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The other night I was lying in bed and the skin behind my knee was itching mercilessly. There wasn't a bite or a rash or anything, I think the air had just dried my skin to the point of feeling relentlessly itchy. I scratched, calmed, scratched again. The burning would go away for a bit and then slowly but surely spread out into place waiting for my drowsy logic to return again and again with fingernails.
I was half asleep and finally woke up enough to think...."why do I keep scratching...it isn't helping."
I rubbed a little lotion on it and finally went to sleep.
It reminded me of other irritations, the kind that you can't scratch on the outside. Irritations that plague a heart. Irritations that rise up when you're drowsy, when you are distracted, when you haven't been plugged into the Word quite as often as you need.
People and their opinions, their ways, their selfishness, their oblivious interactions with us, can be like an itch inside your heart. It can burn, almost tangibly and the fuel of your own logic will carry that flame into your head too.
Don't think about who was wrong.
Don't TALK about who was wrong. Don't. It will only make the itch worse.
Just like the dry skin you can't satisfy with abrasiveness, your own heart will not be pacified by contemplation...no matter how right you are.
It will feel good while you are scratching, it will feel right while you are talking, but it will only come back again and again.
Forgive. Like lotion on dry skin. Rub it into your own heart with the Word. You will be soothed by truth. You will be at peace when YOU can love. Remember every painful word or deed that's been directed toward you, came from a human heart that is missing something Christ like...maybe even something you are missing too.
Even this, no matter how personal...isn't really about you.
"A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger." Proverbs 15:1 Amplified
"Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you]." Luke 6:28 Amplified
"In return for my love they are my adversaries, but I resort to prayer." Psalm 109:4 Amplified
"But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," Matthew 5:44 Amplified
I have listened to smoking mouths speak of the offenses of others, and I brought water but they wouldn't drink. How tired, how coarse, how ugly they had allowed themselves to become. Insisting it was personal, insisting the offending party was intentional, insisting they had a right to be miserable and make others miserable.
And they spread the rash like a contagious disease.
"And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna)" James 3:6 Amplified
Somewhere, somehow, I'm praying that someone will quit scratching.
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