It’s about responsibility. Specifically – who is responsible for who and what? If this piece is not right little else will matter. Since Adam & Eve people have been getting this one wrong. Adam blamed God and Eve for his choices. Eve blamed the devil. I blame the guy who cut me off in traffic for my anger. You blame your unhappiness on your boss, your job, your spouse, your kids, your dad, your mom…
I’m not ok and it’s not my fault. This is the filter through which most people judge things. What if it’s a totally wrong assumption?
This one wrong assumption about reality has an unbelievable ripple effect. If I’m not responsible for how I’m doing and others are responsible, then it follows that others must have control over my inner reality.
“He makes me so mad!” is a common expression of this assumption. If others have control over my inner world then this implies one person can control another. If others are controlling me then it follows that to some extent I can control them. This is why blame always leads to control. We seek to control those who we hold responsible for our pain in an effort to reduce pain and avoid responsibility.
That’s the big one. Who exactly is responsible for my internal world? If I’m unhappy then who is to blame? Others who make decisions that “make me” feel this or that are to blame. To correct this I seek to control their decisions. Or, I hold myself responsible for their decisions. Specifically I hold myself responsible to make sure justice is done and things are made right concerning their decisions. I do this with my anger, resentment, passive-aggression, or any of a number of other methods we all know.
They are responsible for my pain.
I am responsible for their decisions.
This is the problem.
When I forgive I choose to release my sense of responsibility for justice concerning their decisions. Their decisions are their own – between them and God. At the same time I choose to release them from responsibility for my pain. My pain is my own. They are not my source of peace, joy, contentment, satisfaction, love, value or anything else. If they are not my source, then they are not in control of my inner world. If they are not my source then they cannot cut off my supply. No matter what they do.
If I’m not ok, I have no one to blame. But God is my source, so I’m not left alone. I have a place I can bring my pain, receive healing, and a fresh supply of all those things that can only come from Him. But it has to be my pain I bring Him. I can’t bring him the pain I hold everyone else responsible for. I can’t have Him for a source if my blame of others proves that in fact they’re my source instead of Him.
Blame and control are killers. Taking responsibility for my own inner reality makes blame and control nonsensical. When I take responsibility for my inner world I take my place as the rightful delegated steward of that which God has given me. When I’m rightly aligned with God’s delegated stewardship I can receive from Him all that is needed to maintain peace and joy regardless of circumstances or the choices of others.
Apart from forgiveness I abdicate my responsibility and perpetuate the cycle of blame and control ongoing since Adam and Eve. I’m tired of living that way. You?