“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.”-Ephesians 6:10-11

 

 

     Sometimes the Evil One will plant others in our path to belittle our efforts and/or abuse us in some way. Yet we also have to be careful that we are not merely taking what this someone else is saying &/or doing the wrong way. Sometimes we invent enemies in our own heads to defeat, mainly because that is what we are used to-fighting & 'surviving' others. I suppose in part, we also do this because it gives us some semblance of familiarity, and hence, control over our lives & those 'dark principalities' which conspire against us at seemingly every impasse-and of course, a sense of control over that of our own mortality-ever immanent. Then again, sometimes we are correct about someone's ill &/or false intentions towards us, & we are merely utilizing our God-given 'interpersonal radar' to protect ourselves. It is hard to tell the difference sometimes. This is, I suppose, for those such as myself, one of the byproducts of C-PTSD, I suppose, of being a survivor of systematic childhood emotional abuse. As someone once remarked: “Between the Past & the Present lies many crossed wires!” Okay, so I just said that. Nevertheless, the 'damage' is often already done, even if we happen to find out that this 'other' person's intentions weren't what we thought they were. And this failing of my own “Interpersonal Broadcasting System”, however much a 'venial' sin it may indeed be, is still a sin, nonetheless. It is a failing of my fellow human beings which brings me much grief & abiding sorrow. Oftentimes, we hurt others the most due to our own self-protective reflexes &, at least what we perceive in the moment of emotional danger, our assumptions of others' intentions behind why they did what they did &/or said what they said. All that we can each do, of our own accord, is to continue making a sincere effort to continue treating our fellow human beings with the dignity & the respect that we, ourselves, would like to be treated with. Although, for the time being, one may have to erect a healthy boundary to another person that we either perceive has wrongfully transgressed us in some way. I am often tempted at the start of new 'relationships' to give a warning: “I am giving you the benefit of the doubt by letting you in. Please do not make a fool of me & make me regret it. And don't mistake my human decency for an invitation to transgress.” Unfortunately it seems, out of about every 300 people that you meet, you are blessed & fortunate to cross the path of even just one person who has no ulterior motives towards you, & who truly understands & is capable of respecting you. But, let it be. Let it be. That, in my book, is more than enough to make it out of this Life with your Soul, unsold. And as always, a cultivation of self-awareness is our most impenetrable shield against those 'dark principalities' which conspire against all servants & children of God out there in the world merely trying to bring some Light & some Truth to this dark world. Although we must take heed, when wielding this 'Shield of Self-Possession', to not leave that 'Shield of Faith', that 'breastplate of righteousness', that 'belt of truth', that helmet of Salvation & that 'Sword of the Spirit' forged alone through the power of the Holy Writ, at home in the closet (Ephesians 6:10-18). Self-reliance is all good, until we come up against our humanity, & the dysfunctionality of our 'crossed wires' & past wounds. Because truth be told, yes, there are some 'deliberately' (even if perhaps unconsciously) treacherous & mean-spirited people out there, but we must remember that they, too, sometimes act out of their own woundedness-not that this is an 'excuse' for their behaviour, but it can enable us to erect healthy boundaries while also treating those who wish us harm with dignity & sensitivity. And by the way, being 'guarded' is not the same as being callous or cold-hearted. As a matter of fact, healthy boundaries against those who mistreat us serve the main function of preventing our own feet from 'slipping into evil'. As the Scripture so sagely reminds us to: “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”(Proverbs 4:23) To that I would add: “Guard your Mind, for it can become the wellspring of Death.” All priceless treasures must be well-guarded, & well-kept. And truly, Scripture also reminds us: “For our struggle is not against flesh & blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Ephesians 6:12-13)

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