Today was pretty much a weird and bad day—a strange spoke in my menstrual cycle. Have you ever tried so hard to live your life a certain way only to find out the people you care the most about don’t see you in the same way that you see yourself? That happened to me today.
So far, this Lenten season, I have focused on how I let the Scriptures shape me and what that looks like to others—my relationship with them and my treatment of them. I felt like I was getting closer to the person I am called to be, and I felt like I was letting God shape me into the woman [They] want me to be. Maybe I was evolving outside my home.
However, today I learned that for several days I have been alienating the person who means the most to me. I don’t realize how scathing, how cutting, how harsh my sense of humor can be. I can reduce my object of humor to nothing with a few simple words. In short, I have a biting wit. We had words about several things today and I realized through her carefully stated feelings that I do trample people with words, and the victim is usually someone close to me. It doesn’t make sense. I have belittled my brother (not recently that I know of); my best friends (Becs, Merideth, and Amy); and, several coworkers (probably too many to name). I was kindly told that I sometimes make people feel embarassed about things they have done, and that by using such humor I essentially cut people to their quick. This is not who I want to be. This is not who I should be. This is not who I am.
I assume this is the reason Jesus makes such a connection between murder and calling your brother a fool: you can murder someone’s soul with your words. I want to be the person that others want to be around because I build them up. I don’t want to be the one they shy away from because they don’t know what I may say to them—how I may cut them down to make a joke or build myself up. We are called to lift others burdens onto our own shoulders, to shoulder their guilt, not to expose it to others through jokes or teasing. I need to realize that by making a joke out of a painful moment, I am memorializing that moment of pain, of shame. I am heaping hot coals on the head of the person rather than funneling them onto myself, which is what we are called to do. We are called to bear the shame of other’s painful moments not to make them into jokes for the profit of everyone else. I need to work on this. I am going to change this about myself.
2 Timothy 1:8-10