I read this provoking article by Jon Acuff, a frankly brilliant writer whom you should all make certain to connect with.
In it, he discusses how those with attachment disorders hoard rubbish.
‘Often, the people lose their kids in order to maintain their hoarding lifestyle. The trash is more important. The numbness that hoarding offers is too enticing and you watch in shock as everything in life is given up so that a homeowner can crawl back inside a warm rubbish cocoon.’
Sin is often costly and like the hoarding disorder, often irrational. Hoarding pain, guilt, anxiety for many is a dangerous obsession. It packs the heart full of bitterness. As cliché as it sounds, ‘hurt people, hurt people’. To hoard guilt is to inflict that pain on others.
I am challenged by Jon’s prophetic words which indeed speak into my heart. Perhaps I should stop denying that I do it. That is, hoarding self-hate as if I’m making an investment into the ‘piety’ account. All I am really doing is dishing out pain to those who are close and warning off those who might want to come near.
Perhaps Jon’s words challenge what I believe about repentance and forgiveness. I totally believe the Lord transforms one’s social experience when one repents. Perhaps I have forgotten that the Lord also gave us things like thoughts, feelings, emotions which are also redeemed when he forgives us.
Have I been limiting the ways in which God’s forgiveness works? Trying to force some sort of humility, which is really false humility.
When I read Jon’s post, my immediate reaction was to contend with the idea.
“No, surly we must remember how wretched we are, and carry this burden to demonstrate how sorry we are for our sin”
But then, how is that forgiveness? Am I forgiven if I deny it in my heart? Am I not in fact rejecting forgiveness at the very core of my being?
But of course, self hate, anger, guilt. These are easy to conjure up. I’m not suggesting that forgiveness is about forgetting what we have done wrong. But perhaps it magnifies the wonderful gift when it begins to transform the innermost parts of our souls.
I am thankful to men like Mr. Acuff, who would have the courage to explore the parts of forgiveness I am too stubborn to address, too proud to admit to.
What is certain for me is that God seems to have thought this time to be the right time to challenge me on these issues. Stay tuned as I begin to work through that.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases