There is a truth none of us would disagree with: Brené Brown said, “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful ones, we also numb the positive ones.”
The deeper we go, the more we feel, the more courage we draw upon, the more adversity we wrestle with, the more we ultimately prosper. But to protect ourselves from experiences of pain by myriad manner of denial prolongs the pain; not only for us, but so sadly for those who come to rely on the adult we’re called to be for others.
The dividends of the halcyon heights of life cannot be paid out to us until we’re really willing to go spend our pain at the depths.
None of us can lead others to places we ourselves have not been prepared to go. If we have not been filled by the Spirit, there is no overflow; nothing in, nothing to offer out. Joy can only spill over from our lives into others’ lives if we’ve experienced the overflow—the palpable touch of God’s veritable presence. And when we’ve been touched by God, we live to bless others, and in no way for our own glory.
When we’re full of God everyone can see. But, if we feel like frauds, we must endeavour to give up what we cannot keep so that we can gain what can never be taken from us. If we feel hypocritical, the very best thing we can do is say, “Yes, I want to repent and do whatever is required to feel that I’m full of integrity to the glory of God.” There is no possession on this earth like it—to be filled by the Spirit such that there is a spiritual overflow that brings a smile to every person’s face, and even the vexatious person no fuel for troublemaking.
What is that to the lay person?
Our encounters with other human beings will be etched in such truth that we and they are allowed to be perfectly comfortable in our own skin within any sense of pretentiousness.
Joy and peace, gentleness and patience, and the reliability of trustworthiness, and so much more, are what others will come to enjoy from us. They love what we bring to each present moment because there is something real and safe about us. Like being home. We don’t need to prove anything to anyone. We can be as we are. We allow them to be who they are. There is no judgment in us even as we allow God to convict the heart.
We covet nothing in these moments of the Spirit’s infilling. We’re perfectly content while we feel this way, and contentedness sows grace and mercy into others’ lives. The Holy Spirit has become us. We have no doctrine to beat people up with. No opinion do we foist over others. We are just pleasant to be around. And we greet rudeness and crassness without displeasure by giving it no attention whatsoever.
This is the time when a person who does not know Christ might say, in a moment of Holy Spirit inspired curiosity, “There’s something different about this person. I want a piece of what they’ve got.” We all find these characteristics of amiability attractive in others.
Why would we not want to enjoy the personal fruit of being so attractive?
We have to end the way we began. We cannot experience this infilling without having suffered. See how God uses the depths of experience to inspire us to height?