One of the failures of modern Church has been its inability to read the Bible as a story. And, when we do, we tend to read ourselves into the hero role. We like to be Jesus, and, be the selfless loving savior for the world. We like to be Moses and Joshua and lead our people out of exile. We like to be Noah, and, be the only faithful man on the earth. I think its necessary to see ourselves as Pharisees, as Jonah, as Pharaoh.
Recently, I began seeing myself as Judas.
In my life, I have recently discovered how events through out my life, has left me with an extremely damaged soul. What these events have given me thoughts of hopelessness, brokenness, and worthlessness.
Thoughts enter into my mind like-
“You’re stupid. You will never be able to understand anything or anyone.”
“Why do you allow him/her into your life? They’re too good for you.”
Pretty empty huh?
Now, while this remains a lie in my mind, my heart perceives it differently. Making it hard for me to enjoy myself in the presence of others and within myself. These are the lies that fill my existence, and, until recently when I began discovering how these came about, I hadn’t really even recognized them and therefore hadn’t even begun dealing with them.
What is true of me however, is my deep soul. These things that I began dealing with, as well as other things in my life that have included death, betrayal, loss of friends through un/natural occurrences and of course the occasional beautiful woman playing a wretched harlot in my story. Now a deep soul can only be understood by several measures. The exploration of natural and unatural death within our lives. What have others perpetrated against us that has degraded the core of our existence? What have we done to ourselves that has ruined the core of our existence? Think of the person who has been abused, maybe, physically or sexually. The abused person often does one of two things. They either enter into relationships, where they control the power because of their fear of being hurt and control others because they don’t want to lose their power, and, end up abusing other people. Or, they enter into relationships, where they remain powerless and choose people who continue to abuse them.
What is untrue of me, is I do not have a healthy ego. People with unhealthy ego’s often do damaging things to themselves. In my own life, addiction & contempt have rid me of wonderful years of life and joy. Now, my ego is one that is completely depleted due to the circumstances done to me by the perpetrating events explained previously. Another form of ego, untrue of me, is that of narcissism. Narcissism, is a condition in which one has an overextended ego. A narcissist, thinks so highly of themselves and what they do, that nothing is ever good enough and they tear those around them down. They fear their empire being torn down, so they attack those who they feel are weaker than them, so they can maintain power.
The question I have been wrestling recently with is this: In the Biblical narrative, did Judas betray Jesus solely for money, or, was there something else involved that would cause Judas to sell Jesus out.
In my own life, those closest to me, I would never sell them out for money, or possessions. The people I sell out, are those who perpetrate me. I believe, Judas sold out Jesus because of his unhealthy ego.
Extraordinary people do two things. They heal and they get destroyed. Like Jesus did. They draw to them the people who are absolutely destroyed, like myself, and, they find people who are out to kill them, because, they pose a threat to the systems and ways of our daily lives. Because, they are not content with destruction, those who create the systems of destruction, the system finds them and wants to kill them.
What extraordinary people have in common is healthy ego and depth of soul. They have been through hell and back. They understand the depths of their shame, their pain and the death they have felt and created. In spite of this, they are able to maintain the healthy ego, which is treating themselves as they are, nothing more, nothing less. This is why conversations with these people are amazing. They don’t have to fake the right answers, they are the right answers.
We are all Judas’ in some way. We need Jesus in our life, and, for as long as we can have him there, we’ll greatly benefit. We kill him everyday in our life through our inability to repent from our frame of mind, habitual patterns of living, or anything else that fails to reflect the glory and beauty of the soul in which God made us. Because, he is the one that restores the ego and is the source of the soul.