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.