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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Okay, now you are being obnoxious!

Zig Zigler is credited with the thought of "every obnoxious act being a cry to help." He is definitely onto something there, for some of us who "act out" or "pull in" when we are hurting somewhere on the inside and really don't know what to do with the pain we are feeling. We strike out with words, because words are easy and they seem to inflict just the right amount of venomous pain back at the one we believe has the "right" to feel a little of our pain. We forget the terrible lasting effect of these words, though. We pull in, hunkering down in our place of pouting just because we think if we pull away and nurse our wounds, maybe that will make us feel better. We forget that nursed wounds often don't get the real treatment they require and fester a little bit more than we might like. I'd have to ask us today what our actions might be telling us about where it is or what it is that we need help with today in our lives. Those "obnoxious" actions are probably a silent plea for help!

Despite all your many offenses, He forgives and releases you. More than any doctor, He heals your diseases. He reaches deep into the pit to deliver you from death. He crowns you with unfailing love and compassion like a king. When your soul is famished and withering, He fills you with good and beautiful things, satisfying you as long as you live. He makes you strong like an eagle, restoring your youth.  (Psalm 103:3-5 VOICE)

Look up the meaning of obnoxious in Webster's and you will see it means something that is highly offensive. These actions on our part, though they may seem small to us at the moment, mount up in the eyes of God. They are "many" or "large" - despite their "small size" in our own eyes - mostly because they have a "multiplied effect" when spoken. In using words to hurt another, we are either using this "highly offensive" way to bring pain to another because we either want to justify our own pain, or we want transfer it to another.  I often found myself using words in a sarcastic manner - words that really seemed "funny" as they were spoken, but which carried just enough "venom" in them to point out someone's failures, shortcomings, or weak spots. Even when words aren't spoken in a bantering of angry rage, they can carry enough "venom" in them to leave quite a lasting sting! Words are indeed one of the obnoxious actions we might just want to begin to see as "secret weapons" we don't really want to have in our "arsenal"!

There are also those times when we just find it easier to retreat into some hiding hole - having our own little pity party and reminding ourselves just how awful things are for us and that no one really understands what we are going through. You are right - they don't have your same vantage point, but maybe it is that very vantage point that is making you feel the way you are feeling. Rather than retreating, you might just need to pull yourself up by the boot-straps, dust yourself off, go out there and deal with whatever it is you aren't willing to face! You don't have to do it alone because when you refuse to retreat you open the door to allowing Jesus to give you another vantage point from which to view your present circumstances and issues. You are opening yourself up to see it through the eyes of another - someone other than yourself - someone who hasn't been nursing that hurt or anxiety way too long!

Despite our best attempts at hiding behind some "obnoxious actions", God often "calls us out"! He isn't going to let us go on forever, continuing in that place of painful misery - either because we have been the one being obnoxious, or because we have been the subject of someone else's obnoxious actions. In fact, he delivers from the pit - that is his plan - not for us to dig it deeper! He can get us out of even the deepest pits that we have dug, but in order to do so, we might just have to admit that we have been engaging in some pretty obnoxious actions that haven't yielded us that many "good results" in return. Instead of us seeing every obnoxious act of another as an offense to us, maybe it is our chance to see that as their cry for help. Just sayin!