The Accidental Pharisee

Friday, May 16, 2008

Black and White

I'm angry.
A-N-G-R-Y.
And I feel like I have good reason to be angry.
It makes perfect, black and white sense to me.
What This Person did is wrong.
And I am right in saying that what This Person did is wrong.
(And, Wise Guy, if you're reading this post: "This Person" is not my husband Rob!)
Now this is when I should pull out that old math equation and start telling myself that there's an x factor that I don't know about.
I don't care about This Person's x factor.
I'm angry.
This is when I should say something like, "Fascinating, isn't it?"
No, it's not fascinating. It's irritating.
I have asked myself why I'm so angry. ANGRY.
It's because what This Person did was inconsiderate. It made me feel devalued.
(Ah, there's the point, isn't it, Wise Guy?)
But the bottom line is I want to stay in the very black and white moment and not see any gray at all. I don't want to know why This Person did what they did. I don't what reasons or excuses.
I want to be right.
And I want This Person to be wrong.
I am at my Pharisaical best.
Have I never done something wrong? Have I never done something that devalued someone else? Have I never hurt someone else? Have I never made someone else ANGRY?
When I am wrong, do I want to be told how wrong I am--or do I want to be forgiven?
I know one thing: I don't want to be a pharisee. But if I looked in the mirror right now I'd see a bunch of self-righteousness clinging to me like the robes the biblical pharisees wore. No one else can see them--but God can because he looks at the heart.

Just Thinking Out Loud: I like things black and white. Then I can say with authority what is RIGHT and what is WRONG. I especially like it when I am RIGHT. God, help me be more gray. Less about RIGHT and WRONG. More about FORGIVENESS and GRACE. Help me to remember I'm an Accidental Pharisee on her way to retirement . . . one step at a time.

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