How’s that for a blog title? In keeping with the tradition of the Puritans, whose book titles would often resemble a book in itself, I thought this title best encapsulated my thoughts while reading an excerpt from Andy Stanley’s “Enemies of the Heart” (which I just reviewed here). He deals with the issue of anger and make some penetrating observations that were very helpful. This one hit home,
“On the other hand, you may be the kind of person who tells your story every time you get a chance. You want to be understood. You enjoy the sympathy. You’ve learned that people are willing to cut you a bit more slack once they’ve heard your tale of woe. You know that your story explains your propensity to overreact, to say things you later regret, to punish people whenever you get the opportunity, to lash out at those who fall short of your expectations. It accounts for your temper, your moodiness, and your unpredictable reactions.
But let’s be honest. From your perspective your story not only explains your behavior, it justifies it. It’s a built-in excuse for everything you or others don’t like about you. It’s your crutch. You know you don’t act and react the way you should, but rather than do anything about it you fall back on your story” (Stanley, “Enemies of the Heart”, pgs. 62-63).
I thought Stanley nailed it! The Lord worked on my heart about these things in my own thinking concerning my marriage. I know I am being a little transparent here but quite frankly I was and often still remain pathetic in justifying my anger under the guise of being a misunderstood victim. It is a crutch and an excuse to pretend that your issues really are other people’s issues. It is vicious and will destroy your relationships.
The sad thing about this is that when relationships start to suffer, you will perpetuate your “victim” status and claim such people as unloving and unwilling to understand the “real” you. The sad truth is that such people might just be seeing the “real” you. I’m grateful for people who saw the “real” me and called me out on it. It was easy to dismiss such folks as unloving and legalistic, but the fact is they were right about a whole lot that I didn’t want to admit. May the Lord help us all!!!
© 2011, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.