Saturday, December 13, 2008

Been Done Wrong?

Ever been accused of something you've never done? Ever had someone misinterpret your motives? It's happened to us all. When it happens to me or someone I love my sense of 'justice' really kicks in. I want to explain, argue, and fight for the truth. The problem is that lots of people think the explanation, the argument, the fight is nothing more than a smokescreen. They're thinking ...'you're protesting too much. You must have done it. Your motivations were bad.'

There's a whole lot of people who aren't interested in having their opinions of you changed. They want to be right even if they're wrong.

Over the past couple of years I think some things I've done and said have been misinterpreted. I don't like it. But trying to change someone else's opinion of me or a particular situation is very, very difficult. Can I live with that? Do I have a choice?

We've all been wronged. No matter what we do or don't do we oftentimes can't get back into the good graces of someone else. So then what do we do?

I know some things not to do ...

Carry a grudge
Conduct a behind the back revenge attack
Get all red-faced and launch a counterattack

Too bad these are off limits, huh?

As I'm getting older I'm starting to recognize that when things hurt I need to start taking a look at what's really happening. Is it about truth or is something stirring inside me that's never been dealt with like some deeper wound, some misplaced priorities, some unnecessary need to save face, or the reemergence of a memory that I thought was successfully buried?

Maybe when I'm 'wronged' I'm being given the opportunity to respectfully confront, to heal a deep wound, to examine my priorities, and/or to carefully examine something I thought was dead that's come back to life. And maybe when I'm wronged or someone I love is wronged I need to go to war to set it straight ...but it's not over everything. You see, we really do have to pick our life battles wisely because if we don't we'll be battling all the time.

I learned awhile back that it's impossible to fix everything. All I can really do is walk with integrity even when life is throwing some tough things at me and take responsibility when I need to own something.

We all have a 'public' profile. Anytime you get involved, have an opinion, take a stand or grab some responsibility you're opening yourself up to criticism, ridicule, gossip, and misunderstanding. It goes with the territory. You gotta live with it. Sometimes you can effectively confront it and work it out. Most of the time you can't.

If I understand this Christian life the right way Jesus promises to be there during the good and the bad. He's always teaching,always alongside ...reaching out. So, when I've been done wrong ...Jesus needs to be there and is. If together we can't get it fixed maybe it isn't meant to be. In the midst of the discomfort of brokenness He's still there. Will I recognize His presence?


Austin Thomas said...

Great post, Mike!

One of the things I'm beginning to see as I continue my life with God is that sometimes, Jesus asks us to give up our "rights".

If somebody hits me, I have the right to hit them back. If a soldier makes me carry his pack, I have a (legal, moral) right to drop that pack after one mile. If I am wronged, I have a right to get my justice. If I earn money, I have a right to keep that money and do with it what I please.

But Jesus tells me to give up those rights. He tells me that if I turn the other cheek, carry the bag an extra mile, forgive and forget, and give all my money to the poor, I'll find true life. Because that's what he did.

God had a right to scrap it all when things went "east" of Eden. When we screwed it all up. But he didn't. He gave up that right, and came down and fixed things, through love and grace. And he tells us that if we do the same, we'll have the kind of life we were created to have. A human life.

That's a hard thing for me to swallow. Especially as somebody who great up in America, where our entire political system is based around our "rights".

The awesome thing is, as we go about giving up our rights in favor of love, God's there helping us. He'll be there when we're doing great, and when we suck. It's the trying that matters, because in that we'll become who God created us to be.

Blessings, and thanks for the thoughts!

Mike said...

Well said Austin. Thoughful. This 'Jesus' stuff is so stinkin' countercultural. Betcha if we could get enough people to really believe in it all and live it out we could change the world!!! That would take a whole lot of us willing to give up those rights you talked about.



Sune said...

Very vise and all.. realy. until the last few lines.. what the f... has jesus has got to do with this??
Why Do you need to shift the responsabilality to someone else. This jesus thing is so imature and unrealistic.. this shit is the biggest problem in the world today. I do so much understand the reson for the need to have a father in the sky, but i just dont understand how you can fool yourself into it..????????