Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Digging out the pain

I was flossing my teeth recently when I hit upon a particularly sensitive area.

So I went at it with extra intensity. Did I want to? Of course not! I hate pain. But I knew that by ignoring the pain it would only become worse.

That area is doing just fine now.

Us men are particularly averse to digging out those painful emotions. We tend to suppress them or "medicate" them with drinking, sex, work, etc. But like sore gums, untreated emotions can lead to even greater pain. I think we often don't even realize we're avoiding the core problem. Sometimes I'll find myself going for the junk food or keeping busy, and only later upon looking back do I realize why I did so. Avoidance.

I need to realize that God isn't looking at my accomplishments. He's more concerned about my heart. My motives. Do I take time to think why I'm doing something? Is it really to do that very thing, or to avoid facing something else? And why do I keep waiting for that sore area to fester rather than hitting it head on? Do I really think it will end up any different if I ignore it?

When my wife and I have disagreements, we know that we can't just let them be. Either we talk it through, or we forgive and let it go. But it's not hanging out there, boiling up inside of us. I know that I have wanted to just walk away from it, but I've learned the hard way that it ends up so much worse if I do.

May the Lord grant me courage to face the painful areas in my life, and the wisdom to root them out properly.


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