Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Going Deeper


In my last post, I addressed feelings and emotions and then Jeanette made a comment which I knew someone would make (thanks, Jeanette!). Yes, I agree-- the answer is not to squash down our negative emotions, only to have them surge forth in a flaming ball of fire some future day when it could no longer be contained (and in the meantime, making us physically sick). Heaven forbid.

No, there is something better. With God, there is always a better way.

Remember that Bible verse-- ..."it's the little foxes which spoil the vines"? Most of us have a whole pack of those rabid little foxes inside us, attacking any good root which tries to grow. No wonder it seems we never get anywhere--some of us have been so chewed up by those little red foxes, we are walking around almost more dead than living.

Examples of little foxes?

"I will never forgive that person."
"I've been hurt, so I'm afraid to try anything new."
"She offended me, so it's my right to tell the world about it/her."
"I don't feel well, so it's ok to yell at my family."
"This isn't gossip--it's just a prayer request."
"I've made too many mistakes--I don't deserve a second chance."
"God is mad at me."
"I can't give any money to that needy family--I need every cent for my own family."
"My husband bought what? Well, I'll just go out and buy something we cannot afford, too!"
"That's the last time I help her. She didn't even say thank-you."

And on and on to infinity.

It is not God's way to train those 'cute' little foxes and make pets of them. No, but it's our way. We attempt to live alongside those foxes and keep them as secret pets because some foxes make us feel good about ourselves. Some foxes feel like trophy pets--as though we appear more distinguished with them at our feet or draped around our neck as stoles.

But you cannot train a little fox. A little fox can never be trusted.

Little foxes must be killed.

And God is the great hunter, the only one who can go deep enough to find--and then shoot and kill-- those foxes which are eating us alive. The ones who justify our evil emotions and keep us from growing past them.

My bottom line? It's something I said in a comment box a few posts ago:

"God asked me to come to Him with my hurts and listen to what He had to say. But then He dug even deeper--He began telling me I needed to let go of what it was inside me that caused me to often feel hurt and offended in the first place. He said He had something better for me--and it meant giving people lots of slack and room to grow and the benefit of the doubt--and oh my, what a difference that made! No longer was there a need to heal what hadn't been hurt in the first place...."

I can't get that last sentence out of my mind.... Whatever hasn't been hurt in the first place, well, it needs no doctor. No opportunity to vent. No tears. No squashing down, stuffing down until it becomes a ball of flames.

"Love hardly even notices when others do it wrong." 1 Corinthians 13:5... Only God can grow that kind of love inside us, because only He is that kind of love.

And I am determined to let Him shoot any little fox inside me which tries to keep that kind of love from growing into a God Garden inside me.


***
"Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes." ... Song of Solomon 2:15

"But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." ... Matthew 6:15

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