I was only able to start making true, in real life, local friends after coming to grips with who God is, who I am, and what my life really is to be lived for. Only after I stopped chasing the approval of the world.
Being hurt and wronged can make a person hard and unsure... I think that until I was able to release people I was looking to exact revenge somehow.
That beautiful word. Justice. We use it all the time and usually we use it in contexts that it really does apply to. Things like human trafficking, and hunger, and persecution.
Sometimes though, we use it out of anger against those that hurt us. And that's where I found myself for a long time. Harboring resentment and bitterness. Wanting things to be my way - my right way.
Last night I was reading a book that I've been trying to read this year - it's a hard one. Written in 1728 by William Law, "A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life" is an interesting and highly blunt perspective on how to live a holy life pursuing Christ. In reading it I found the topic for today... I believe he captures really beautifully the idea of the difference between desiring revenge and letting go of that desire...
He writes "if religion only restrains the excesses of revenge, but let's the spirit still live within you in lesser instances, your religion may have made your life a little more outwardly decent, but not made you at all happier, or easier in yourself. But if you have once sacrificed all ideas of revenge, in obedience to God, and are resolved to return good for evil at all times, that you may render yourself more like to God, and fitter for his mercy in the kingdom of love and glory; this is the height of virtue that will make you feel it's happiness."
Here we see again that if we let go of the things that trap us, and bind us, we are truly free to have a more full life - A life available to be used by God and to give him glory.