I noticed something in myself recently. A heaviness. A hardening. Maybe you have felt this too.
This need to protect yourself from the criticism, the opinions, the angst that has been walking beside us for this season.
I felt like there were all these rocks flying at me.
In large conversations,
in subtle statements,
in words not said,
All these hard rocks just coming at me.
And I did not react in love like I should. Instead, I started collecting rocks with the thought process to throw rocks back.
This is challenging to admit, but it is truth. When I felt criticism or harshness I started to find faults in their choices, in their paths, in their lives. I started to compare and find ways to acknowledge the “at least I am not doing that” thought process. Ugly right? So ugly.
My faulty thinking and really, it was not intentional, but rather something I noticed after and realized I had been doing, was finding things to armour myself from anticipated criticism when I was feeling like everything was just getting too heavy.
I was collecting retaliation rocks.
But the thing about collecting rocks is, it just makes you even heavier. So much heavier. Think of your pockets and if they had actual rocks in them for each negative thought you had about someone else. Heavy upon heavy. It weighs you down.
Think about where we find rocks. They are always on the bottom. They layer the bottom of our lakes and oceans. If you carry too many rocks, you drown. The heaviness over takes you and you physically cannot overcome it. This is not how we were designed to walk.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.Ephesians 2: 4-5
We were designed to be merciful and full of grace. We were designed to be forgiving, because of how much we have been forgiven.
I have not been my kindest, most gracious self this season. I went into this weird survival and self-preservation mode. But at its root, we began to self-destroy because we allowed our hearts to get so hard. Did you do this too?
So then we enter the world with hard hearts and interact with other people who maybe aren’t at their best and also have a hardened heart… grace really struggles to show up there.
We know we are not our best selves and yet we expect everyone else to be their best. Solid reflection on that.
The only way we can stop this cycle of hardening and rock collecting is to stop picking up the rocks.
Stop taking the offenses. Stop taking notes. Stop planning your retaliation. And act in love.
Drop the rocks. Give grace. Love one another. Even in the hard spots. Especially in the hard spots.
After I dropped my own rocks, I noticed a lightness in myself. I noticed this freeness.
Some comments are just comments.
Some opinions are valid and worth reflection.
Some critiques will help me grow.
And some things, I just do not have to give any value to.
Drop the rocks.
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.Matthew 24:12
Don’t let your love grow cold. Drop your rocks. Let them freeze. And open your heart to love one another.
It is hard to throw stones,
if your busy washing feet.Luke Lezon