Taking Offense is The Bait of the Enemy

Taking offense is the bait of evil

Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.” Ecclesiastes 7:21-22

When one wallows in self pity, your vision is fogged. You cannot see past yourself. Then a friend comes to you in their pain, venting about their troubles and you can see past the problem(s) with clarity. They ask these questions you know so well…

Why did they ignore me?”

Why was I not invited?”

Why were they nice to me the last time we saw each other, but today they act as if I do not exist?” “Why are they nice to everyone else, but me?”

I have asked those questions many times. I, even posted on Facebook, my vent. I told my “friends” on Facebook, I felt non-existent at church one Sunday. I was angry, offended, and hurt that I felt completely ignored. Facebook may provide the sympathy response, however, it doesn’t do much to change one’s mind set. Then, I received a private message from a person at church, that change me forever.

The message I received came from a woman, who was quite popular at church. She also held a top position in one of the ministries there. She told me that writing my vent on Facebook wasn’t a good idea. She personally knows our pastor and that one of the visions at this church was for everyone to know they are loved. She said that being hostile or negative about this will only reap more loneliness. She said that even she doesn’t know everybody and that you have to put yourself out there and get to know each other. My reaction..was nothing short of pissed. I thought, “how dare, she?” Her popularity at church was the equivalent of the Homecoming Queen at any high school. Then I felt this enormous conviction. I knew she was right. I knew I had to allow God to change me and it would be a long process. I knew my pastor’s heart, too. It was said at every service, “Hug those around you and tell them you are glad they are here today!” I knew I was negative a lot towards people, venting my problems like a spewing volcano. I was hurting because I felt offended that no one seemed like they wanted to get to know me. I was craving acceptance. But the way I was doing it was not going to reciprocate love.

I wrote the pastor an apology email about what I did. He was very kind in his reply. He told me if I was feeling that way, to reach out and get involved. Notice people around you and smile at them and talk to them. I had to realize that not everyone was going to be a true friend and that I had to “be a friend to have friends.”

We all want to be accepted and we should try our best to acknowledge people when we see them, even if the time is brief. I still fail at this, but know that I have to be encouraging to others and speak life into them. This is what the Lord wants. He knows us all by name. He has a will for us. The Bible always talks about building each other up. I hope we can all do that and in return feel His love through others.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for new friendships. Help me Lord, to cultivate the old friendships. Holy Spirit guide me to speak truth in love and life to all I come into contact with. Help me find people that need to be noticed and prayed over. Give me strength to endure on the days, I feel no one cares. Remind me that you are with me at all times and that you are my source of comfort. I rebuke any lies from the enemy that tell me I am unloved or forgotten. Give my eyes a better focus to look past rudeness and see their hurt. In Jesus’s Name. AMEN!”

Day #37

React vs. Respond. 

React=knee jerk, not thinking things through-irrational

Respond=taking time to process information-rational

Maybe the situation needs our immediate attention, but usually, we can take some time to think about it and not answer right then and there.

Where do you dwell?

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

I have been dealing with bouts of Vertigo. Vertigo can occur at anytime. I cannot plan for it. I have had to leave places because of it. It has kept me from planned events. Vertigo isolates me. It causes me to become anxious and fearful. Also, I planned our first vacation as a family. I was scared to go on an airplane because of what could happen. This caused stress and tension in my family. I did not want to go.

The day arrived to depart on our vacation. I medicated and prayed all will go well. Everything I prayed against came into fruition. The flight was delayed. When we finally took off, the flight was turbulent the entire trip, the flight attendants were grouchy, I was next to a baby, we had to circle about 10 minutes because there was a back up into the airport we were landing at and I was feeling motion sick and my ears were plugged up. Then it poured rain the hour and half drive to where we needed to be. Some of the roads were under construction which made for some off road driving. I wanted to transport myself back to my bed back home. These events set the tone for the next few days.

My thoughts spun out of control. The “what if” questions spilled from my mind out of my mouth. I proclaimed every negative outcome. I couldn’t even pray. My symptoms got worse, I had a bad bout of Vertigo during the middle of the night. (Imagine you are sleep and then you wake up thinking you are spinning like a log and about to upchuck your last week’s worth of meals. Pretty picture, isn’t it?) I decided to go to urgent care and get some answers. The doctor checks my ears and says, they both look great, the Vertigo came on because of your allergies and the plane flight. Try to enjoy the rest of your trip. I felt some relief. On the drive back to where we were staying, I heard Mercy Me’s song, “Move”.

This hurt is getting heavy
But I’m not about to cave
Everything’s about to change
There’s gonna be brighter days

I just might bend but won’t break
As long as I can see your face”

At that point, I decided, I needed to dwell in God’s promises. I am going to enjoy the heck out of the last few days of this trip. I know the enemy takes the things we fear the most and makes them seem catastrophic. We have to pray for endurance and guidance during tough times. When we ask, “why me?”, all it does is make things worse. We learn the most out of life and what God wants of us during trials. No one wants to endure them, but out of all of it comes a message to share. I began to be grateful and thankful for all the beautiful things we saw and experienced on the trip. I smelled the clean air, viewed the beautiful landscapes that God created. I was thankful my husband and child were healthy and happy despite me being sour. The flight home was tolerable and did not have one anxious moment. Focus on Him and everything in this dizzying life is stable and steady.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for carrying me through the tough times. Guard my body, mind and heart from the arrows of the enemy. I place the full armor of God as protection. Remind me of your promises in your word. Strengthen me and keep me in your arms. Thank you for fighting for me and giving me victory. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN!”