I’ve been wrestling internally lately. I don’t exactly know how to describe it.
A long time ago, in an eternity far away, I had a little old grey-haired Christian try to help tame me and mold me into what I was called to be. Try was the operative word.
That said, one of the lessons that did stay was that manipulation was just not cool. She taught me that manipulation was a form of witchcraft. I don’t clearly remember the logic.
I know from verses like Deuteronomy 18:10 and Micah 5:12 that witchcraft was expressly forbidden. Most sources define witchcraft based on using power or magic to bring about a desired end. It’s wrong because you’re not relying on God and you’re choosing your own will.
Manipulation was exactly that: you used tears or flattery to get what you wanted from an unwilling individual, you weren’t trusting God, and you weren’t respecting the other person’s free will.
Now I’m wrestling with expressions of anger. Walking away is okay, as long as you do come back and try to work to make things better based on what the Holy Spirit advises you.
The one that I’m really having problems with is verbal expressions of anger. I grew up in a house where sarcasm was a second language; I’m not usually fluent in it, but recently it’s coming more naturally.
Although I usually can be very logical (when you do x, I feel y because z), lately it seems that everyone is intent on tipping my sacred cows. I accept the reality of sin and brokenness, and I accept that we all break each other sometimes.
But lately, I’ve had this sacred cow of not wanting the weak or burnt out to have to deal with the stupid things people say and do even though they (the people saying and doing things) clearly have greater intellect.
While usually I say something openly in front of the person, I’ve not had the energy or physical strength to deal with the backlash. So I just speak it generally into the air or social media regardless of whether I have an audience.
The Holy Spirit has started to challenge my motives. I never like that. I mean, if the all-powerful, all-knowing God is asking me questions, why bother? He already knows the answers.
So I’m asking myself hard questions (and not finding many answers):
- When am I allowed to be anger (translate, how do I be angry and not sin)?
- How am I really supposed to express anger?
- Does this vary depending on gender or cultural? Private or public?
- If there’s a biological issue, where is the boundary (because I want to get right up to that edge without crossing it)?
Guess I should get off social media for a bit of desert time, huh? 😉