Saturday, November 12, 2016

Things I Hate

Today has been one of those days where I have been more drawn to complain, than to praise. And if I'm honest, the past week or so has had the same shade of pessimism in my life.

My staff team here at Rutgers with Athletes in Action, regularly goes through challenging material together. This semester we are reading Broken-Down House: Living Productively in a World Gone Bad by Paul David Tripp. My most recently completed chapter was about anger. Tripp compared two types of anger--the kind that probably comes to your mind when you hear the word {frustrated while in traffic, short tempered with your family, irritable at work, etc.} and the kind that is aligned with God's anger {angry about injustices, sin, our fallen world, etc.}. And this got me thinking....

Via my online life, some people know me better than they would otherwise. And some people only know me through my online life. And I'm feeling like I want y'all to get to know me a little better. Yes, I get angry {the non-God angry}. And yes, I get good and angry, as Tripp calls it. What makes me good and angry? What are things I, dare I say, HATE?

  • I hate broken relationships. I've experienced several throughout my life and the effects of those around me who have had broken relationships. And I'm often left feeling hurt, inadequate, misunderstood. And I think it is good for me to hate that, because God didn't design relationships to be broken.
  • I hate death. About a month ago, I visited my grandfather in his final days. It was an absolute joy to have him meet his newest great-granddaughter. But it was absolutely heart wrenching to see him suffering. And now that he's gone, I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around just how different life will be without him.
  • I hate consequences. We {all people} make choices in life that come with consequences--big and/or small. The consequences sometimes don't go away. I hate the reality of a reminder of a bad choice.
Some more specific examples....
  • I hate seeing my daughters hurt.
  • I hate seeing my husband experience disappointment.
  • I hate pain. Like physical pain. I am a wuss.
  • I hate seeing others be mistreated.
  • I often hate hearing stories from girls on campus. During the last few years serving with Athletes in Action, I have had student-athletes share with me that they have been sexually assaulted, that they've sought counseling to get a handle on crippling anxiety, that they've had abortions, that they've experienced racial discrimination from peers/teammates, that their teammate was drugged and date raped, that their parents have been undergoing tests for a life threatening illness, that their parents are getting a divorce.... the list could go on and on.
People have stories. And I hate when we {Christians} ignore the people, forget the stories, and point fingers of shame and condemnation at the wrong just for the sake that it's wrong.
I long for a world of goodness, love, mercy and grace, humility, kindness, and sincerity. And if there's anything I've learned from experiencing the above list, it is that the kind of world I long for is a far way off...and only possible by the grace of God.

Fellow Christian, I implore you... let's aim together to love well, extend grace, and proceed with humility. Let's strive to make our world, although inevitably fallen and broken, a little less worthy of our anger.

"For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." 
- 2 Corinthians 2:15