Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mugged at Knife Point

Ever notice when you buy a vehicle, you all of a sudden notice how many cars like yours are on the road?

You never notice them until you have one of your own.
All of a sudden they're everywhere.
The reality is, those cars were always on the road, the difference is YOU are now aware of them because YOU now have one.

I think the same applies to different areas of our lives.
Here lately it seems just about everyone I bump into has experienced great levels of pain or have been let down by people and organizations that were supposed to help and protect them.

Something my friend Steven and I share is a great love for music and the messages that come out of it. Several months ago when listening to one of my favorite songs the words jumped out and hit me like a ton of bricks. In the midst of singing them in my truck (by myself, because I'm not allowed to sing where people can hear me) I stopped and said, "Yes, that's true! Thank you God for allowing it to happen to me!!!"

They say, "I just wanna' get mugged at knife point, cut deep enough to wake me up, cause I know I don't want to die, sitting around watching my life pass me by....." Reliant K- This Weeks The Trend

I know what you're thinking....."that's sick!" I would think the same thing, too, if I hadn't gone through what I've gone through.
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't wish the situation my family has gone through on anyone, nor what countless others have gone through.
Craig Groeschel calls it,"the private pain before public gain" stage.
But I will be the first to say that it's been the "mugged at knife point" situation where scriptures come alive and are proven true.

I truly thank God for allowing the mugging to happen to me.
It doesn't make it any more right.
It doesn't excuse people's actions.
It's just that I am no longer waiting for God's judgement on them.
I pray they are blessed in all they do and that God would withhold His wrath on them.
Because, I've woken up!
I realize I was dead in the place I was.
In the church where I was.
In the organization where I was.
In the accomplishments I had achieved.
While "doing ministry", while "doing church", while "doing stuff'" I was like so many countless others: watching life pass by.

But now I can see, hear, feel, taste and smell things that others can't because of what I've experienced. Bill Hybels calls it, "The Popeye Moment."
I can relate far better to those who are sick of church and Christians than I ever could before. The truth be told, in the past when I heard someone bad-mouth church or say the church is full of hypocrites, I'd simply write them off as someone who didn't "truly" know or had experienced a good church. Or I would argue with them that what they were saying was in their own mind and really had no clout.
Now, I'm more understanding, more compassionate. I listen more as my heart cries, like Popeye, "I've had all me can stands and me can't stands no more!"

See now I can honestly say, "I know what I'm called to do."
I'm more focused with more clarity and courage than I've had in the last eight years.

I encourage you, if you've been "cut" or "mugged" from the very ones who were supposed to put a robe on your back, a ring on your finger and sandals on your feet; first, allow God to do an amazing work in your life where you can honestly forgive them and release them (because honestly they don't even know what they've done to you...on some level they believe what they've done is 100% right, so there's no need harboring bitterness towards people who think they're me). Secondly, see it as an opportunity to start living in the fullness of what God created you for.

Yes, it's painful. It's not easy, but if it were easy then the world would be filled with better Christians instead of bitter ones.

So be different.

Be the type of Christian the world needs to know.


  1. Great post Vince. What a great testimony. I look forward to seeing what God is going to do through this last year of pain.

  2. Great post. Letting go of bitterness is tough. The greatest most fulfilling times of my life are also wrapped around and intertwined with the most difficult and challenging times of my life.

  3. Told ya it's a good book! Weight lifters only get stronger through ripping their muscles to shreds and that's painful..

    Good stuff. Catching up on some of my blog reading.

    You might like this song...I kept it on repeat for a bit...and bring it back for little punch in my step. :)


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