Revealing Abstractions

I have come to realize several things about myself this week. . .things pertaining to a certain situation that I don't care to discuss. However, the realization of those things and my subsequent action has led to realization of certain other things I do care to discuss. So, with that bewildering introduction, I shall begin. . .

Sometimes I do what I think is the right thing, and I'm not happy. After the thing is over and done with, I discover that I am miserable, upset, moody, sulky, and generally disagreeable. After I settle down, I come up with an explanation for my poor reaction to the situation. I explain what the problem was THIS time to those involved and make minor adjustments for the next occurrence of the particular situation. However, when it comes, I find that those adjustments make no difference. My reaction is still decidedly not in keeping with Christian character. So I contemplate. Eventually, I decide that perhaps this is not the right thing at all. At the next recurrence of the situation, I take the opposite action. I am not comfortable with my choice. It is not what I want to do or even what I know is right. I don't know. I can't decide which is the worse of the two evils. So, having tried the first and not received any happiness, I decide to try the second. . .with only a vague realization that that is indeed what I am doing. Unfortunately, my new course of action turns out worse than the first. Not only am I miserable, but this time I know that I have good reason to be miserable. It is not my moodiness or my refusal to respond with love; it is the confrontation of Christ inside of me with sin. This was the wrong choice; I regret that I had to experience it before I would see.

The conclusion? My emotional response to doing the right thing is not always one of happiness. I do not have to be happy. In fact, I may even be miserable. It does not excuse sulking or moodiness. Doing the right thing does not give me the right to act like a martyr. I have not really done the right thing if I do not do it meekly and pleasantly, with a cheerful spirit. Moreover, my own personal moodiness is not an indication that I should change my actions. It is only an indication that something is wrong. . .and that something may very well be me.

Little life lessons. . .lessons we already know and yet must relearn over and over. What a mixed blessing my humanity is.

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