when you’re busy being angry

Posted: December 1st, 2010 | Filed under: life | Tags: , | 17 Comments »

You can never really know where someone is, spiritually, when their sin is found out. It’s all new to you. And it’s shocking. Anger is married to confusion and a sense of wanting to show where you stand is shoved in there, too. Taking action out of ignorance to everything but the sin is not a good move.

The risk of returning sin for sin (revenge, anger, condemnation) is too high when you’re acting in response to sin. Their sin motivates you. What good can come from a sin motivated response?

Breathe. Breath deeply for a while and stay silent so you can hear from God. If you go to Him like a tattle tale, a kid who wants to show your loyalty to the Father, you’ll be talking too much. You’ll tell Him how He feels about the situation and it will most definitely be tainted with how you feel about it.

People make the mistake of thinking, since they’re angry, God is angry. When they are hurt, they say God is hurt. When they don’t know how a situation can be redeemed, they put those same limits on God. You walk away having heard only yourself.

God has it covered.

When a person’s failure is found out, they’re closer to ‘right’ than they have ever been. They’re free to begin healing, rather than remain a slave to hiding.

You don’t know a person’s inner prayers or motivation. You don’t know why God thought it was time for them to be exposed. Exposure is evidence of God’s choice to end their slavery. Instead of being angry, be hopeful. The hiding is over. Instead of dealing with a person who has their junk hidden, you’re dealing with reality. Reality is so much better than fantasy. You can do nothing with fantasy.

I like knowing someone’s junk, not because it makes me feel better. They’d have to be pretty bad for them to match my own sins. I like knowing a person’s junk because it makes me feel like I can trust them more. It makes me feel like I can be honest and open with them.

When they’re exposed, you can’t expect them to behave any certain way. They’re in a different place than you are. What you are hearing for the first time is something they’ve already been dealing with. They’ve processed further.

When my own sin was found out, it was almost exactly 24 hours after I prayed that God would help me get out of it. I didn’t want to be where I had knowingly travelled. God answered my prayer by exposing me. It was so cruel, but exactly what I needed. He didn’t change who I was and let me put my secret behind me. He wanted me to be exactly who I was so that He could set the real, flawed, me free.

Nobody knew why I was found out, but I do. People thought I just got caught and expected me to be defiant. I was nowhere near defiant. I asked God for this and I was completely open. Instead of seeing me as someone who hated what I did, I was seen as someone they never knew.

Sometimes God lets people keep their reputation and He deals with them privately. But, sometimes God pulls back the curtain and lets them get caught. Exposure is a good thing. When God chooses to bring it out, it’s for a good reason. It’s more of an opportunity to be thankful than it is to be scared. Understanding this can make you embrace the person and encourage them in the ‘flourishing of truth.’

1 Corinthians 13 has a layout of what Love (the only way to respond to anything) looks like. In this verse:

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. -verse 6 NIV

It’s a statement, not a command. Apply that verse to someone who refuses to give up on another who sinned. People are afraid of looking like they’re supporting the sin, but they’re not. They’re supporting the fact that truth is winning. The truth is much larger than its individual parts, but one of its parts is: we all have junk and we all want it to stay hidden. The junk is there, it’s just under layers of lies. When the junk is out, so is the truth and that’s a good thing. ‘Rejoice’ in that. There is hope to be found, you just have to get out of your own way so that you can see it and give it.

This isn’t a message to start telling all of your secrets or exposing the secrets of others. God works as much in the quiet as He does in the chaos. This is simply a message written in hope that you would consider the upside to finding out another’s sin. If you feel compelled to speak out, or to take a stand, speak out in hope, forgiveness, and love. Take a stand for what Jesus died to accomplish. Grace.

Remember, you have no idea what God is whispering to them when you’re too busy being outraged to hear Him.



17 Comments on “when you’re busy being angry”

  1. 1 Lost Soul said at 1:22 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    "They’d have to be pretty bad for them to match my own sins…"

    And if I 'surpass' your sins?

    What then…?

  2. 2 Serena Woods said at 1:44 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    That's not the point. In the world of grace, there's no such thing. However, in the minds of people, there is, which is why I added the flippant comment.

    The truth remains the same. People don't mold it, it molds them.

    You can't escape it. You're without excuse. Grace is yours.

  3. 3 you know who said at 1:49 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    Thank you… I wish everyone I knew was reading your blog… maybe then… we could ALL move forward.

    In dealing with other people's anger, we are trying to be gracious. We feel that everyone needs a chance to work through their emotions. Anger, Denial, Grief, Acceptance … if they don't work through them, if they aren't permitted to work through them, those emotions only get buried, and show up later.

    Then you have to deal with whatever emotion it is, on it's terms and not on yours.

    Which I think is harder to do.

    In a situation where EVERYTHING is chaos, sometimes the only thing you can deal with, the only thing you CAN control, is how you respond to how you feel.

    Do you let your emotions run rampant over you and everyone else, or do you seek God to help you deal with those things that threaten to overwhelm you and take you under?

    I have so much inside me that I feel. There are days when I am blissfully numb. I am thankful for those days. I want to scream sometimes "Can't we just get over this and move on?" I know full well, it don't work that way. I know that for some, this will never be over. They will never be able to let it go.

    How do I make my own pain stop? How long before some sense of normalcy returns? In many respects I feel like the pain will never fully stop, and 'normal' as we knew it…is gone forever…

    I'm rambling, I know…

  4. 4 Serena Woods said at 1:57 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    It's okay to ramble. πŸ™‚

    I want to be really gentle when I say this: Have you considered that trying to get it buried quicker could be detrimental to you? You need to allow yourself to go through your own process, too. It's hard to do when you want to take care of the people you love. It's hard to feel like you have permission to break down when you feel such a strong urge to fight the negativity. Like a protector… Don't be in a rush to declare 'the end.' It will always make it harder and prolong the pain.

    Pain is healing. You receive yourself in it, not in spite of it. If you let pain do its' work, you'll find that you survived and you'll be stronger for it.

  5. 5 you know who said at 2:48 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    I agree completely that the pain is part of the process. To rush it, would be to stop the healing… as with any wound , even when the pain is gone there is this irritation, this itch, that you just can't make stop. It is proof that we are still healing… I do find myself wanting to protect everyone, and in doing so, I am denying my own pain…I use that Christian "f" word a lot!

    "I'm Fine; everything is 'FINE'… (I'm not drowning in a sea of despair that has me crawling under the covers most days, I'm not so angry I could scream forever and it wouldn't be long enough…I'm not hurting, or …) I'm FINE."

    There are days when I just want to set it down and be done with it.

    I know I will one day look back and be a survivor. I know I will be stronger. In the meantime… I guess, I'm just tired… and today seems to be a more tiring day than most.

  6. 6 Serena Woods said at 3:38 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    you know who, you need a hug. πŸ™‚

    and 'permission to scream'

  7. 7 you know who said at 3:53 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    Thank you. Just having someone to bounce the insanity off of helps. I appreciate the ear.

    And the permission… LOL

  8. 8 in secret said at 5:07 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    I am so glad you mentioned that God works as well in the quiet as he does in the chaos.

    God has been dealing with me in my own life about sin that would have me completely disowned by my Christian family if they knew.

    I believe that God wants me to go through the process of owning my sin, dealing with my brokenness and receiving grace from him in private. I believe it's because He wants me where I am, reputation in tact. I know the truth, it has affected my message and changed me into something I never would have been without this process. My ministry is growing as a result of my private threshing process with God.

    When I am ministering, I am in the presence of God and He continually breaks me with His love. As I serve, I let what God is doing with me poor through me and that overflow is grabbing people like no message I've given before.

    I am so humbled and overwhelmed with grace. He's protecting me. I don't completely understand why, but He's guarding me while he deals with me.

    Your blog is an oasis for those of us who don't have anyone, who really gets it, to talk to.

  9. 9 Serena Woods said at 5:31 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    in secret: Yes, more conversations about the spiritual side of failure are so needed. I'm glad you found comfort here. πŸ™‚

  10. 10 Rebekah said at 6:35 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    You wrote so eloquently what I have thought so many times over the past four years! I wish every Christian could read this. But, even if they did, many wouldn't "get" it. It took me creating my own disaster and finding healing to understand this. I love, love, love what you said: "I like knowing a person’s junk because it makes me feel like I can trust them more. It makes me feel like I can be honest and open with them." Me too! I'm one of those you mention who was allowed to keep my reputation. But God has led me to share my "junk" with quite a few people. It's amazing the way He opens doors, and lets the truth come out to set us and others free. Thank you for this post! I'd like to post a link to it on my blog tomorrow!!

  11. 11 Serena Woods said at 6:57 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    Rebekah, I love being 'got'. πŸ™‚

    What you said has me thinking about my own situation. I think I had to be exposed because my self and spiritual worth relied too heavily on the people I lost.

    I'm in a much better place now that I was before and my relationship with Jesus is something that NOone can take away from me. I couldn't be sure of that before. That's part of why it was so hard for me in the aftermath of my sin, I thought I lost Jesus. It took a total intervention on His part to show me that I hadn't.

    That's why I write. I basically just write to myself at different points of my journey.

    Thanks for adding to the conversation. Sometimes I think we should all just be sitting around a living room with our shoes off and talking. Now is one of those times. πŸ™‚

  12. 12 Lost Soul said at 8:12 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    Not the point? I suppose not.

    But if your sin was tough to contend with, and you endured such cruelty, how tough do you think it would be for a Lost Soul?

  13. 13 Serena Woods said at 8:34 pm on December 1st, 2010:

    we could compare notes if you wanted. A lifetime of fear realized.

    Or, we could focus on the point. that being grace. the more complicated, messy, the better the story.

    when it's all said and done, we're sitting at the same table, drinking the same wine- who has the craziest story? What life magnifies the Savior more? I suppose it depends on who you've made your 'savior' to be…the upholder of the law or the ransom for the law breakers….

    The greatest become the least. The least become the greatest.

  14. 14 Lost Soul said at 5:29 am on December 2nd, 2010:

    I guess I'm just a bit uneasy about sharing my story…

    …like you had said, I already know how bad it is.

    But, at least I am Lost!

  15. 15 Janette@Janette&#039 said at 7:15 am on December 2nd, 2010:

    Thank you …this was a word for me this morning…a strong word.

  16. 16 Shannon said at 1:33 pm on December 2nd, 2010:

    I read this blog yesterday and reposted it on fb πŸ™‚ cuz like others on here i just wish for people to be able to read and be blessed, cuz i am – funny thing was i then got friended by an old friend only to go through the info and see he was in a relationship w/ someone other than his wife and i experienced that "Shock" you had just talked about and heartache for his wife/children the situation… but then your blog came to me and my thought was… "Wow even though I'm shocked, God isn't and even more so… he is in control." Sin hurts and God saves…. he is good! Thanks for being a light on a hill!

  17. 17 Eileen said at 1:31 am on December 3rd, 2010:

    Came across your blog via POTSC. Your video was such a powerful testimony of hope!

    Thank you so much for sharing. One thing that resonated with me was something that God taught me too about my own failure. Sometimes we have no one to blame but ourselves and yet HE is willing to take the blame too. Reminded me of the Third Day song Can't Take the Pain. That song spoke to me when I was in my own pit of failure.

    Loved this post as well and this line…"I like knowing a person’s junk because it makes me feel like I can trust them more. It makes me feel like I can be honest and open with them."

    This is so true. I love authentic community!

    Thank you for the words you write. I look forward to checking out your book

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