Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Voices of Others

Satan loves it. He encourages lies. He wants us to feel our filth without finding cleansing. He doesn't want us to silence the voices of others in our heads...

I imagine everyone battles this to some degree. I would imagine girls struggle more...probably because we DO it more.

Its the sneaky, un-stated, un-communicated expectations that we put on others...and that they put on us. That when un-met, breed tension, difficulty, strife, and confusion.

Chances are, we've all been on both the giving and receiving ends of this disgusting expectation. We've helped rob joy from others because of our selfishness. We've communicated legalistically with others, while giving ourselves heapings of grace. We've voluntarily withheld love. We've closed our mouths in self-righteousness thinking we were "being the bigger person" when we should've opened it to communicate our struggle. We've stopped pursuing because other's aren't responding-- and we try to come up with a reason in our minds as to "why" they're not doing what we want. We've ignored conflict. Or on the other end, we've instigated conflict by judging those who've not met our own expectations- calling it sin while not knowing their heart.

...and the sad part is...I'm sure we're more aware of when its done TO us, than when we are the culprits.

I find it incredibly hard to feel "forgiven" for these un-stated offenses. It's as though I think, because they are "hidden" (have not been communicated to me)...God must not be aware of them either...so He can't forgive them...but they still exist. I am still condemned for them.

Not matter how hard anyone tries to convince me that it's not my responsibility to "figure out" what I've done wrong, or to trust that God will bring something out if and when He chooses...I am fighting so.stinkin.hard to let it go. I want to KNOW what I must've done wrong for someone to've "said this" or "done that". It is hard to pretend "I don't know" that they talk to others about whatever it is I've not measured up to. And I desperately want to know. I want to change. I want to hear those conversations and ask questions...

Years ago, this looked like reputation-preservation in myself. By the grace of God, I don't believe that's as strong as it once was. Yet, in recent months, He is tugging at sinful roots that go far deeper.

I am not trusting. I feel I cannot trust. Without hearing the other's "side" or perspective...surely I am guilty of whatever it is they have against me. I don't trust God. I don't trust the consistent observation of those closest to me and most involved in my life. I think to myself, "We all must be deceived. Whatever my 'condemner' says must be the real truth."

And as I drove down the road yesterday, contemplating these things...the Holy Spirit brought His Word to me,

"So far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." Romans 12:18

...I just looked it up to find the reference and found another absolute beauty: it begins, "If possible..."

If possible. As far as it is my responsibility.

That is it. I must find peace. Peace in knowing that GOD...the Almighty Creator of the Universe...against whom I have sinned so horrifically, no human's offense- real or perceived, could compare...HE has forgiven me. HE has seen me, HE has spoken to me in many moments of me asking what I can do to fulfill "as far as it depends on me." All I can do is my responsibility. Then, I must trust Him. He is working where I cannot see. And He is obviously using this in my own heart and life as well...to draw Him to Himself. To show the cross bigger...to see grace abound even more.

...I must give it up. I cannot, and will not please/serve others well. Especially by their own definition. I cannot guarantee them that they will not be hurt by my actions...when there is real sin, or perceived. I am not in control of my relationships: I am responsible for my own actions. I must learn this distinction.

...and I must let His voice...be the voice most heard:

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." Romans 8

So what about you? What voices are playing in your head? What lies do you hear? When you feel you don't measure up, are you quick to boast in the cross...or do you want to know and understand and make it right?

May the LORD sweetly and gently teach our hearts...that His is the Only Voice that matters.

1 comment:

Mashkapology said...

Reading this was God's confirming encouragement to me in some recent struggles! Thank you!