Everyone shares something in common. We have been burned by others and we've burned others. It's the later part of that sentence that makes us healthy or not. Owning our own stuff makes us much healthier with respect to the bad stuff that's been done to us.
I've noticed something about people with self pity. I've seen this in myself in certain seasons and I don't want to ever go back – none of us has to. The common trait of self pity is that we can easily see the wrong that's been done to us but are reticent to acknowledge that we have, in fact, done harm to others somewhere along the line. Whether willful or subconscious recklessness, we have done injury to others, many who we love.
There is a classic verse that wise people will never forget, "we have all sinned..." Romans 3:23. Somewhere, some time and probably more recent than we'd like to admit, we have hurt someone deeply.
I've also noticed something about people who have been burned deeply yet stand in incredible strength. Strong people can hold two things at the same time. 1. Painful things have happened to us. 2. Painful things have happened through us to others. It's not about trying to measure who inflicted the most pain. It's about the reality that people hurt each other.
When we can hold both in hand we can then deal even more confidently and courageously with pain. We can own our own stuff and also draw definitive lines for others who have injured us and intend to do it again if we let them. The truth is the strength! Be strong on this issue today and you'll treat people more lovingly and you'll even have stronger boundaries for those who are still weak – be strong nonetheless.
This is just a small slice of a message I'll be sharing this Sunday at 180 Chicago. You can find out about us at 180chicago.church or just click here for directions and information on free parking. I hope to see you Sunday!