Have you ever been past anger? I mean—virulently and completely livid with someone for something they did? Now here’s the second part of this line of questioning: Have you ever found out later that you were wrong? That you had misdirected your anger? This happened to me just recently. And I really thought I was right. My brain had built this structure that I could walk in and look around—pointing out various aspects of the wrong this person had committed. But I had one conversation, one enlightening conversation, and realized that I was dead wrong. I felt like a self-righteous fool. To keep it one hundred, as they say: I broke down. All of that time, heartache and energy was misplaced. I’d cancelled the wrong person.
I realized, then, how important blame is for unforgiveness. Blame allows us a target for our energy. It gives us a sense of control—the fact that we know where to direct our emotion. As I worked through my feelings, I also realized that there was someone different to blame. The enemy of my soul and spirit. The enemy of God, Satan. He is the source of pain and devastation in our world. He is ultimately the one to blame. Last week, I wrote about how this enemy has a specific design and intention for the fruits of hurt and unforgiveness. He wants to use it to steal from our lives in a myriad of ways. He fully intends for the seed/inciting incident–that initial instance of hurt–to be implanted, take root and bear fruit continually, year after year. This plan is also a lot easier if we don’t acknowledge that an enemy exists.
Satan is not apathetic or passive. As I said before, he has a specific plan. Once the seed of unforgiveness is implanted, he waters and nurtures it with suspicion and worry. Every time someone or something (even an article or post on social media) feeds/validates what we already believe, it is watered. Finally it yields fruits of insecurity and emotional disruption that render us immobile. This insecurity leads to anxiety. Continued and unaddressed anxiety leads to physical dysfunction in our bodies. We become physically weak, drained and unable to be our fully realized, most effective selves. We are worn down and tired. We have to preserve ourselves and refrain from giving. It seems much easier to hide.
I have often felt stress and anxiety in my shoulders, back and neck. I’ve experienced debilitating migraines during times of intense stress. It’s no secret that what we experience emotionally is directly related to our physical bodies. Because unforgiveness generates and requires so much energy, it’s no wonder that our bodies begin to experience its effects. All of this—from the anxiety, frustration and heartache, to the bad decisions that we make as a result, to our inability to connect positively with others, to becoming offenders ourselves and causing others to enter the cycle—is the SPECIFIC PLAN and INTENTION of the enemy for unforgiveness. And we have to have a specific plan and intention, too.
Don’t be a fool. Know where you should be directing blame. The enemy of God and humanity—Satan— is the source. All terror and hurt can be traced back to him.
What if we were to direct our energy at resisting his intention?