February 9, 2012

Vulnerability v. False Sensitivity in the Healing Process

After a night of tossing and turning in bed over some discussion of healing and vulnerability last night, some things are becoming clearer to me after a few cups of coffee this morning.

There is a big difference between being hurt and being offended.

And there is a big difference between being offended by something and being disgusted by something.

If I say something in anger that is designed to hit someone at a weak spot, then that is purely my meanness, and the fault lies solely with me. If I'm simply stating my experience and my belief, and it somehow offends someone, then the fault is not with me, but rather with the listener.

If someone says or does something that offends me, it is solely my responsibility, because we each choose the things that offend us. Perhaps it is not a conscious decision, but it is our own choice. If something someone says or does disgusts me, it is because that has touched the deepest parts of my heart and soul.

God's law is written on our hearts, and there are many things that should rightly disgust us.

What does any of that have to do with healing?

The deep soul healing from God comes though our vulnerable spots, and we have to let ourselves become vulnerable to gain that healing.

Just as we choose to let a doctor cut into our flesh to take out a diseased organ, we choose to let God cause some temporary pain to remove a diseased spot in our hearts.

But, if I am going through my life bring all the focus on to the things that are "offending" me, then I'm just building another layer of protection to keep you (and ultimately, God) at arm's length from me.

20My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. 21Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. 23Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Proverbs 4: 20-23, NIV

It is not enough for me to guard my heart from the lies and deceptions of the world, I must protect my heart from the lies and deceptions that I tell to myself. Anything I do that builds a false wall of security around my heart is limiting the wellspring of my life, and keeping me from the true vulnerability that allows me to receive His healing.

But that is a hard thing to do, as we all instinctively try to do anything to avoid pain., even when avoiding one pain keeps us trapped in another pain. As Jeremiah wrote, "Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD!" Jeremiah 3: 40, ESV

Guarding my heart means deciding to allow Him to walk with me to some very painful places, so that He may bring me to healing, and to help bring others to healing. It also means that I can't allow myself to construct phantoms of false pain to keep His healing away from me. And it doesn't mean that I should allow myself to remain in a situation where someone's meanness can continue to hurt me.

He knows the plans He has for us. His plans will bring us prosperity, and not harm us, and give us a hope and a future. We don't have to guard our hearts from Him. We guard our hearts, with His wisdom and discernment, to go to the painful places where He may be found, and to keep ourselves from building a wall of false pain that keeps Him and everyone else out.

Both beauty and offensiveness are in the eyes of the beholder. The questions are, "Which of the two will I look for in others?", and, "Which one of those two will help to bring God's healing to the situation?"

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