I'm not always the person people think I am. I have an ugly side and it judges and mocks the things around me. And I want to be a nice person. I don't want to have this ugly bitch living inside me saying things I would never say. I hate this person. And sometimes I reprimand myself strongly; other times I'm just scared. I'm scared of the person I really am inside. People see the nice side and it's really lovely that people say I'm approachable and interesting and a nice confidant. And I love them for that. Through these times, their beauty shows. But sometimes I am an ugly bitch of a monster inside and I'm like, do I know who I really am?
I'm pretty sure that the reason I'm perpetually insecure with people is because I know this terrible person that I am, and I fear they are like me.
I was talking to a friend about this today, and I guess we both realised that it's not uncommon. It's not as big a deal as we think, because many others have this ugly side too; they just hide it. And my friend said "why are our instinctive feelings so raw and primal and self-serving?"
And I, trying to reassure him, and trying to make myself believe, said
"because if we only know good, then what's there to contrast; what's there to be proud of? Yeah, I know. It sucks. I hate who I am. But we're born selfish. It's what living things are. The whole idea of "goodness" as being selfless is a social construct! The whole Plato thing - we approve of justice and fairness only because we'll minimise our own chances of being unjustly treated". It's selfish down to the bone.
"But yeah. The choice you make in spite of the voice of the beast - it's something worth being proud of. If you're a perfect pure innocent kid, you don't do your actions 'in spite of' anything. There's no sense of courage, sacrifice or perseverance. You're simply going along with your flow."
"I don't like this idea of 'for us to know what good is, we have to know evil'. It doesn't make sense. Why can't we all just be good?"
"There's a reason the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil was an option God didn't want us to take. Now we know all these things, but we're also hence faced with the option to do bad things, instead of just innocently following Him and doing everything good and lovely.
"And about comparison, it's like the MRT. I used to detest the MRT fares, but after staying in the UK for a month I vowed never to complain about Singapore's transport system again, because ours is so efficient, spotless and cheap in comparison. You need comparison to realise what's good. Like, what if there was no pain in the world? Then there wouldn't be love either. We'd just be numb. Which is why I'm very happy to be in this zone of romancelessness now. It's boring, but if I start liking someone I'll go through all the pain again."
At cell group Daniel happened to touch on the same topic, and it really helped me remember why we go through all this. Sometimes, God breaks us to make us better people.
Take pride, for example. A lot of Christians are proud. You've seen the moral arrogance, or the holier-than-you judgements.
A lot of the times, we are people we don't want to be. We have ugly things inside us. But here we have someone who's willing to enter into an everlasting relationship with us; someone who is perfect in love and goodness, and who makes us feel beautiful, too. And most of us don't want to be bad, ugly people. We look at people full of love and goodness and it warms our heart. If we were given a choice, we'd do away with these elements of hate. The moment we allow Jesus to shape our being, we are presented with two roads: our own path, and His.
Why does God allow us to be broken?
When we come to the end of ourselves, when we realise we are in an ugly place and there's no way to reconcile this, we have Him. When we die to ourselves, we let go of our pride and resistance, and let Him shape our hearts.
Daniel reminded us that when we walk closely with God, the way we think and speak are transformed, too. That's the most important transformation: the 'renewing of our minds'. God changes our hearts. I don't remember having this ugly side so angrily manifested previously, especially when I was in SOT. I was a much more loving, thoughtful person, and my words had a lot more grace and encouragement. I want to speak like that again. I want to be a person full of love.
Now I realise that when this monster of a girl emerges inside me, I know who I don't want to be. And I know that I want to be more like Him: loving, uplifting, gentle, someone who can touch and warm others' hearts. I want to be a good person.
This is God's call for me to repent: shuwb, turn around, turn back.