Tuesday, August 30, 2011
“To err is human, to forgive Divine.”
Sometimes I hate using social networks that connect me to people I don’t connect with in real life. I posted a grumpy status recently and got PollyAnna’d in response. Which hurt my little negative feelings. It never helps when someone tries to fix you without your permission.
I almost wrote a retort, but then I thought, maybe my insecurity filter was just set too high and I misunderstood. A snappy comeback would be like lobbing a heart piercing arrow at an innocent person, only to discover I took out one of my own teammates! Horrors.
The truth is I’m so sensitive that it’s easy for a comment or a look, whether it’s truly mean or not, to hurt so much it feels like someone dropped a can of soda on my forehead. Which may or may not have happened to my granddaughter recently. Accidently, of course. But it hurts the same whether it was intentional or not. And it can hurt all day if I don’t find a way to put some ice on it muy pronto.
Here’s the problem: how do I "pay no attention" to hurtful remarks lobbed at me?
I started pondering all the “benefit of the doubt” and “err on the side of caution” lines of philosophy. I hate that something as stupid as one-liners can get to me. I think it has something to do with my emotional scale being set at an “eight” a lot of the time instead of its God-given default setting of “one.” When I think I’ve been attacked, my anger shoots up two points which should equal a very manageable “three” but instead it can become a Vesuvius-erupting “ten.” Talk about crummy math.
Besides all the damage done to my thermostat as a kid which corroded my sevens, sixes, and fives through two’s, my temperament is melancholy/choleric. What a curse. (See Tim LaHaye’s book, Spirit Controlled Temperaments, if that makes no sense to you.)
Melancholies walk around with their heart hanging outside their bodies so often that even good touches can feel bad. Cholerics hit their “ten” threshold with such frequency and force, they’re forbidden to play the Strongman Game at state fairs anymore—they win so well they break the equipment.
Do you see how handicapped I am? How unable to do anything to change myself? Between all the bad programming and wounding of my childhood, and the state of my flesh today, free advice from Positive Thinking/New Age Believing/God Is In Controlling/Get A Gripping friends goes in one ear and . . . never even clears the first canal.
I try to think, so what if another imperfect human being tried to fix me? That’ll teach me to be honest! But honestly, being honest is better than hiding behind a wall just so I can’t be a target for other people’s Eula Improvement Projects.
What if I did misunderstand the comment? What if I look at it from another point of view and decide there was no animosity involved? What if I give grace and mercy to the friend? Then I have an outlet for my angst (besides this writing exercise, of course) and can walk on past the prison of unhappy emotions.
What if I was right? The remark was snide, but I forgive the shot aimed at my heart, grab the arrow in mid-air and break it in two, never to be used again to hurt me?
What if I don’t? My heart will hurt all day. And I’m tired of having an aching heart.
To err is human. It happens every day. I do it, too.
To forgive Divine.
“Love—God’s love in us—does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it pays no attention to a suffered wrong. . . Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything without weakening. (1 Cor. 13—look it up yourself)
Ever ready to believe the best of every person. Ready to believe it even though wrong was suffered. Misunderstanding happened. But Love was not thrown off the throne.
To forgive Divine.
Or maybe, the Divine—God Himself—does the forgiving on my behalf. I look at His love for me instead of at the unkindness of others. Forgiveness is His job. Trusting Him to do it is mine.