An excerpt from Weeds of the Mind by Aaron Maners)
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
Just like weeds can sneak in and take over our yards, the same can easily happen if we allow the offenses and the funk of resentment that others have to creep over our own mental property line. Have you ever listened to someone’s story of being offended and felt an element of empathy for them? Did you get to the point where you were as mad or hurt as they were and begin to carry their offense for the situation—even begin to treat the offender very differently?
I call that “offense piggybacking.”
It’s kind of like that bitter relative you might have stay with you as a guest for Thanksgiving or Christmas. You feel obligated to let them use the guest room for the holiday but you dread their time with the family because they constantly spew discontent and dredge up old stories that are full of bitterness and disgruntlement. You might say they arrived with three suitcases; one had clothes in it but the other two were full of drama! The kind that takes two or three showers to get rid of!
When they arrive they start “unpacking” it all and the whole house begins to get that “funk” circulating around in it. They want you and everyone else to help them carry their umbrage and anger.
It’s important that you not allow yourself to be influenced by them when it comes to their offense. You must stay true to being a model of Christ’s reconciliation and forgiveness. You don’t want to find yourself erring on the side of being judgmental and selective with your love rather than being life-giving. Don’t let their weeds jump into your yard.
When we lived near Jacksonville, Florida, we had great neighbors. For eight years, we would talk and laugh in our driveways, watch each other’s home when the other traveled, bring in the trash cans, and collect the mail, if needed. We got along wonderfully.
In the back yard, we shared a common privacy fence that was six feet high and covered with a Magnolia vine. It bloomed with little white flowers and smelled great. One day, I went back to that corner of the yard, and saw that I had neglected to trim the vine. Okay, truthfully, I had never trimmed that vine. It was out of control (reminding me of the movie, The Blob). The vine had totally taken over a small tree that was right on the fence line, all but killing it. It sent out dozens of vines onto the roof of my home and sent dozens more into the system of gutters at that corner of my home, and it was working its way into my neighbor’s yard.
One problem was affecting two households.
So it goes with offences and bitterness. Don’t spread it, don’t spew it. Make it a point to keep your funk and your junk in your own trunk.
Image: Courtesy of: http://zesty-tacos.deviantart.com/art/Piggyback-270448699
Find out more about Aaron Maners @ http://www.aaronmanersministries.com. Weeds of the Mind is available on all of the major internet outlets (Kindle, NOOK, iBookstore, Amazon.com).