Identity Distortion: Broken

All of this might just sound like a fairytale to you, non-existent and out of reach. In a way, this is actually true; no one I know is living a perfect life, and everyone I know is flawed. What is false, however, is the belief that life can never be that perfect or that it was never meant to be. We were not made for sadness or pain; we weren’t supposed to know rejection or struggle. We were designed with a specific purpose: to glorify God. God speaks to us on this in Isaiah 43:7, “Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory.” In another example, Paul specifically tells us that our bodies were not meant for immorality, but for a relationship with God (see 1 Corinthians 6:13).

This all means that our very existence was meant to make God look good; anyone who looks at God’s people will immediately admire God’s workmanship and creativity. It would be a cycle: All our needs would be met by God, and we would be happy. That happiness and reliance on God glorifies Him, and shows off His power and love. It’s a real RELATIONSHIP. Obviously, this isn’t the case much of the time. Nature is out of balance–corrupted, broken, dying. Where did we go wrong? It all started in the Garden of Eden, when we turned away from God.

Adam and Eve not only disobeyed God, but they chose to rely on what Satan offered instead. This the biggest back-stab in history. We turned on God and said, “We don’t need you. We can do it ourselves.” We broke that relationship, forgetting that every good thing we have is a gift that comes from God (James 1:17). Without God, where can any good come from??

Thus, Satan’s trap is sprung. Our relationship with God has been broken; we are taken captive by the villain, and locked away in his dungeon. Adam and Eve, now imperfect, are left to raise their children. These little human sponges will learn imperfection from their parents. Imperfection will now be passed down from generation to generation.

Everyone makes mistakes, especially in parenting. They are given a little human sponge of their own that absorbs everything it sees, good and bad. Sometimes parents neglect their children; soon, the lesson taken from it is, “They don’t care about  me.” Sometimes parents fail to control their anger; eventually, the lesson taken from it is, “I probably deserve this.” Parents sometimes fail to control their actions; the lesson taken from it is, “If you can, then I can too.” The list goes on–you can’t escape it.

If you’re reading this, I may or may not know you; I certainly don’t know what it’s like to be you. I don’t know anything about your home life or what you’ve overcome. What I do know, for sure, is that everyone has experienced pain. No matter who you are or where you came from, you have been hurt at some point–that’s a guarantee. After all, the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” exists for a reason. The truth is that your pain doesn’t always make you stronger. It may make you hardened, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

People who have been hurt in the past often hurt others in the present. This is what happens when old wounds don’t heal. We hold grudges, or stop trusting people, or repeat mistakes, or suppress who we are. You might forget about the original source of the pain, but it can change who you become. Parents are not exempt from this; they have wounds from their parents too. When these wounds aren’t dealt with, they have a way of coming back to cause more pain–to themselves and others. And so, a cycle begins. Parent causes pain, kid grows into hurt parent, parent causes pain, etc.

In order for this destructive cycle to end, you have to let your wounds heal. You can’t do it on your own, though, and you don’t have to. In fact, Jesus died so that you could get help. You can’t change the past, but with God’s help and involvement in your life, you can have a future filled with love and joy (read John 15: 9-18). Don’t let that opportunity slip away!

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