It’s really me. I know, right? My dad has encouraged me to start posting some of my articles from The Grip to my blog. So, here goes this one I wrote on the Marvel hero who scared me when I was kid:
I think I’ve said it before. But, I am certain I learn as much from children as they learn from me. We took our two oldest kids to see The Avengers. (Loved the movie, by the way. I, mean, what’s not to love about men who save the world by flying in iron suits and smashing stuff?) My 9 year old is a huge fan of Marvel superheroes. It’s probably a rite of passage into his manhood. So, I asked him questions throughout the entire movie.
Is Loki good or bad? Is Thor really his brother?
When I saw the Hulk first get angry and start smashing everyone, even the good guys, I asked him, “Is the Hulk bad?”
He replied, “He isn’t bad, Mom. He’s just mad.”
His reply pierced my very core. And, I haven’t stop thinking about it since.
It’s so easy to view other people’s behavior as bad sometimes. When they say hurtful things. When their actions hurt those around them. When they go off on people. When they seem to be so insensitive to others. When they appear to be, well, let’s just say it….
Most of the time, these people who hurt us aren’t mean. They aren’t bad people. They’re just mad.
There is a deeper rooted issue than what is manifesting on the outside. The deeper root could be a seed of rejection, envy, or disappointment. It could be shame or guilt or never feeling good enough. Whatever the root, it can manifest itself in ways that hurts others. In the past, I had a difficult time understanding why some people didn’t seem to move beyond playing the role of victim or villain. Now, I have stopped trying to understand. That lack of understanding was turning into judgments I didn’t need to make. My mother has always told me that I can view people as hurting, or I can view them as dangerous. Once, I began viewing them as hurting, I found it easier to release forgiveness.
Remember, forgiveness is not just about the other person. It’s about you giving yourself the permission to emotionally move on from being hurt. It can be also be about setting healthy boundaries in your relationship with that person where you separate yourself emotionally. And, that is okay. Christ didn’t reject anyone. He made everyone feel special. But, He didn’t let everyone cling onto Him.
Boundaries are okay. Unforgiveness is not. May we all have a renewed understanding that most people aren’t bad people. They’re just mad. Release the hurts. Pray they learn they aren’t the deep rooted issues they’ve made themselves to be. They aren’t who people say they are. They are who God says they are.
Because, it’s knowing and believing who God says you are that changes everything.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Ephesians 1:4