Most people you know are crazy.
You and I are crazy too, we have developed a taste for crazy. While your crazy is crazy to others, it is normal to you. We often can’t even see crazy in ourselves, because to admit we are flawed is to admit that Grandma or Grandpa, mom or dad, the church or community we grew up in taught us to be crazy.
And who wants to think that Grandma is crazy?
Craziness defined would be repeated thoughts of other groups or individuals that lead to bitterness, frustration, hatred, anger, racism, elitism or criticism of others. Depending on how or where you grew up, these thoughts or reactions may be natural and normal. In light of a Holy God who created each individual in his image, and has called each of us to love, these thoughts are crazy.
There is a solution. There is a way to deal with behaviors in our lives that make others feel judged, discredited, disrespected or misunderstood. There is a solution to our superiority complex and our propensity for conflict or pride.
Rather than addressing areas where we could learn and grow, most individuals we know spend a majority of their adulthood trying to defend their own levels of craziness. Unless we address our own relational blindness we won’t move beyond our impairment and grow as individuals.
Do you want to know what causes this craziness? If you could know definitively what areas need work in your own life, would you chose to change? Or would you prefer to keep living the same way, unintentionally hurting or offending others while being hurt and offended yourself?
If we want a solution, we need to understand a critical principle:
We are crazy, because we judge ourselves by our intentions, but we judge others by their actions.
There it is. Crazy exposed. Hashtag ‘secret to crazy’. You and I, and every person you and I will meet, has an internal messiah complex that assumes our actions are pure and well-intended; we actually believe that what we do is noble and good.
Similarly, we will quickly assume the worst about others, particularly those we disagree with. When we are experiencing tension or fear, when we see political or cultural differences, we are quick to vilify those who are different from us. It is much easier to justify our ungodly feelings if we can make an intellectual enemy of the person we are aiming those feelings at.
When we believe that our intentions are noble, and that the intentions of others are vindictive or malicious, we are crazy.
The person you are having conflict was once a bright-eyed child that played with toys and went on adventures. They laid in the grass and looked for objects in the clouds. They sat on their bed dreaming of what they wanted to be when they grew up. I guarantee none of those dreams were about growing up to ruin your life.
Others are not as vindictive as you think, and you are not as innocent as you would believe.
We may be frustrated with our boss because she is out to get us, we may be mad at our spouse because they are not meeting our needs. We might have tension with our friend because they forgot to call or fear our neighbors who are different from us. Rather then clarify expectations, address tension and conflict, or chose to learn, we often listen to crazy. Crazy whispers, “You are right. They are wrong.”
When we give power to this type of thinking, no matter what actions follow, we are not justified; we are wrong. We are never to think more highly than others, we are not to be quick to judge. We to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. We are to walk a mile in another’s shoes.
You mights say, “Those are great moral teaching, great bumper stickers, and great messages.” The only way though, that the world will change, is if you and I do our part to resist thinking that we are right, and others are wrong. Can you resist agreeing with crazy? Can we risk obeying God’s Word even when it reveals our selfishness?
The truth of our situations is somewhere in the middle. God does not love us more than the persons we are frustrated with. If we could meet in the middle, with open hands, we could seek understanding, begin reconciliation, and learn to forgive.
“Holy God, please help me. When I am tempted to feel justified, help me see that you are the only One who is perfect. When I am mistreated, give me your Spirit to endure. When I am frustrated, teach me your perspective toward your created children. Walk with me Jesus, so I can learn to walk like you. Let conflict be a reason to come to you, not a reason to hide from you. Teach me through this to not protect my natural thoughts, but to be changed by your Word. Teach me to love like you, and to respond accordingly.”
Together we can fight crazy. It starts with you and I choosing to learn what biases, attitudes and prejudices need to be crucified with Christ . We are to find wise friends, who will not pick our side, or encourage our own perspective, but those who will chose God’s side and look for His perspective. When we allow God’s Kingdom to rule and reign, we eliminate the types of thinking that happen when we put ourselves on the throne of life.
We should never be on life’s throne, we are not qualified to be a perfect judge. To think like that would be crazy.