Recently I have come under some strong convictions about building relationships with others for the purpose of simply loving them well. I do think that this is the essence of discipleship. This might just be my opinion, but what I read in the New Testament seems to line up with my thinking. Alan Hirsch, disciple-maker and teacher, reinforces what I believe… see this link for more.
The other day in a meeting my thinking about the best way to build relationships with others was challenged, or so I thought, and I could feel my emotions begin to stir inside. I couldn’t identify the emotions as the “magma” inside my heart began to heat up.
A few more words from the person I was talking to, and more heat and pressure grew inside me. All of a sudden, I was fully engaged emotionally; voice got louder, face got redder and cognitive thought was out the window. I had to be right and be right with passion. See this short video clip from one of my favorite movies; Inside Out.
As the craziness of the verbal exchange continued to become unmanageable for me, I began feeling more and more uncomfortable and eventually backed off. Then my shame slowly kicked in with thoughts like; “I am stupid, ridiculous, out of control, and so immature.” Another thought; “at your age you should’ve progressed to be able to get these emotions under control.”
I can’t stand feeling this way! Wanting to be free and live in the truth of how God sees me, I moved towards my friend who was in his office. I apologized and asked his forgiveness, as the whole escalating conversation was really not about him. This living in the “light”, began to lift the heaviness in my heart.
Now, 12 hours later, I am still processing what was going on in me. I am, what Pete Scazzero talks about in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, exploring beneath the iceberg. The movie, Inside Out, does a beautiful job of showing what happens to our hearts when we don’t go beneath our iceberg and use unhealthy ways to cope like; blaming, withdrawal, rationalization, justification, etc.
I really wanted to withdraw and pretend it never happened. Thankfully the Holy Spirit and trusting in my new identity, Christ in me, I moved forward in the way of repentance and forgiveness. Healing and freedom are two gifts I’m receiving now, thanks to my gracious God.