Two of Our Troubles

Many of us live with one, or both, of these millstones around our neck. On the one hand, many of us live with the nagging, often complexly disguised, fear that we’ll be rejected, that we don’t belong, that we’ll do something or say something or be something that will deliver us to the relational guillotine. On the other hand, many of us live with a smoldering, often nobly disguised, anger – the need to have an unambiguous enemy in order to vent our rage and feel secure or meaningful or validated.

I see this in almost every social structure and most ideologies, only the window dressing is different. I see this in myself.

When these two people are in the same room or same conversation and if our compulsions are left unchecked, all kinds of destruction happens. No wonder we’re at war with one another.

I wonder if, when Jesus encouraged us to grow up, he had in mind, among other things, us laying down our fear of rejection and us laying down our demand for an enemy.

5 Replies to “Two of Our Troubles”

  1. Winn, Seems like our political arena needs to do some more growing up and finding Jesus. Seems they have not figured it out yet.
    Love the way you reason out situations.
    Prayers abounding,

  2. When one (all of us) is pushed beyond our limits we react. In our humanness we lash or we withdraw (Oh joy) The political climate pushed many of us over the edge. I for one, felt hate in my heart for the past President, who was so evil and despicable to me that my very own dark side emerged. I perceived him as the enemy and as such I went into survival mode. It was humbling to see myself so in need of grace. It confirmed my own need of grace and forgiveness.

  3. For months I’ve had the same verse clipped to a wooden plaque a friend gave me, with “Verse Of The Week” stenciled in it. It’s from 1 Corinthians:”Let all you do be done in love.” Can’t seem to get the hang of it! So now I’m on a quest to find other reminders to get a little better at the self-doubt and the resentment. Work in progress. But goodness, is it encouraging to read I’m not in the quiet battle alone.

  4. I am so glad I found you and your writings, Winn Collier! Wendell Berry and William Stegner are my favorites and you write with that wonderful same crispness! I cannot wait to read A BURNING IN MY BONES! I am presbyterian USA and love Eugene Peterson!

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