is the ability
to hold the tension
my own individuality
and acknowledging the legitimacy
of other’s needs
for Jesus to crucify
my self-centered false identity
His greater redemption
for all of us.
In other words,
(by analogy with core strength training)
it is what enable us
to substitute Christ-like Responses
for selfish Reactions
I have noticed myself being extra cranky and irritable lately. When asking for prayer at yesterday’s OPMP, I attributed that sensitivity to having to act outside my “zone of emotional security.” While probably true, it wasn’t a great way to frame the problem; as evidence by the fact I had to keep iterating on my explanation, in an attempt to clarify (to myself and others) exactly which grace I needed.
While embarrassing (and cool 🙂 that I was the worst at asking for prayer — in my own format! — I realized that this meant I lacked a good mental concept for this area of struggle. Which was exciting, in that it implied there was something new — and possibly profound — for me to discover.
The main clue was what I described as my “fix or fling” reflex. When experiencing behavior I perceived as “wrong” or “unfair”, my reaction was to either assert dominance and control (“fix”) or retreat to denial and emotional cutoff (“fling”).
After my friend Ted prayed for me to be able to “love like Jesus,” I realized that this reaction was needed to protect my Self. It seemed both intolerable and unnecessary to stay in a context where my value and values (explicit or implicit) were being trampled. Why not just flex my power to either fix the problem or fling the irritants away?
Isn’t that what it means to be an American?
And isn’t that also what we find most contemptible when the Other does it: destroying something we value
merely so they
can feel good about themselves?
And is that not precisely
what Jesus refused to do
on the cross?