Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wear Your Weakness Like a Badge.

I am OH! so tired of everyone glorifying their bad behavior as though it were some sort of an attribute.  They make little banners for Facebook with cute pictures to evoke the proper emotion.  Let's post a little picture of rain in the blackness captioned, "No one can see my tears in the rain."   "There's no way out of my labyrinth of pain."  "I'm dead inside."  Puh-LEEZ!

There are entire genres of books to discuss and glorify our "pain," entire lines of prescription drugs, and even hand outs to make your friends, co-workers and family "aware."  AWARENESS!  Gag me with a spoon!  It's rather like a prenuptial agreement in principle.  You know you're going to fail, so much so that you're planning it ahead and making preparations now to cover yourself later.  That way you don't have to A.) be responsible for making a good decision you can stick with, or B.) try too hard to make it work out in case it gets uncomfortable or hard, and you can still be hurt and play victim later.

"You must understand, I'm an introvert."
Or, "I can't just get over it. I'm depressed."
Or, "I'm sensitive, be careful around me."
"I'm under a lot of stress.  You'll have to bear with me."

Every day?  Every single, solitary day?  Really?

I'm not saying we shouldn't be kind or sensitive or whatever, but how about this, "Hey, you're a human.  Adapt and overcome."
Even more so if you're Christian.  Being Christian gives you not only the tools to get the victory, but the commandment to do so!  So take out your finger, and point it at your soul, and say, "Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why are you disquieted within me?  hope you in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." ~Psalm 42:4.  According to Isaiah 61, Jesus was sent "to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified."

It is self indulgent, lazy and, may I say, unscriptural to wallow in your chosen malady.  I know that saying that is not going to make me very popular because fawning attention is so wonderful and all, no matter the cost, I suppose, but find me a scripture that says to cope or to form a support group to "manage" it, and I'll back off.

I knew a guy who every time he had a reaction to anything, good or bad, it came off as angry.  He was strong and determined, but harsh and loud, and his children and his wife bore the burden of his weakness.

I knew a girl who cried at the drop of a hat and everyone tippy-toed around her, careful not to set her off.  She was sweet and delicate and gentle but volatile, and her husband and her children bore the burden of her weakness.

I knew a woman who was painfully depressed, whose answer to everything was to dull the pain.  Whether by drugs or alcohol, spending or eating frenzies, or some other method of pacification, she was totally consumed with her own state of mind, and her children and her husband bore the burden of her weakness.

If someone's weak point was sex or violence, perhaps we wouldn't be quite so fast to excuse it and let it go with a wink and a little understanding, because it has more immediate consequences and we find it more distasteful.

"You can't say that!  Bipolar (or depression, stress, PMS, whatever) is real!  It's an illness, diagnosed by my doctor!" Even if I believed all that (which I rarely do) so is cancer, but it doesn't give you license to behave badly and then expect accommodation from everyone around you for the ensuing chaos, whether it is immediate or shows up down the line in others that were effected by you and your lack of self discipline.

I know a girl who had cancer.  It struck her very suddenly in her mid teens, at the start of her beautiful life,  She was forced by strangers in the medical field to receive the standard treatment, treatment she would have rejected for alternative methods had she been only a few years older; treatment which caused her great pain and discomfort, and, no doubt, MUCH apprehension.  She, a happy girl from a large and loving family with dreams and ambitions that any other young woman has, was told she may never be able to have children because of the treatment.  She was in REAL pain, she was terribly sick, she lost all her lovely hair, which to a teenage girl must be quite a sacrifice, and she faced down all the ugly possibilities that cancer presents, which is more than most of us will ever have to do, and she was BRAVE and STRONG, and KIND, and FAITHFUL!  She was human, but she was not selfish.  Not selfish.  Not selfish.  She was what I want to be.

So I ask, why are we so willing to excuse and even pamper these others? It's the little foxes, the sneaking little daily issues that go nearly undetected, the little foxes that spoil the vines, said Solomon.  Either we don't see the consequences quickly enough for them to register as a direct result of the behavior, or else it's because we have chosen a particular type of bad behavior over another because it offends or frightens us less.  Maybe we are worn down over time by it.  Whichever is the case, it's time to rethink it.  It's all part of the same untrained beast.  It hurts all the people around you, it isn't helping anything, and it's unbecoming of a human being to behave in such a way.  Reign 'er in!