I am a person with abundant levels of emotion.
I’m not always up and down (though that happens; I’ve yet to meet a human who doesn’t qualify as emotionally layered – with their own pattern of transferring said feelings), but there are seasons where the level is more consistent. And there are seasons where change of direction seems a revolving door.
But what’s truly, deeply wonderful: I don’t feel a sliver of responsibility to apologize for being the way I am.
Not in how I’m built in that manner. Finally.
It’s not a sin to be emotional.
It’s not a sin to be sensitive.
It’s not a sin to have ideals and perspectives to situations.
It’s not a sin to have ideals and perspectives different than others – even those you love, respect, admire.
Where we can get stuck in the quicksand of fruitlessness is when we treat one another as less than for being who he or she is. When we infer their motives, feelings, standpoints through subtleties rather than through communication. It’s always tricky when you try to think for someone else. When you subjugate someone to your idea of how they should or should not act, respond, communicate, be.
I am deeply ashamed to say I’ve done it to others.
There’s no pretending I haven’t.
And that is something I know counts as sin, stemming not from anything anyone could ever do – but from my own heart and it’s flesh-controled, stunted behavior.
I can only control me.
The words that come from my mouth.
The tones I use.
The actions of my hands.
The inactions of my choosing.
The reactions I take towards others – no matter their behavior. It’s not their conduct I ever have command over. Ever. Only my own, regardless of actions or words directed at me.
And so I can continue to waste my energy on the stresses of living up to others expectations, on manipulating opinion in favor of approval, on being quieter or smaller or more together or “more holy” in another human’s eyes….
OR I can spend my energy on my knees, basking in grace when I flail and stumble, asking for strength to see through new eyes my worth, purpose, uniqueness, qualifications, idiosyncrasies. Pouring nard-tears of thankfulness on the feet of a Savior who strived for me and won the race so I could be still and know. Once and for all. I could spend my efforts on proclaiming that good news of how I am whole and how because of the cross, I no longer need to explain myself. Jesus showed up to explain me. He wore a crown of thorns and absorbed steel into his marrow, spent his earthly self to parade glory on His people.
|Credit: Flickr user Alex G.
The Son came; the Father intimately and intentionally fashions; the Spirit abides.
Through every flaw.
Through everything that is unjustly labeled a flaw.
Through every personality trait He says is just as it should be.
Through every portion He says needs to be refined.
The point is, HE is the yardstick. He is the keeper. He gets to decide what stays and what goes. All I can desperately pray for is the wisdom to hear. To listen. To obey and abide. To discern the Shepherd’s voice above the wolves’.
Being His isn’t about guilt. It’s about grace.
Being His is all I will ever want. For every passing moment. I just want Him.
Because in Him, I am lovely.
In Him, I am free.