Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jealousy and Love

“Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy - in fact, they are almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
I've been bumping into jealousy in my life. I don't know what to do about it. If were me feeling jealous ~ I would know what to do. I would confess my sin to the Lord and ask Him to forgive me. I try to do this anytime emotions like jealousy or bitterness creep into my heart. But what do you do if it is directed towards you?

That is a really good question. There are a lot of great verses in the Bible about jealousy and envy. If you do a search on Google or Yahoo you will find them.

This is one of my favorites: James 4:11 ESV "Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge." It's a good verse, because the temptation you fall into when you are jealous of someone is talking about that person.

This I know from experience. I had a classmate in school I was jealous of for reasons of her superior intellect and beauty. I was a very young Christian and hadn't quite figured out what jealousy and bitterness did to the human heart. I talked about her a lot. I obsessed about her in fact. It was an icky time. Finally I got involved in the youth ministry of a new church and began to learn more about the bible and relationships through Christ and my bitterness and rancor began to be exposed to me by the Holy Spirit and I repented. Little by little, forgiving, exposing, forgiving, I was healed of these horrid emotions and set free.

Jealousy is a favorite tool of the enemy's. He would love to use it to tear apart relationships of Christian brothers and sisters wherever possible. The same holds true for bitterness. If you are wronged or feel you are, you need to apply forgiveness, not judgment or bitterness, because it is an emotion that will eat you alive. Eat your very heart out. Destroy you emotionally and leave you unhappy, angry and without the fruit of the Holy Spirit to help get you through this life.

I still haven't answered my question. But, I am beginning to be convicted and convinced of the answer. If someone is directing jealousy and bitterness your way you must pray for them, that is obvious...but what really goes against human nature is the ultimate solution ~ you must love them. Not secretly in your heart of hearts, although that is good. The tendency is to withdraw and attempt to protect yourself against the negative emotion. But that will not solve the problem. In fact you are passively punishing the person. You must actively and in every way you can show love and kindness to the person. As much as they will allow you to, you must love them with word and deed, in faith and the Love of Jesus, not out of obligation, but from the heart as Jesus inside of you directs you to.

This is difficult stuff. But this is the only way to go. This is the only way for a Christian sister or brother to help someone struggling with these potent and painful emotions. Because they are in pain. They are hurting or they would not have these feelings in the first place. So you must look on this person with eyes of love as Jesus looks as you. Without judgment. Without fear of being hurt. Without defensiveness or holding back. You must love them. For what is the challenge in loving someone who is acting all loving toward you? Rather the challenge is to love someone who feels bitterness towards you. Negativity you can sense. That is the challenge. And it is the life and behavior we are called to at the Cross. A life without judgment, a life of forgiveness, a life without pride or self-importance and a life of letting God be our defender, not ourselves.

Thanks for listening while I thought and silently prayed this issue through. "If you want to have friends you must shew yourself friendly" as the Bible says in Proverbs 18:24 KJV and the verse goes on to say, "And there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." That friend of course is Jesus. And as Christians that friend should also be us! God bless you all today and remember Jesus loves you and so do I!

NOTE TO READERS: I am resurrecting this older blog to write about Jesus and struggles I am having in the faith and in my life revolving around biblical truth and my experiences with my faith. This is all happening because Feedspot noticed people were reading this blog. Thank you Lord! AMEN

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

God Has Forgiven The Inexcusable In Us!

"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you." C.S. Lewis
This is one of my favorite quotes. It certainly smacks you in the face if you've been judgmental of others, but I like to look at it with a different twist: If God has forgiven the inexcusable in me, then perhaps I should also forgive myself. Or, to put it another way, ask God to forgive me and BELIEVE that He has AND ACT LIKE HE HAS. We are all so good at beating ourselves up. And holding onto our sin, our mistakes, rather than remembering what God has to say about it: "For I have removed your sin as far as the east is from the west" Psalm 103:12.

So why do we continue to condemn ourselves? Bad habits. And, frankly the Evil One is happy to use condemnation to keep us down, ineffectual, and sad beyond words...heartbroken. This isn't to say we won't feel remorse when others are hurt due to our actions. But, remember: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1.

Without the grace of God we are all lost, living in despair and without hope. With Him we have lives that can be full of joy in the direst of circumstances, molded by love and filled with hope. Sometimes, even those of us who know God well, forget we are also known by Him -- held by His love and care, forgiven, whole and new in His Son. Bless you all today. I hope your burden is a bit lighter for reading this. Love you always! Libby

Saturday, February 26, 2011

There's more to the Story

I have been leaving something important out of the story of my life. I just realized the omission today. I wrote a blog post on this subject for daily publication put out by the #Usguys Tribe on Twitter: Libbytalks Has a Secret. In it I talked about my bipolar disorder. I wanted to talk about my disorder because it is a big part of my life. My husband shares a lot of the credit for helping me manage so well -- he shoulders responsibilities when I can't and is very engaged is helping me recognize the changing signs and seasons of this disease.
I first discovered I had it while in my early twenties. If you go back to that post to help put things into perspective -- it hit before my son died. He was 9-1/2 months old. I became very hyper, couldn't sleep or focus, my thoughts began to race and I lost my appetite. This was my first manic episode. My doctors called it postpartum which I found hard to believe. They classified any manic episode occurring within the first year of childbirth to be postpartum. I can't really talk about all the details yet, but I will say this, my ex left before my son died and one of the big reasons he left was my diagnosis. My current husband Mike (32 years this July) knew what he was in for and embraced our marriage with positivity, joy and faith and has each day since. We have struggled with circumstances, but not with each other! We have fought this disease together each day as a team.

I know how fortunate I am to be managing so well. I am in my 50's and healthier than I've been in many years. I am stable on the meds and vitamins I take. Did you know Fish Oil was also good for mood? I am feeling good. The only glitch is I am easing off a med right now which anyone with this disorder will tell you is one of the hardest things to do. Any kind of medication change is difficult though. But, I am very thankful that I have never felt tempted to zip through life without my meds! Mania frightens me. I don't consider it a pleasant high that I should skip meds to experience. Many people with bipolar do. It's a shame because it puts them on a roller coaster. I don't want a ride, I want a life! I love having one. Time for the Lord, for family and friends --and good hard work! Also, I need time to spend on Twitter with a whole bunch of other fabulous friends.

I'm glad I'm sharing about this. Hopefully it will be of some help to someone. I am here, let's chat! @libbytalks on Twitter, Libby Baker Sweiger on Facebook.