Monday, April 08, 2013
Much of it has a tirelessly common thread: belittle or somehow minimize the person who hurt you while building yourself up. It may be masqueraded as "truth", but it is there, dripping with venom. It is laden with a subtle whine of sour grapes and self-proclaimed victimhood that says, "I'm not really over it. In fact, I may never be. But just to beat you, I'm gonna prove to you how over it I am."
In fact, if there is one thing for certain in our claims to "beat" those people who called us "failures" by showing them "how we succeed over and over again," it is that the wound of whatever was done to us still hangs around our neck, to this day, like a millstone. If feeling better about yourself and the situation depends upon the other person falling, suffering, failing, watching you win, or being half-retarded, then you are by no means free. You are bound... and often while they have completely moved on. Cruel irony, huh? Your want to beat them, you want to put them beneath you, and it is keeping you beaten, not them.
That is the way it works, though.
No, the path to forgiveness is not through recognizing that "the other person is in fact an imbecile." It is through realizing that you are essentially no different from them. You may have details that make you different, but the more you try to distance yourself from their broken humanity, the harder it will be to finally forgive and let go of it. You may not even see how, but it is still there. Certainly, we must recognize our differences. We don't all think the same. We don't all have the same history, issues, viewpoints, wants, fears, and ways we destroy. But we all have the same seeds within. We all have issues. We all are destroyers in our own ways. We all bear the same image of God and the same stain and curse of sin that deforms us.
If there is such a grave offense that you cannot simply let it go for the sake of love, the way out is not by differentiating yourself from them and building yourself up as better. The way out is through the way in -by identifying with them, identifying with their brokenness, their blindness, their fears, their captivity to a distorted heart... just like you. This is not easy. In fact, it is harder than retreating behind the tactics of high-school drama-queens. But you wind up free... and maybe a little sweeter.