God. And the way of trust is expressed in the three never, never’s. We never sour, never settle, and never stop.
In order to combat our own weirdness and shame-bound nature, we heard three suggestions on how to get out of our own way in life:
- Make a habit of thinking B.I.G. – beyond the immediate to the goal. This means I’m not into immediate gratification. I’m into long-term success.
- Make it a habit to do the details. It’s the little foxes that spoil the vines, The Scriptures tell me.
- Make it a habit to lean hard. No matter how smart I am, I’ll come upon situations I can’t explain; not by religious formulas or earthly wisdom. This means I must trust God. I must lean on Him with all my heart and understanding.
- Make it a habit of traveling light, which means there are burdens I need to lay down and not carry with me anymore. If you’ve not been forgiven, seek God’s forgiveness and once you have it, lay it down. If you need to be forgiven by people in your life, ask for it, and once they extend it, lay the burden down. Don’t carry anymore than you absolutely have to.
Next week we’ll be talking about why most married men are miserable.