"Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness." - Romans 6:12-13 (NIV)
I always thought me coming unglued emotionally was a bad thing. And certainly if I cause hurt to others it is. But, I learned something recently about an upside to my raw emotions. I saw pictures of a stunning home that had been reduced to rubble because of a fire caused by faulty wiring. And something about those pictures helped me understand a crucial truth.
A well-decorated home isn't a sign of a well-built house. It may seem impressive temporarily, but in the long run if the foundation crumbles or faulty wiring makes it catch on fire, it won't matter how many pretty pictures are on the walls. The whole house will fall.
The same is true about a well-decorated life. I can fake a smile, but if I'm falling apart underneath, eventually I will crumble.
My crumbling comes in the form of feeling short-tempered, on edge emotionally, and incapable of explaining exactly what's wrong. In those times where I come unglued, feelings festering underneath bubble to the surface. I see raw emotions I need to address.
This is why coming unglued isn't all bad.
Just like a light that fails to come on when the switch is flipped may indicate a wiring problem, coming unglued may indicate a problem with our internal wiring.
Outward expressions are internal indications.
If our outward expression is unglued, there's some brokenness going on internally. Broken places we won't address unless we are forced to acknowledge their existence. As painful as it might be to name these broken places, seeing ourselves—really seeing, deeply and honestly—is a very good thing.
When I look through the window of my unglued reactions, I may find pride I don't want to acknowledge. Longstanding unforgiveness. Deep-seated bitterness. Simmering anger. Joy-stealing jealousy. Condemning shame. Haunting regrets. Entangling rejection. Or I might see a schedule crammed too full. Or the feeling that I'm taken for granted and unappreciated.
We have to see what's there. Romans 6:12 reminds us not to let sin reign in us —therefore we have to become aware of the sin inside. If things are ever going to get better, we have to acknowledge things under the surface that fuel our unglued reactions.
We may not like what we see, but at least we'll know what we're dealing with. We can call it what it is and ask God to help us.
I'm reacting in angry ways, God. What do I do?
I'm feeling bitter towards them, God. What do I do?
I'm having a hard time forgiving, God. What do I do?
I'm using words that are harsh, God. What do I do?
Honestly, I don't take time to ask God what to do often enough. What about you? Maybe having a clear-eyed view of my underneath will help me go to God more — more frequently, more authentically, more humbly.
Therefore, might we agree that coming unglued isn't all bad if it brings us to God? And brings to the light what is eating away at us — chipping away at our foundation? Coming unglued is glorious if the end result of that brokenness leads us to a more healthy wholeness.
Dear Lord, please open my heart and my eyes to see the places that are broken and allow Your healing and truth in. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Sometimes we need a friend to walk alongside us as we come unglued. Lysa TerKeurst does just this in her gut-honest new book Unglued. Click here to pre-order your copy, releasing August 7.
We're sharing a chapter of Unglued with you! Click here to read how to make imperfect progress with your raw emotions today.
Reflect and Respond:
We all have unglued moments. What raw emotions are being brought to light through your brokenness?
After identifying the underlying raw emotions, ask God to show you what to do with those emotions.
2 Timothy 2:19, "Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: 'The Lord knows those who are his,' and, 'Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away form wickedness.'" (NIV)
Romans 14:19, "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." (NIV)