Three things that are giving me pause

by Andrea Elizabeth

to some extent.

1. A possibly unintended gesture. It regarded something being flipped over when I wasn’t expecting it. It was like a speed bump jerking me out of the moment. It could be interpreted as a teaching lesson for my tendency to be too flippant. “Oops” accompanied this gesture. It could be a sarcastic oops. It ended up making me think of how I don’t feel sufficiently penitent about my sins. My tears are usually about grieving over what has been done to me rather than what I have done. It’s not that I don’t take my sins seriously, but I don’t know how to contextualize them. I have a tendency to think that what I do wrong ruins everything. But I can’t go around being dysfunctionally paralyzed and act as if everything is always ruined. So I have to dismiss it and keep going anyway. This dismissive posture can seem flippant. Should I so easily let go of my sins with a casual, “oops”, when I dwell on the sins of others so seriously, attributing such gravity to them? I think that what they do ruins things too. Even though I act like I’ve dismissed my sins, the thought of them comes back to haunt me frequently. And I try to correct them. I just wish I was more grieved about my sins than others’ sins. Maybe I don’t trust that they are trying to correct theirs, thus not giving things a resurrectional chance to not be ruined anymore. But my slowness in correcting mine probably appears the same way.

2. Anger. Words against the passion of anger, as distinguished from the righteous indignation often mistaken for it, have come up in two places. This made me take my frequent feelings of frustration under consideration. The above sentence sounds flippant. I think I have been trivializing, cute-ifying and justifying my irritableness and quickness to pounce on things I don’t find tolerable. I need to pray for the fruits of the spirit.

3. Words better left unsaid. If a person has a sinful passion, such as anger or lust, sometimes expressing it leads to a chain of events that will lead to cleansing and healing. I tend to lean in this direction. I don’t think holding things in is healthy. But this tendency can also be self indulgent and hurt others. Confession is the proper venue for expressing it. But there is a process of refinement of expression and discernment that I think is a prelude to confession. Discernment is an advanced skill. I don’t trust that even by prayer that I can attain it on the spot before I say anything. I don’t know the rightness or beneficiality of anything I say, for that matter. I’m ambivalent about just about everything. Lord have mercy.

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