How DARE You!
That is often my response when something doesn’t go my way, or when someone says something in disagreement with my views. Certainly I never actually say that and I can’t say that I am actually thinking exactly that, but as I think about it I can tell you that my reaction to such things proves that deep down inside this is what I am feeling.
Because I said SO! This is often the response when my kids ask WHY when I tell them to do something. Now there is some truth in saying that because I am their father and I have told them, then that is all the reason they need. After all, for our children we are their greatest earthly authority. How they learn to respond to us can reflect how they respond to God in the future. For this reason it is important that they learn to obey. But, how we respond to them can also reflect how they think about God in the future. Our kids learn a lot about our Heavenly Father from their earthly Fathers. When we lash out in anger, they can come to believe that God is the same. But, for me the true heart of the issue is m own pride. When I lash out at my children what I am responding to is the thing INSIDE ME that says, HOW DARE YOU question me. Or HOW DARE YOU talk back to me.
You should just submit to me. I am ashamed to admit that I often respond to my wife in the same way. We have both grown and those moments are far fewer than they once were, but they still happen. In that moment I am certainly not thinking that she should just be submissive like the Bible instructs her and I would never say it to her. The truth is that very thought is not true to what the Bible says about this. What I am thinking is HOW DARE YOU talk to me that way. HOW DARE YOU question me. HOW DARE YOU not go along with what I want to do. These are not attractive thoughts and certainly not thoughts that I am proud of, but it is clear that in these moments these are the deep seated feelings that I am responding to.
Do you know who I am? One of my biggest struggles in life is with pride. My pride leads me to respond poorly in a variety of situations. While I am not actively thinking or saying this, my reactions tend to say, DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? or DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE DEALING WITH? I can not remember any instance when I was actually thinking these things, but my reactions show that this is what I am feeling, even if not actually thinking it.
So, who am I. While my pride gives me an over-inflated view of who I am, the truth is that I am nothing. I am a broken person. I am a sinner. I am unworthy of being followed, obey, or submitted to. I have not value in and of myself. For this reason HOW DARE I respond in this way. HOW DARE I think myself higher or greater than the person I am lashing out at. HOW DARE I act in anything but love and grace. After all, that’s how God responds to me.
So, who am I REALLY? The things I have said about myself in the last paragraph are completely true. BUT, they leave of some very important truths. I am created IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. For this reason I have value. I AM LOVED BY THE CREATOR of the universe. For this reason I have value. I AM FORGIVEN by the Son of God. For this reason I have value. I AM CLOTHED IN THE RIGHTEOUSNESS of Jesus Christ. For this reason I have value. BUT, what I can never begin to believe is that this value is of my own earning. I can never begin to believe that the value that I have received from God elevates me above any others.
How dare I! In the midst of my sin, God loved me. Even as I continue to stumble and sin, God loves me. When I respond badly to someone, God loves me. God ALWAYS responds to me with love and grace, far beyond what I could even begin to deserve. If God, who is perfect would respond to me that way, then HOW DARE I respond in any other way.
Think about it. As with much of what I write on here, this post is as much for me as for anything else. But, I encourage you to think about these things. Think about how you respond to your kids, your spouse, to other people. Think about how God has responded to you. Keep these things in mind and let them begin to change the way you talk to and treat people around you.Matt Norman
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