I’m Not As Toxic As I Thought   4 comments

A few nights ago I dreamed I was back in India, a fairly common dream for me.  Even though it is a decade past, reminders of that period in my life almost always stir up very painful emotions which I usually choose to avoid.  But that morning I began to reflect on the many regrets, small and large, which hound me: hurtful things I have said and thoughtless things I have done, often with very charitable intentions.  I realize that I am not unique in this—everyone screws up a lot of things through the course of life.  I’m guessing I will reach a stage of maturity in a decade or two when I will no longer cringe at the negative side-effects of my personal impact on the world.  I commented to my wife Kimberly, “I should have been quarantined from society till I was 65 or 70 years old.”

I have always assumed that only the demonstrably good things I do are a benefit to the world, that everyone would be better off if I had no flaws.  My good blesses the world and my bad curses the world.  But in my own marriage I see a contrary principle at work.  Not only our strengths but our weaknesses and flaws– and even, by grace, our sins–benefit the other.  I have seen this hundreds of times in the 6 years we have known each other.  When I am pricked by my wife’s issues and react, I am forced to admit and face my own insecurities, which, if left unchallenged, would subtly and powerfully stunt my growth.  I am astonished by the idea that even my flaws are a blessing to the world.  When I accept myself and others for who we are now, today, and not who we wish we were, grace has a chance to do its work.

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Posted November 10, 2010 by janathangrace in Uncategorized

4 responses to “I’m Not As Toxic As I Thought

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  1. Who knows, one day you could make a good writer.gf

  2. I say that I am “forced to admit and face my insecurities.”  It feels like I have no choice, but I think that springs from my strong commitment to grow, an excessive commitment I would say.  Many people are quite capable of ignoring or denying their faults.  So I no doubt should rather say my flaws are an opportunity for blessing–grace can be stiff-armed.

  3. @gregfaircloth – Thanks G

  4. we often have been told that when God says “all things work together for good to those who love God” that it is referring to things that happen to us. But it doesn’t really specify that does it! It says simply “all things”. And if we take that at face value, then it covers everything we do as well! We can dedicate, give, anything to God, really give it, relenquish it, surrender it, no longer have any personal investment in it – anything – all those things we’ve done that we regret, all those parts of ourself that we don’t like, give them up wholly and completely and without reservation into God’s hand. As many times a day as we need to, as many times as they come into our mind. Give them up and start fresh. God will use them in miraculous ways to bring about his own good in the world. He likes using our weaknesses much better than our strengths because we are much less likely to take credit for them ourselves!!!And I think that troubled souls do make better writers. as gf has noted!loveyour sister Mardi

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