Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I have hated the Poser (Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes: Part II)

You can do the math.

I am the Poser + I have hated the Poser = I have hated Myself.

Manning brings out this statement from Anne Lamott, “The secret is that God loves us exactly the way we are and that he loves us too much to let us stay like this” (21). She’s right.

It would be silly or arrogant or worse of me to think that of all the people in history, my sin just happens to be the worst: so bad that God can’t even love me. But I’ve never had a problem believing that God loves me; my problem has been an inability to love myself. Frankly, the idea of self-love is a scary one. Self-love sounds a whole lot like pride to me, and we all know that pride is the most basic of all sins.

So I have dealt with the Poser in my life by pretty much hating myself. I have tried to spiritually beat that part of myself into submission over and over. I have thought on more than a few days that it would be better if my life just ended, and have taken as consolation the fact that there would be a lot of sad people there who would say that it was ‘such a tragedy,’ and that I ‘had so much potential.’ The Poser has taken over so much that I would actually see this as sufficient. After all, it was what the Poser worked for in life, right?

I made a serious theological error (along with plenty of other errors: moral, theological and otherwise). I thought that in order to get the Poser out of my life, I had to yell at it, discipline it, and force it out of my life. This was my error. I had misunderstood penitence and penance and tried to be my own God.

No matter how ugly he gets, I cannot hate the Poser.

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