In Chapter 5 (“The Throne Room of Your Mind”) of Healing Your Church Hurt, author Stephen Mansfield opens by relating a recurring fantasy he has where he is seated on a throne in a large, ornate room. Exuding benevolence and compassion, he is approached by all the people in the world who have ever offended him. These people, stricken with the terrifying sense that they have wronged the author and that he was right all along, have come to make amends.
Perhaps we also have been nursing such a hope, where one day the record would be set straight. If so, Stephen asserts, we need to hear these words as if our lives depended on it: “It ain’t ever gonna happen!” Not in this life or in any other life. The author states that the problem with carrying this inner hope is what its lack of fulfillment does to us. It creates a sense of entitlement. Our desire for justification is a sign that a debt needs to be paid- “apologies and acknowledgements to our wounded ego.” Our offenders are obligated to atone for their sins.
It is essential that we realize that offenses are part of this sinful world. As Stephen concludes:
“Much that distinguishes maturity from immaturity- and happiness from misery- is how you respond to the offenses that life insists on dealing out to us all.”
Today’s question: How well can you relate to Stephen’s fantasy? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Scandalon- taking the bait”