Often in counseling when my wife and I were trying to put our marriage back together a question was asked by our counselor. "Did you hand out a consequence?" These are the thoughts that popped into my mind.. "Are you kidding me? We are adults here... can you hand a consequence to an adult?" Well the answer to that questions is yes. Consequences are not welcomed with open arms when pride is standing in the way.
I recently made a decision to hand a consequence down to another adult. While this was met with the "are you kidding me" response, I truly meant what I said. My intentions are to hold to it. There comes a time as a father and husband, that I must build a wall of protection around myself as well as my immediate family. This situation caused me to have a very stressful week and I lost sleep over a situation that I can do nothing about. I can only leave it in God's hands and file the drama associated with it in the "no drama" filter that my wife and I have installed in our family.
We all know the phrase pride cometh before the fall. The fall for me happened in a jail cell and I came to realize how I had hurt, deceived, and alienated a lot of people around me. But I also came to realize how much God loved me and only wanted the best for me. My motivation? Anger... it doesn't matter what mask anger wears, it is always the same animal standing behind it. I often felt I was justified in my anger and any and every decision I made was motivated by it. It didn't matter who I hurt or lost in my life, just as long as my pride got fed. It was the constant feeling of having to be right and justified in my thinking that fed the pride I was feeling. The anger was destructive and it left a path of destruction every where I went. I was so blinded by pride and anger, I couldn't see what I was doing to those around me. To this day, I don't remember half of the things I did or said to hurt those around me. All I could I do after I let God have control was to ask those I had hurt to forgive me.
Listen, I am not perfect and no one is. I have found it very hard to extend grace in this situation. There are shots of hurt constantly fired my way. I have been wounded hurt and knocked down by it. My question is this... how can a person who says they love me and has always wanted the best for me, hurt me and my family like they have? Well? I have no answer only to say that anger is at the wheel of this persons life and there is nothing we can do but ask God to intervene. I simply have to realize that in my weakness and helplessness that God is at his strongest. In the mean time, I have to step away at a safe distance to make sure that I protect myself as well as the rest of my family.
So my statement to you, the person who has hurt us. We love you and maybe you can't see that right now. Take my word from a man, a father, and a husband. I am doing this because I love you. I am doing this because maybe since you can't really see us, you will see the fog of satan that is all around you. Your confusion will devour you, chew you up, and spit you back out. Pride will be a thing of the past and much like I realized, you will find for a bit that all you have left is a loving God who just wants what is best for you. You see, that is how a father loves his child. Sometimes after trying repeatedly to get your attention, your father in heaven will give you the desire of your heart. That desire is a burning passion of selfishness and pride. It will fool you into a false state of contentment, but soon that too will run out. For you see, you can't be content in any thing other than Christ. Trust me when I say that this false feeling of contentment, your pride and selfishness will all but destroy you. Until you are willing to trust in God and let him have control, the pain you feel, the emptiness you experience and swallow each day will never leave. My friend, God can make you whole again. God can take what is broken and make it brand new. Take it from a recent new creation in Christ. I have left a path for you to follow, it is well marked out and will show you each step of the way. The path was the same one that God laid out for me to follow. God took my pride and selfishness and molded me how I was meant me to be. I became his clay and he became the potter. God refined me in the fire and made me strong in him. Don't let others full you into thinking there is another way.
My friend, I leave you with this. I you man walked the earth seeking the wisest people of all the earth. His only quest was to find contentment in life. Although he knew the person that could provide him with contentment, he didn't know how to find it. Finally on the last day this person met a very wise man. This man led him out to the water. Once their he asked the question one more time. "My friend, what is it that you are looking for?" The younger man answered with a sense of frustration. "I'm looking for contentment and I hear only God can give it. I have been all over the world and not one person has been able to give me a clear answer of where God is at." At this time the old man who was wise held this young man under water. The young man fought to get back above the water to breath. But the old man held him under even longer. Finally after what seemed like a long time the old man let the young man back above the water. After catching his breath, the young man asked "why would you try to kill me like that? You almost drowned me and I couldn't breath." The old man shook his head, looked at him and said, "My son, if you would seek God and the contentment he can give, like you struggled to get back above water and breath, you will find what you are looking for."
My friend, don't drown in the sea of pride that you are in. Seek God much like the young man above fought to get a gasp of air. I promise if you diligently seek God and allow him to completely control your life as you know it, all that surrounds you will be a place of joy, peace, and contentment.
I pray that this entry finds its way to you. I have no way now to communicate how I would like all of this to you. I know in the past, this blog changed my life and changed how my life would go. I pray and hope it will do the same for you. Don't think that no one knows how you feel because Christ died for you, he suffered on the cross for you, he resisted temptation for you, he experienced every pain and loss that you could possibly feel in your life. Christ loves you and wants so desperately bad for you to have him in your life. It is up to you now, friend don't let time pass and it be too late. As long as you have breath, Christ will be waiting with open arms....