Accounting

Recently I had a situation where my relational inventory was taken, and by those taking the inventory, I was found lacking.

Because I write to process, this is what I wrote in my attempt to sort through the emotions of that event:

I read the emails once again, trying to understand, but knowing the pain that will wash over me each time that I look.

I tell myself that I am whole enough to deal with this. I know that I am ultimately loved. I can deal with this from the basis of that reality.

I try to objectively understand the flood of emotions. What is it?

Guilt?
Shame?
Accusation?
Defensiveness?
Pride?

Am I having trouble accepting the truth? Or am I having trouble rejecting the lie when it is spoken to me in words that confirm the accusations that the enemy already whispers in my ear?

Is it a lie or the truth when the failures and weaknesses are real?

So I go back and read again, even though I shouldn’t.

I bounce back and forth between what I feel and what I know.

Yes, I am guilty. I have not measured up. But I don’t want to live in the world of keeping track and measuring up. Is this a cop-out?

If you are keeping score, I will eventually fall short. You don’t have to prove it. I already know. I already know that I am never quite enough of what I should be.

Yes, I could be more, I could be better. But so often I am not.

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16 thoughts on “Accounting

  1. The thing with inventories is that they are but ‘snapshots’ on the adventure of life. We are very organic beings, inventories are static. We change, sometimes very slowly, sometimes very quickly. We are works in progress. We shouldn’t allow a snaphot to be our permanent identity. (If you saw my Jr. High class photos, you would know how glad I am of this fact!) :)

  2. LOL Ken,
    Good point. Fortunately none of us have to wear our jr high photos permanently attached to our lapels. And I guess we don’t have to “wear” the record of our shortcomings either.

  3. Just a though Grace,
    Isn’t realizing that you lack in some areas a genuine step in the right direction? I wouldn’t say that your inventory takers are right or wrong, but even if they are right, who you are is not the sum of your victories & failures are you?
    I hope I’m not.. Damn I hope not.. Cause if that’s the case I really suck…
    On the other hand, at least from here; you totally don’t suck :)

  4. “But I don’t want to live in the world of keeping track and measuring up. Is this a cop-out?”

    I don’t think so. I’ve asked myself the same question. It’s a cop-out to those who have a paradigm that we are responsible for our own transformation. But He’s the potter, we’re the clay. Col 3:10 says we are “being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created [us].” I have discovered that I can’t renew myself. Not for lack of desire.

    The side of me that leans toward religious tendencies always majors on my deficiencies – on how far I have yet to go. But I think God majors on how far He has brought us already. He’s not in a hurry to perfect us. That defeats the purpose of unconditional love in a broken world.

    He *is* working to renew us, but on His timeline – not ours. Since I cannot renew myself, I have to wait for Him to bring truth and revelation and healing to the places that are deficient in me.

    It’s nice that other people try to do that for us. :) But maybe they just need some renewing too! :D We are all in this together, aren’t we?

  5. The last time someone took my inventory and found me lacking … they had no good news to offer. None.
    I don’t deny my lack, but when the enemy comes with his list… it does nothing but crush my spirit. When Jesus comes to me and puts His finger on somehing, it means He has a solution and if I can recieve it, by grace, I am changed and I know I can do better next time. Even the most frightening Word given by the Prophets in the O.T. ended with good news. A way out- “trust Me, follow Me, and I will be with you… etc…”
    I’ve learned the hard way what it costs me if I pay too much attention to what people see in me. If I have hurt someone, they can tell me, and I can ask them to forgive me.

    People will always fail us, I will always fail, but the God of the universe is delighted with process. He seems to be more interested in my willingness to grow. He is kind and remembers we are dust. If we fall, He is the one who picks us up and says “Try again, I’ll help you”

    He is kind.

  6. Grace, hunnybee hits it right on the head: “I don’t deny my lack, but when the enemy comes with his list… it does nothing but crush my spirit. When Jesus comes to me and puts His finger on somehing, it means He has a solution and if I can recieve it, by grace, I am changed and I know I can do better next time.”

    This is wisdom … when the enemy confronts, condemnation is the goal; when a friend confronts, reconciliation is the goal. Takes me back to my old post on when enemy wears the mask of friend….
    http://abisomeone.blogspot.com/2008/04/when-enemy-wears-mask-of-friend.html

    All very purple, don’t ‘cha know! That is the only great thing about being so very broken: let Papa be the perceiver that gives form to your Be-ing.

    …your wee abbess wants to reach for her ruler in cases like this, sister!

  7. Grace,

    Two quick thoughts come to mind:

    1) Someone was offering an accounting of you via email? I’d put a big debit in their account right there.

    2) My favorite quote from a Benedictine monk: Self-knowledge is looking at Jesus looking at me. In other words, evaluating myself (even with the help of a ‘friend’) is going to be delusion or devastation. Through Jesus’ eyes, I can see the truth in the context of love. I’m guessing your friend didn’t point you to Jesus’ point of view this time…

  8. “And I guess we don’t have to “wear” the record of our shortcomings either.”

    That’s the very essence of Grace. Thank God.

  9. While I don’t think I can live up to his example, St. Francis used to leap for joy whenever anyone criticized him. It saw it as an opportunity to a) check his heart for any sin, and b) demonstrate grace and patience to false accusers.

    You have to consider the intentions of your accusers. It sounds as though a significant motivator for them was to wound. A thrown stone hurts the innocent and guilty alike.

    You are right when you said in your post that you are loved- not only by God, but by many, MANY of us who consider you a friend.

    Peace,
    Jamie

  10. grace thank you so much for your transparency. This is totally what I have been wrestling with lately….
    “Yes, I am guilty. I have not measured up. But I don’t want to live in the world of keeping track and measuring up. Is this a cop-out?”

    i believe Jesus came so we may have life and freedom…
    you were exactly who i needed to read today. thanks.

  11. failures and weaknesses are real … the only real mistake is the one we don’t learn anything from … 50 this year and am discovering in my weaknesses and failures I need to let others do the jobs I can not do .. I can not do all things nor do I wish to anymore …

  12. Thank you for your wisdom and encouragement. Yes, their assessment of my past failures is true, and their assumptions about the likelihood of my future failures may also be true.

    After several days of struggling through the emotions, I was able to respond in love and to let go of feeling defeated by the whole thing. It wasn’t my first response, but I eventually got there. That is progress for me.

  13. Relational inventory? That sounds like a tragedy waiting to happen. He is the potter, all right. We are the clay, and He is the potter, not anyone else. Put someone else in there as potter and it’s not surprising if you come out with three handles and no mouth.

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