asklepiades (asklepiades) wrote,

OK. How to start this? Pride. Trapped. Rationalization. Love. Continuity.

One of the most convuluted aspects of human decision making is our tendency to trap ourselves--or at least feel that we have. This is a direct carry over from our busy lives and our without-consequences lifestyles. We feel that there is a right and a wrong for every decision, but we also don't carry the weight of those decisions with us. This is also in direct conflict with how God wants us to live, trusting Him with decisions that may not turn out well, but also understanding the consequences. But more on that later.
For now, this: it is very easy to follow feelings over well-balanced logic and drive oneself into a corner. You know feel something is wrong. You feel trapped, and so you respond. But the only way you can legitimately begin to justify this is to deal. Deal with everything--avoidance is not legitimate. Still, avoidance is natural, and we drive ourselves further into a corner, waiting for everything to resolve itself and go away while we ignore the initial decision and act as if it was never made. Mistake. The only way to live fully is to accept all realities. The reality of what you feel was wrong, the reality of your feelings, the reality of the consequences.
Of course, what we feel is wrong is different from what we know is wrong. What are relationships? What is love? They are not synonyms, even though this culture has muxed the two into some irrecognizable mesh. God set the only example of love. And His love is in all things. Relationships, and by extention, marriage, are an offshoot of this love. Love could be thus: one person wanting solely for another's well being (and as ever, well being means well being, not happiness, or successfullness, or freedom from sorrow and hardship). That's love. Relationships entail more--two things more. Relationships are two people wanting solely for one another's well being (love), while at the same time recognizing that feeling is mutual (trust, or something of the sort), and deciding to hold to that decision (commitment).
"True love" is this idea that culture has created and, while I was inclined to hold to it, I now believe it is destroying love. See, love is not confined to one once-in-a-lifetime relationship, no, God clearly calls us to resonate love in everything we do. There is a feeling of well being attached to all interactions that resound within this command. What sets apart our 'once-in-a-lifetime relationship' is not love, but is comittment. It is comittment that grows from friendship, just as trust grows from mutual understanding, and it is upon these things we find satisfaction in relationship.
To this end, reconciliation is possible. Life is not defined by negative feelings and experiences. On the contrary, identity starts to be defined by them. Ultimately, moving in and through all things, is good. God's love, God's plan. What happens, good or bad, self-induced or brought about by circumstance, is what shapes us. Deepens us, and can draw us deeper into an understanding of God's love. Still, there are many things that stop people from embracing 'contentment in all circumstances'. Pride is primary in this. Entitlement. WE feel we are entitled to all sorts of emotions. When someone wrongs us, hurt, betrayl. When someone accuses us, indignation. When someone abandons us, sorrow, shame. But we are not entitled to any of these things. In Christ, God has taken these from us. Dwelling in them is wrong. Pride is a sin. These are natural reactions to hardship for the world, but under His love, we are entitled to react to hardship with joy and with contentment--not some shallow hope that things will get better, or that God will work things out for good, but that things are better, and that God is good. This also means we have no right to be trapped, to withdraw. We are not entitled to hold on to our own 'righteousness', no matter how easy it might be.

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