“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly be that kind of a friend for your friends.” – Mark Twain
The older I get the more I understand that every day can be a fight with someone or for some thing if we chose it to be. Sometimes, the hardest battle is in our own mind.
My thoughts are best expressed behind this computer screen. I know I am much better at writing than communicating in person. I need more time to process things and in writing it gives me the time and the luxury of reading my words before I ever say them out loud.
Here in Bama , it is 2 A.M. and my mind is racing. Racing and replaying conversations that I had with one that I adore. There are so many things I want to say, to do. But, sometimes the hardest thing is not stepping in and fighting a battle for someone. Sometimes the best thing is to listen and encourage them . Give advice as needed and pray for them. Pray for protection and strength. Pray for wisdom and knowledge. Oh yes, and discernment.
The things that I will say publicly to this bubbly, talented and beautiful soul is this…
Everyone that says they are your friend is not your friend. When you find yourself asking if this person is really your friend, many times that is a white flag , take notice. There are some friendships that you can embrace and some that you have to keep at a distance and some you have to let go. As Ecclesiastes tells us in the Bible, there is a time for everything. We have to pray for wisdom and discernment when these times come because we have all endured them.
I think one of the hardest sins to overcome is the one of jealousy and a competitive spirit. They can be conquered but it truly takes the power of Jesus Christ to do it and the person has to want and willingly lay these traits at the foot of the cross. These two have done more than most any other to ruin a many of friendships.
Jealousy arises in relationships because of comparison, competition and the fear of being replaced. If we were busy counting our own blessings instead of counting others, this would not be an issue. If we maintained an attitude of gratitude, it would solve many relationship issues. Because as we have heard many times, There is alway, ALWAYS something to be thankful for. When we change our lens in which we view things and we can change our world.
So, when you are dealing with one that makes fun of you, cuts you down in front of others or is truly not happy when good vibrations come your way or better yet a compliment comes your way and not theirs ,take note, jealousy and competition has raised their ugly heads. When a friend steals your ideas, takes your work and says it is theirs, when it is always about their needs, when they can never say they are sorry and when confronted always play the victim role, you can know that you are dealing with one or both of these spirits. So what do you do?
I have walked away from a couple of friendships in the last couple of years for some of these very reasons. Even at my age of fifty, it is still a really hard battle to overcome. So how do you do it? Know, I don’t think I know it all, I am taking these steps myself as we speak. I have not arrived at the point when I hear their name and it does not bother me. Betrayal hurts. I know, I have to continually lay this hurt at the foot of the cross when I feel the sting.
What I do know is, chose your battles wisely and truly know who you are fighting. Yes, they are being used by the enemy and at times, I believe they are being a willing participant. But. know our enemy , Satan and his evil posse is the real enemy. The Lord tells us in his word that we are not fighting flesh and blood but against evil forces in the spiritual realm.
We have to call on the Lord. We have to pray for wisdom and discernment. We have to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. But know that being gentle does not mean being walked all over, treated poorly and taken advantage of one too many times. Boundaries are needed. Ask the Lord to help you establish those boundaries.
Believe in the sowing and reaping principle. It is a Godly principle and no one gets a free pass on it. In God’s timing , the truth will come out and the Lord will bring justice to the afflicted. But, all in his timing and not ours.
In the meantime, do you. Be you. Don’t stop shining. Be your own kind of beautiful. Watch what people do and not what they say. Don’t look at yourself through their eyes. Know who appraises your worth. God and God alone has that job. He sees us as his daughter’s. Royalty. loved, dearly loved . Know that enemies will come but realize that God and God alone is our strength and guidance and through him, we will be victorious.
So, don’t waste your time fighting the wrong battles. Lastly, Never… EVER forget that these spiritual wars are always fought and WON on our knees.
Great words to heed. Andy Stanley preached a series on Comparisin (sic). Trying to compare ourselves to others is sin. God made us all unique with unique gifts. Let’s find those gifts and use them to God’s glory. Thanks for these words of wisdom.