Our pet Chow-chow named Chin raised his hackles and stiffened his hind legs. The whites of his eyes reddened and his black ruff stood out like the nimbus of an approaching storm. He had caught a glimpse of himself in an old cracked mirror that stood against one wall in our garage. Presently his low growl spumed into furious barking. So involved was he in his own fury Chin didn't realize anyone was witness to his foolishenss, or that he was an object of amusement. Had he realized he would have been deeply humiliated. If there is anything that defines the chow-chow it is their innate sense of dignity.
How amusing I thought as I kept my laughter under wraps to bark at oneís own likeness. And yet isnít that exactly what we as humans do in unguarded moments? When someone riles us isnít it just possible itís because we see a reflection of a part of ourselves we loathe or fear. In families the offspring who is most like us is often our greatest irritant. When we hear an echo of our own sad refrain we canbecome seriously annoyed.
On the other hand the opposite may occur. We may be angered because a trait someone displays toward us reveals what we ourselves lack and wish we had. I know we donít like to admit that. We say to ourselves that cheeky so and so that just popped off at me must have a screw loose someplace. What makes them act that way anyhow? How crass and ignorant. Show off! But deep down we yearn to be bolder and more abandoned in our speech. We feel like a mute fool who can never think of a clever retort until after the fact.
Or perhaps being the intrepid person that we are we tend to despise the run-silent-run deep type who maintains self-control. She needs some starch in her sails, we think, why doesn't she stand up for herself. And so we push and push when all the while our subconscious suspects perhaps great depth of character dwells within that person and not in us. Because of this our flesh drives us to exhibit noisy supremacy over the one we wish to depict as the little gray mouse.
And this I think brings us to the crux of the problem: for it is flesh not Spirit that makes us act and react the way we do, and drives us to the brink with one another. Know what we should do when we find ourselves seething with anger over a recent affront? We should immediately conjure up a picture of that silly black dog barking at his own reflection. Then after we have had a good laugh at ourselves we can ask Jesus to remind us who we are in Him.
ďBut ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Romans 8:9 (KJV)
Great analysis of the complexity of our dual nature. I liked the picture you created with your dog. Great reminder at the end of who we are in Christ, so we don't end up wallowing in the sea of regret.