“The exclusion of the weak and insignificant, the seemingly useless people, from a Christian community may actually mean the exclusion of Christ; in the poor brother Christ is knocking at the door.”- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
“Fools give vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the wind.”- Proverbs 29:11 (NIV)
Today, in Chapter 2 of I’d Like You More . . . , John Ortberg talks about intimacy myths seven and eight.
Myth #7: Intimacy isn’t for everyone. John notes we’ve all probably met people seemingly incompatible with human relationships. And rather than getting to know them better, we tend to rationalize why they’re difficult to get close to. As a result, we figure their “issue” lets us off the hook.
However, since every human being bears God’s image, God created everyone with the capacity for intimacy. John summarizes:
“It’s easy to spot qualities in others that might make our connecting with them difficult, but when it comes to evaluating our own readiness for intimacy, we can have some serious blind spots. . . . remember, if [Jesus’] disciples teach us nothing else, it’s that anyone is capable of developing a close bond with others.”
Myth #8: Intimacy give us permission to let our emotions run wild. Several decades ago, a popular anger-management therapy called ventilationism arose. In a nutshell, this approach advocated that: When you get angry, let it out. However, catharsis only creates more anger, rather than effectively managing it. In addition, Carol Travis explains the problem with this therapy in her book Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion:
“The contemporary ventilationist view, that it is always important to express anger so that is won’t clog your arteries or your friendships . . . tends to overlook . . . the consequences of anger. If your expressed rage causes another person to shoot you, it won’t matter that you die with very healthy arteries.”
Today’s question: How is Christ knocking at the door of your heart? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “One of the biggest misconceptions about intimacy”