Destructive (Return of the Angry Sunset)

Destructive to self. Destructive to others.

What drives us to destroy? What is this sickness inside of us, that brings us to the point of hurting others? Is it true malevolence, or simply a misguided attempt to ease our own pain for a split second?

Tragedy. It is a tragedy. It is tragic that selfishness has infiltrated a Creation once affirmed by the Creator as "very good". It is particularly painful when this brokenness shows up at your proverbial doorstep, tugging at your heart and making everything just a little darker with it's very presence.

Being on staff at a church, I am perceived to be a leader, and as a result I am often expected to be much wiser than I am. I could write an entire post on the inadequacy I have felt over the past few days, but that is not the point of this post. Suffice it to say that I feel wholly inadequate as a judge of my peers.

See, when it comes right down to it, I'm destructive as well. My outward reactions may be straight out of the bible, while my inward thoughts look more like a Quentin Tarentino flick, with a desire to make witty and cutting comments on the absurdity of those around me while slapping them each individually upside the head until whatever is broken inside of them is fixed. If you are any different, and if you are an inner sanctum of peace in the midst of pure broken human absurdity, please teach me your Jedi ways.

The thing about being destructive, especially in the process of solving a problem, is that it is NEVER a good idea. It's like kicking a broken car. Nothing will be fixed, your car will be worse for it, and you will most likely hurt yourself in the process. A friend told me that his anger was a gift from God, that it drove Him to follow God more and have no fear of the devil. He told me the devil was afraid of him.

I imagine at that point, the devil was laughing his head off and hearing nothing but a squeaky voice and seeing a tiny, puffed out chest.

But still... our bitterness, anger, and selfishness drive us to act in ways that tear others down. They make us drunk with their insatiable thirst for destruction, and destruction lures us in with the deceptive promise of relief. We don't know or care what our words or actions do to others, only that we "need" this.

It's the basis of what we talked about this weekend. It is "Treason". This destructiveness, this brokenness that takes us down that dark path... it cares not who is right or wrong. It only cares that it is satisfied, that it's demands are met.

When we let the sun set on our anger, it drives us down this path. We get angry, and we do nothing about it. Everything good inside of us is broken down, rotted from the inside by this anger that has become bitterness, a cancer in our very being. We carry around this weight, and determine that we should not be the only ones. Others must carry what we carry. They must know our pain.

God calls us to lay it all down at his feet, to see Him as our all-surpassing pleasure and source of life. He calls us to lay our burdens at the foot of the cross, to leave it all behind and carry nothing else. When He sent out the disciples in Matthew 10, He told them:

Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep...

...If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your word, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.
This is the only way to not live with bitterness and anger in this world. Take nothing with you to start the journey, and continuiously leave behind everything that threatens to hinder you.

Shake the dust off your feet. Get rid of that which threatens to hinder you.

Anger, ultimately, is limited. Destruction is only selfishly pleasing while there is something left to destroy. The bloodlust in bitter, angry, sin-soaked hearts is insatiable.

"Why not rather be wronged?" said James.

Our hearts must be clean, and free from that which hinders us, even the littlest specks of dust. We must be willing to let go of our anger, and trust God to heal us (and not simply because He promises some sort of vengeance.) We must be willing to be 100% love, leaving no room for hatred, envy, malice... even selfishness.

Love conquers all.

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