Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Collateral Damage

I spent a big part of my life angry.

I was
angry at people,
angry at God,
angry at the world,

angry in general.
I often had
a smile on my face,
and something nice to say.
But inside was
a ball of rage.

Hurt people hurt people
and I was good at it:
a cutting remark,
a passive-aggressive act,
and every once in awhile
a volcanic eruption of rage
that sent people running for cover.

Always followed by an apology
that may or may not have included
how justified I was anyway...
I was in perpetual victim mode,
and likely caused some
collateral damage myself.

It was the revelation
that people are just people
and that their thoughts
and their actions
don't define me,
that started me on the
path towards forgiveness.

The freedom that comes
with that forgiveness
is unlike anything else
I've ever experienced.

It also taught me
no matter what
was done to me
I was responsible
for my own reactions.

I used to think my story
was full of bad guys
who set out to destroy me:
People whose only goal
was to see how high
they could climb
while stomping on me.

I eventually came to realize
that the only bad guy
in my story is Satan.
Everyone else is just human.

When that realization sunk in,
the amount of grace I was able
to extend to others and myself,
grew exponentially.

My feelings were hurt this week.
And I asked myself
what was wrong with me.
And then I asked myself
what was wrong with them.
And then I remembered.

Both of the answers are the same.
Nothing.
We're just people. 

People trying our best
to keep our lives from
spinning out of control
while causing as little collateral damage as possible. 


Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels,
but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
1 Corinthians 13:1


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