Saturday, February 18, 2012

"For they know not what they do..."

Jesus uttered these immortal yet seemingly crazy words while He was being raised onto the cross. For the longest time, those words infuriated me and seemed to only further the terrible injustice of His death which He voluntarily laid His life down for.

I believe I finally understand these words now and that has come through the revelation that I received in August of last year about the core of my issues with depression and anxiety. I was a volatile, unstable and angry child and a fearful, timid yet occasionally very violent teenager. I got called a lot of things throughout my childhood and teenage years (and sometimes even in my adult years) - a spoiled brat, a crybaby, a horrible person.... and the list goes on.

When I discovered what the root of these issues was (which I will identify in my book that is soon to be released) all of the powerful and confused feelings that drove my erratic and often unpredictable behavior all of a sudden began to make sense and the more of them that I was able to unpack and work through, the better I felt until I have come to the place where I am in now - a place where the healing is very nearly finished and I've managed to turn all of that unrelenting pain and distress into peace and insight.

While others were continually and intentionally judging me on my actions, Jesus was able to see past that and chose to forgive me for my actions simply because I knew not what I did. Instead of focusing on what I did and judging me accordingly (which, although was probably the right thing to do in many regards, only made matters worse) He chose to focus on the reasons as to why I felt driven to do and say the things that I did which I was not aware of at the time. That's a pretty amazing kind of grace if you ask me.

It's certainly taught me that I need to learn to do the same. It's easy for me to verbally and possibly even physically blast someone who I think deserves it and if I see someone who claims to be a Christian acting in a place of continual ignorance causing harm to others, there is a part of me that wants to go and put my foot up their backside and scream at them "WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE YOU IDIOT!! SEE WHAT YOU'RE DOING!!" In some regards, this may be the right thing to do if lead by the Holy Spirit but I have discovered the need for grace and compassion for people in that kind of situation.

That person may be struggling with something dark within themselves that at this moment they have no comprehension of whatsoever and are acting the way that they are out of a desire to try and understand and heal the confusion that they feel within themselves but can't pinpoint and therefore can't deal with. Just because someone doesn't appear to be dealing with something doesn't mean that they are not trying to. I spent so much time with counselors, pastors, friends and quite frankly, anyone who would listen at times going on and on about my problems and I never found an answer. Not because of the people I was talking to or because I wasn't trying to, but because the depth of my struggles were hidden from me at that point in time.

Someone coming and putting their foot up my backside and telling me to "get over myself" or "stop being afraid and just do it" or whatever might have seemed like the right thing to do in some regards but I can guarantee it wouldn't have helped me (and didn't help me when it did happen) - it just made me worse because everything in me was screaming out and saying "I'm trying!! I want to get better it's just not working!!". It was only once the core of my struggles were revealed to me in August last year that I finally began to understand what had kept me so tense for so long and what allowed me to begin to heal. I used to see screwed up people walk past and be angry at them for not sorting their issues out. These days, I see them go past and say - "there but for the grace of God, go I."

My point in all of this is that you never know what's going on in another person's heart. The Holy Spirit may inspire you but most of the time I believe what is needed for these people is grace and prayer. God knows what's going on in their hearts even if they don't have a clue themselves and some people genuinely have no idea what the cause of their struggles are so they don't know how to heal them, and just punishing them isn't going to help. God is the one in the know. Trust Him with their lives.

Take care.

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