Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Anger, Sin Not

"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath[...]" - Ephesians 4:26

Recently I've suffered a major blow beneath the belt from someone in spiritual authority over me, the details of which I am not at liberty to discuss except with the closest of company, and I want to make an honest assessment of how I reacted.

It started on Monday night when I stormed out of a meeting and drove home, leaving my personal belongings at the meeting; which someone else graciously took for me. That was definitely not the appropriate response. Yes, I was tempted to speak in anger and possibly do more damage than storming out of the meeting, but I could have sat down and kept my peace until after the meeting to speak freely in private with the person who offended me. As I was driving home I didn't even want to listen to Christian music, something that indicates I'm having a moment of raw immaturity, and bought a pack of cigarettes. (Sarcasm: 'Cause we all know that will make things better...)

I'm going to go on a tangent for a moment, and say that when using a cross as a symbolic tool for ministry, it should be treated as though it were the very Cross that Jesus bled and died on. This may come across as a religious (read: dead works) sentiment that some people would like to write off, but after the things that happened on Monday night, I feel strongly that we defile the Cross when we use an imitation as a symbolic representation and then misuse it for our own purposes. For example, if you were to use a cross in human video, don't then take it after rehearsal and pretend it is a guitar or a giant sword to be used as a weapon of carnal warfare. Instead, you should put it away and leave it alone. To do otherwise, I feel, is to defile the Cross. Again, don't get your knickers in a knot as if I'm trying to lay down the law of how to treat crosses, because I am not. I am sharing with you how I feel personally about treating a cross used symbolically for ministry as the Cross.

Back to my assessment, I went home, but on the drive to my house I was very tempted to throw my phone out the window I was so upset (not exactly angry, shaken is more like it); I just did not want someone from the meeting to call me. When I got home I told my parents what happened. I did use the A-word, although some could say that I in fact used it properly, but in my heart I was using it for shock value and therefore it might as well have been F-word. After that I went to my room and stewed over the situation. I sent the person who took my stuff a text explaining my perspective of the events that happened at the meeting and then spent the rest of the night writing. The next day I called the person who offended me and apologized for my reaction at the meeting and explained to them why I reacted in that manner. The person called back, but I did not answer because I was afraid that I would say something I'd later regret. That was probably a wise choice because I was still pretty shaken up about the events that happened at meeting. The person left a voicemail basically saying that they were not going to acknowledge any wrongdoing and that I was not owning up to all of my faults and proceeded to list these faults. The first time I listened to this voicemail, I literally did not make it through the whole voicemail before throwing my phone against the wall.

Well, that was really immature of me. I kind of chuckle now, seeing as how childish I was being, that I let someone get under my skin like that. I'm sure a lot of people have felt that way at times, though most people manage not to chuck their phone. I was using a lot of profanity as I rifled through my cluttered desk and things looking for that little phone battery, but did not find it. After about 20 minutes of looking around for it in vain, I bit my lip and drove to the store and bought the cheapest phone I could find. When I had gotten home and charged my phone, I listened to the voicemail that had stirred me to anger in a way which I reacted by throwing my first phone, and listened the whole way through. There was nothing new on the message, the gist of which I had caught the first time. So I went to bed and was relieved that I did not have to go to work that night since it was already 15:42.

I could write myself a grade and score myself based on the positive reactions and negative reactions, but that's not how God operates. Sin is sin. (James 2:10) Fortunately, God has already paid for the price of my immaturity and lack of restraint; He forgives me even though I don't deserve forgiveness. (1 John 1:9) So how did I do? I failed miserably, but the grace of Jesus Christ has covered that and is teaching me to seek Him for a solution to temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13) God will use this for His purpose, even if I can't see exactly what that purpose is. (Romans 8:28)

I'm not doing this for glory, but for transparency. Do not misunderstand my conclusion, I made mistakes and what I did was wrong, and the sacrifice of Jesus does not justify what I did. The grace of God simply means that I do not have wallow in guilt, because I am blameless in His sight. I want you all to know that I am not perfect, I am still partly human and slowly dying to my flesh, but not there yet.

Hoc est verum,
De Facto

1 comment:

  1. Ow... I think you get an A for honesty anyway... praying that the situation improves!

    I love how you finished - that is really something all of us could say every day. Hopefully failing less and less as we follow Him each day... but even in "little" things, every day we fail the tests we encounter. I am so thankful for His forgiveness!