If you are reading this, I have decided to publish it. Right now, I cannot. But I must pen these thoughts while they hurt, and while they hurt so badly that self-dignity will not allow for the amelioration of them. God give me courage to not run from the truth of these feelings.
The treachery of my own soul frightens me and causes me despair. How can I face my next encounter with a friend or family member, knowing that in my soul is carelessness and a desire to experience my own joy so much, that I can so easily forget the needs of others, and in forgetting, trample on the needs of another?
I wonder if the very gift and joy of friendship becomes something I enjoy so much that it becomes a giddy joy of its own, instead of the joy that my Lord wishes to be for me Himself. As I get caught up in happiness and freedom… does the happiness and lightness become my “god” instead of my Lord? In that replacing of God with the gifts of God, do I become so careless that I commit an even greater evil than if I just worshiped money or “worldly” pleasure?
I have treacherously wounded a friend. I know that friend forgives me; they have said as much. I think (hope?) that they would wish me not to remain in the grief of the offense (or maybe they would that I remain there for a while… a “time-out” to contemplate what I’ve done. Do we expect a certain level of contrition from each other? Because I think that I would expect it of the tables were turned. So how do I show that? How do I repent? But those thoughts just add more sadness to the fact that selfishness has been done.)
I read today a quote from a Christian author… a quote posted on Facebook by another friend. It shed some light on my own wicked nature:
“Only God can love in absolute freedom, desiring the other without needing the other. It is not only impossible but is a cruel demand to expect human beings to love each other out of pure, disinterested benevolence. Even apart from sin, human beings were created in a web of relationships not only with each other but with nonhuman creation. When these relationships are functioning properly, each has what he or she needs and loves out of gratitude and mutual dependence as well as simple desire for the other. However, God loves in perfect freedom. Therefore, he loves even those who do not return his love, and he loved us eternally even while we were enemies. (Ro 5:10).” –Michael Horton, The Christian Faith
Today, up front, close and ugly, I am brutally aware that I cannot love out of a “pure, disinterested benevolence.”
I cling in sadness and grief to the One who loved me while I was (and by my own nature still am) His enemy. By faith I know He has had mercy on my soul. By faith I know that He loves me dearly, deeply, and without condition… that the “condition” of His love was met at the Cross. But today, right now… I feel the full weight of my own duplicitous heart. Its layers and selfishness that deceive me even when I am on guard. Its secret selfish desires. Its own desire to enjoy life… a desire so strong that it will carelessly trample on the rights and needs of others. And its grief when it feels the emptiness of its own resources.
May God truly have mercy on me and restore my soul.