Thursday, June 6, 2013

No Explanation Required

Whenever someone seriously hurts me, or my loved ones, or makes me really angry, the first thing I ask is “Why?” In fact, I'm more apt to want to know why you've done the thing you did, than I am to desire an apology.
    I'm the kind of person who needs to understand the reason behind the behavior, and call me brainwashed, but I've been taught “all behavior has a reason.”
    I'm often hurt when people say insensitive things about my husband. I get very angry if you don't pull your weight in a work situation. But if I can understand why someone says hurtful things, or the reason they're a total slacker, I can accept it. I can even appreciate it. I can empathize.
    So I sometimes spend hours trying to understand the “why's” of other people.
    It's become an expectation between my husband & me. If one of us messes up, we just know that the other one wants an explanation... not an excuse, but a map of our thought process or feelings that led us to act the way we did.
    But God doesn't require us to give an explanation. Don't get me wrong, I think that we all answer for our actions in one way or another. But when I go to Him in repentance, in sincere prayer, in heartbreak over the mess I've made, and despair over how I've let Him down, He doesn't require me to explain why.
    I learned this driving one day, which is when I learn a lot of things. I was talking to the Lord about something in my life that I knew He wasn't pleased about. I was struggling to come up with why I was acting so foolishly. I was searching my own heart for my explanation. I was putting God in a Rachel-shaped box, assuming He wanted the same laundry list of what was behind my sin that I want from others.
    But I was wrong. The Holy Spirit imparted to me that it was okay that I couldn't explain myself, that I didn't even know for myself what was behind my actions. It was okay because I was acknowledging my mistake to God. It was okay because I was upset about it, because I knew it was upsetting to Him. It was okay because I wanted to move away from that problem, I wanted to put it behind me, and refocus my love and the labor of my life on Jesus. It was just okay. I didn't need to explain why—or even know why –because the God who created me already knew why. And the why just wasn't as important as I thought.