Saturday, April 28, 2012

Your Eyes Will Be Opened: Then you'll have...control

Man is subject to innumerable pains and sorrows by the very condition of humanity, and yet, as if nature had not sown evils enough in life, we are continually adding grief to grief and aggravating the common calamity by our cruel treatment of one another.  
~ Joseph Addison

I suppose there's a certain unavoidable reality in the fact that some people will always be awful..the Hitlers of the world.

But I can't even begin to wrap my head around what has to happen in a person's psyche to produce a beast like that.  Yeesh!

And I guess there is no getting around the fact that not every personality is companionable.

OK, and sometimes folks do things without realizing that something unkind or cruel has transpired.

"Oops! Sorry!" isn't always a zero to "That's OK; you're forgiven" scenario, but who could go a lifetime without making mistakes that yield unintended negative effects?

Yet the cruelest things so often transpire between people who love each other, and it just seems so incomprehensible. How does someone who was once your best friend in life, or in marriage, or someone who is your close kin end up hurting you so badly?  

What is up with that?

An article in Psychology Today offers this tidbit of insight, saying "[t]he price of being able to to behave freely without having to consider every consequence of your deeds is saying and doing things that may hurt." 

And Bishop T.D. Jakes offers this relationship wisdom.

I believe much of what Bishop Jakes has to say about Confidants in particular.  

"Your Confidants are FOR YOU! They are into you...They come get you out the crack house. They will get in your business. They will tell you when you're wrong...Your Confidants will weep with you when you weep, and they will rejoice with you when you rejoice...They are FOR YOU!"

But just the same...sometimes your confidants will become purveyors of pain and cruelty...even betrayers. It happens. And the resulting hurt can be outrageous...leaving everyone rather stunned and wondering how it could have happened.

Personally, I can't help thinking that a lot of the cruel things we do to one another are really far more about what I think of as a gene...something in the DNA that is all about control. 

Wasn't it a control issue that ultimately raised Eve's hand and led her to take the bite of forbidden fruit?

4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 

Thinking of the pain we cause one another in terms of control helps shine Light into the abyss of darkness that seeks to swallow up relationships from the inside out.

I suppose someone could argue that the cruelty we inflict upon one another...whether we are at the bottom wrung of the moral ladder (Hitler) or the friends and family who cherish one another (most of the rest of us) is unavoidable since we are inherently sinful.

But...Hmmm...I dunno...I smell copout.  Just sayin'.

Maybe that's a reasonable answer for folks who don't have a personal, saving relationship with Jesus, but for followers of Jesus...?  Really?  How do we take such a low road?

Jesus told the Pharisses that aside from loving God, the greatest commandment is to love one another as ourselves.  

So are we really willing to give ourselves permission to cave in to the control offered us by the serpent versus the commandment insisted upon by Jesus? 

Kinda lame, no? Very weak. Totally sinful. Again...just sayin'.

We don't always know right away when we have hurt someone, and we don't always realize when we have been cruel.  Sometimes we do, though.  But whatever the situation, here's the reality for those of us who care about living lives of intention for the glory of Jesus...

John 13:35

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Love is supposed to that others can see that we can see it. It's just that simple. Love has nothing whatsoever to do with control. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

When Nathan came to David and told the parable of the rich man who mistreated the poor man, David's heart was changed.  He wanted to make it right.  His heart changed.  David repented, took the Lord's discipline, and turned his life around. The Lord blessed him.

We look to the Lord for blessings day in and day out, but are we willing to relinquish the control that leads us into sin that hurts the ones we love...the ones we shouldn't hurt at all?

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