My freedom from hostility has a simple formula that I have learned to work.
Step 1 - ANGER = HURT - Since hurt causes anger, the answer to not being hostile is not hurting.
Step 2 - HURT = SELFISHNESS - Hurt is caused when I focus on my own needs rather than the needs of the other person.
Step 3 - SELFISHNESS <> SERVING - It is unselfish to be a servant. So if I serve the person rather than focus on them, I am free from allowing them to hurt me, and therefore free from responding in anger.
Mark 10:45 has become a life verse for me, "For the son of man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." I have great victory over my anger by taking the role of the servant, so as to not allow myself to experience hurt. If I don't behave selfishly I don't get hurt: if I don't hurt I don't get angry. By becoming like Christ I am free and victorious to not be destructive and hostile.
The formula has a problem. Alienation, is the only logical end of the formula. Hurt is a natural part of relationship because vulnerability is present where relationship is present. For 12 years I have been in a completely emotionally safe place where I was unable to be hurt, since I had no vulnerability to anyone. No matter who the person, when they behaved in a way that was hurtful against me I assumed it was the natural course of their fallen state, and I became the servant. Only thing is, this allows for no trust. It creates a basic assumption that everyone WILL behave according to their carnal nature, and so to be responsible I must keep a distance.
This creates an amazing ability to invest myself into people's pain, yet keeps me at an emotional distance from the people. I think many people would speak of me as empathetic, and I have many wonderful conversations with people about their needs and their healing. In some ways my wife and a few old friends would be the exception to this, yet in other ways they too are kept behind a levy for my own protection. I faithfully fulfill my role as servant and healer, and no one presses in any further. This works and everything is right in the world and we all get to live happily ever after.
But God isn't done!!!
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