Today's Unglued Blog
Exploders Who Shames Herself
Exploders Who Blame Others
Stuffers Who Build Barriers
Stuffers Who Collect Retaliation Rocks
These aren't labels I am to carry around with me. These are things I'm identifying about myself so I can bring my raw emotions & unglued reactions under the healing authority of Jesus.
Lysa informed me of this: When my emotions are level, I am like the little girl in that movie, The Help (one of my FAVs; watch it if you haven't & borrow it from me if you can't find it), to whom the beloved Aibileen leans down & whispers:
Jesus made me a kind-hearted person, full of encouragement & eager to inspire an person who gets within 10 feet of me. Jesus made me smart enough to know that I NEED Him -- desperately & fully. And Jesus has assigned all of us the important job of representing Him to this world, which means we re-present Him everywhere we go.
In processing unglued reactions, soul integrity is the heart of what we're after. Soul integrity is honesty that's godly. It brings the passion of the exploder & the peacemaker of the stuffer under the authority of Jesus where honesty & godliness embrace & balance each other.
When I explode, I embrace the honest part but refuse to be reined in by the godly part. I can feel justified about my feelings--not hiding a thing--& prideful for being so real, all under the guise of being honest enough not to stuff. But in reality, honesty that isn't true isn't honesty at all. It may just be emotional spewing. That's why I need godly honesty--honesty reined in by the Holy Spirit--if I'm going to have authentic soul integrity. It must really grieve God's heart to see His people reject the godliness that should always balance out our honesty.
It must also grieve God to see plastic versions of godliness that aren't reined in by honesty. That's what I do when I stuff & pretend everything is okay. The upside to stuffing is that it resembles peacemakers. But when I do this at the expense of honesty, I harbor a corrosive bitterness that will eventually emerge. It may seem godly in the moment, but it's false godliness. Truth & godliness always walk hand in hand; & when they are separated, I stray from soul integrity & give a foothold to the instability that inevitably leads to coming unglued.
So much of pursuing soul integrity means carefully watching our words. The Bible warns about how we use our words:
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:7-8)
In other words, I must bring all of my raw reactions under the authority of the truth of Jesus. Self-effort alone can't tame the tongue & my raw emotions that run wild. The exploder whose lack of restraint & brutal honesty result in a very mixed message:
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeliness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. (James 3:9-12)
Here's some wisdom about how I can recover from times when my exploding honesty hasn't been reined in by godliness:
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. (James 3:13)
That's it! The perfect solution to making my honesty also godly: My words must be spoken in the humility that comes from wisdom.
There is also wisdom in the Bible for the stuffer:
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. (James 3:14-16)
The harboring that James is referring to here is rooted in envy & selfish ambition. I stuff to protect myself by keeping conflict at bay. But if I'm stuffing & not being honest about my true feelings, that self-protection quickly turns into selfishness, & the unresolved conflict gives birth to bitterness.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17)
In other words, my peacemaking efforts must be honest! I'm SO after soul integrity (honesty that is godly) -- it will bring balance to my unglued reactions! Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:18)
Dealing with any of these four reactions, intertwined as they are with my personality & relationships, can be complicated. There aren't quick fixes or easy formulas that guarantee good outcomes when it comes to solving the puzzles of my unglued reactions. But identifying the kind of reaction I'm having & studying possible healthy solutions will empower me to handle my raw emotions with soul integrity.
Are you like me & see yourself in all four reactions, or do you relate to only one or two? Lysa warns for us to not rush into her suggestions thought the next chapters before we've allowed the Lord to show us everything He wants to show us in this moment.