Despite the well-known and empirically-proven fact that all Christians are hypocrites (), I am truly bothered (and sometimes bewildered) when I find myself falling into wrong. This is particularly true of wrongs I never thought I’d fall into. Such a wrong is inconsolability.
I’ve seen people be inconsolable in my own time. I’ve seen it and I haven’t like it too much. I’ve seen it in the Bible as well. Perhaps the best example is that of Jacob:
You might say, “Well, you can hardly blame Jacob for being inconsolable at that moment,” and I would agree with you if I weren’t a critical, judgmental Christian (again, ).
Honestly, the fact of the matter is that I’ve never liked such inconsolability, whether it is Jacob’s or some modern person. I’ve always thought it was faithless or melodramatic or who knows what.
Until, that is, I began feeling it myself.
I’ve been inconsolable the past couple days. My inconsolability has been different from Jacob’s. I’ve not told anyone I’m going to mourn until I die. But I have been resisting encouragement lately. Some of that encouragement comes from my mentors; one of my mentors was trying to encourage me yesterday. Some of it comes from God itself; in my reading yesterday, I came across Genesis 8:1 (Then God remembered Noah), which I thought was an encouraging word from the Spirit Himself. In both of those cases my reaction was, “Eh, I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to believe it.” I knew I should both hear it and believe it, but I didn’t want to. I didn’t want people (or God) to try to encourage me. I didn’t want to be encouraged. I wanted to be inconsolable.
Understandable. Maybe? It’s always understandable when it’s us, isn’t it? But it is still wrong. Yes, this hypocritical, judgmental Christian is admitting he is doing wrong or, perhaps more accurately, has fallen into wrong.
And I don’t know how to handle that wrong, quite frankly. I could say something like, “We should not be inconsolable” or “We must be willing to be encouraged.” Such a something would be true enough, I guess, but I don’t think it would be effective. It’s kind of like telling people to, “Calm down.”
If I had to guess (and I have to here; I’m in uncharted waters, after all), I’d say it might be more effective to remind ourselves who our God is and what His story is. It might be more effective to remember that our God is not only telling a good story with a good ending but is inviting us into that story/ending. I say might. Feelings are feelings, after all. Moods are moods, and getting out of bad ones is a hard thing to do even for the faithful people of God. That is the best I’ve got on this one, though, and honestly I don’t think it is half bad.