People are frustrating.
Not everyone but there seems to be a gradual increase in the number of these people in my life.
Over the years, but predominately within the past year, I am becoming more and more vigilant of the people I allow in my life.
Luckily some of these people are more peripheral bystanders.
And some have been closer.
What they both have in common is that they have either presented red flags or they associate with the red flaggers. Either way the mist of distrust is a scent that they all share it, whether through primary or secondary contact.
If I cannot trust you then there is no point of you being in my life or me in yours.
Additionally, those who you associate with become questionable too because I assume that there has been some form of cross-pollination of ideas and thoughts regarding me.
I know that it is wrong to assume but a lot of the time my spidey senses are on to something.
Also, I am not someone who runs on assumption alone. I have no issues speaking directly to someone about an issue. What I have an issue with is when I am the one being direct; when people try to sweep issues under the rug with a false smile; and it is apparent that continuing the relationship or conversations is a waste of time because most people make up their own mind about you before you can even counter-argue.
However, the Bible says in 1st Peter 5: 8-11.
“Keep a cool head. Stay alert.
The devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.
Keep your guard up.
You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world.
So keep a firm grip on the faith.”
The Message Bible
The Amplified version says:
“Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind, be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roars around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour”
Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset-rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same [identical] sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood [the whole body of Christians] throughout the world.
Both versions of the scripture reveal:
- The devil is an unrelenting persecutor and we should not be naive to his desire to destroy each and every follower of Christ.
- Having a cool head / being temperate requires self-discipline
- The devil likes to attack when you are complacent in an area
- We have the responsibility to stay alert at all times
- You are not the only one being targeted
Keeping a cool head / being temperate requires self-discipline.
At all times, we must personally endeavor to keep a firm grip on our emotions instead of being reactive.
This is what I am struggling with right now and what has motivated me to write today’s post. With the recent influx of distrustful people around me or within my line of sight, I want to confront them and address the elephant in the room. I detest fake people and even more, I detest fake interactions with said people.
The devil is like a roaring lion “seeking whom to devour” (NKJV).
He is literally on a perpetual stakeout, surveilling for advantageous opportunities to exploit us. Just like how an actual lion will attack a giraffe only when the opportunity presents itself and the conditions are optimum. The devil attacks when he has his soon-to-be victim within his line of sight.
Yet God will never allow Him to destroy His children.
And yet, complacency is never a good thing in this spiritual warfare.
Complacency is not good period. Effective leaders will tell you the same thing.
And people in romantic relationships.
I find that being complacent is just a nicer word for being lazy.
It is easy for us to be complacent with God: where we are at spiritually, within our prayer life, the time we spend with God privately and so forth.
It is easy for us to be complacent with how well things are going….or even for those who struggle with defeatism to be complacent with how non-surprisingly well things are not going.
Regardless, the devil is ready and willing to pounce on our complacency.
He is ready and willing to pounce on my frustrations with people, which has taken too much of my time already.
I am going to see this current situation for what it is: it not about fake people, but an opportunity for me to be distracted by not “keep[ing] a firm grip on my faith”.
How are annoying people affecting my ability to keep a firm grip on my faith?
Well, as mentioned before, I have dedicated more than enough man-hours being perplexed, annoyed and angry.
This can be very distracting considering all that I could have and need to be focusing on instead.
Like, ‘mediating on God’s precepts and fixing my eyes on His ways’ (Psalms 119: 15)…
Meditating on God and His guiding Words is the answer and solution to spiritual and natural distractions.
Meditation is key
We are fighting spiritual battles, whether we are aware or not. So we are up against spiritual enemies as well as those in the flesh, and said spirits motivates some of those people.
Being spirit-led instead of by my emotions is my current focus and for 2017. It will be part of my daily payer. Spending more time mediating on God’s Word about it will help me get to that point.
Being justified in my frustrations towards untrustworthy people is no excuse in letting my emotions getting the better of me.
1st Corinthians 10: 13 speaks to this:
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.”
God is faithful, and He will not let you be tested beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
English Standard Version
“Beyond you ability” – meaning that you and I are already more than capable to overcome these distractions that draw us away from what God wants us to focus on and may cause us to sin because of our emotions.
Do not make your emotions a god that you believe in more than God’s promise to never forsaken or abandon you.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your Gof who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
English Standard Version
Right now I am tempted to explode with anger and frustration. Tempted to permanently cut said people from my life even if certain circumstances dictate that I will see them on a regular basis.
Although, this stage is elementary, it is extremely important that we face it head on and depend on God or find ourselves alone within the roaring lion’s line of sight.
But God’s Word actually tells us that no temptation is greater than what we can OVERCOME.
When I would read 1st Corinthians 10: 13 (in particular the version that says, “He will not allow the temptation to be more than [what] you can stand”), I found myself being sub-consciously frustrated and consciously, incredibly doubtful in difficult times.
I thought, ’no, God I cannot withstand the storm. I need you to help me because I can not see a way out’.
I was unable to bypass the crap situations and I was frustrated that this scripture was telling me I could do what seemed like the impossible at the time. Even worse, when I tried to be more optimistic ad faith-led, the solutions I would think of in my head seemed idealistic than realistic.
‘I do not have the money to throw at this problem’
‘I know my stubbornness will work against me’
However, God is not asking for us to respond only when it is convenient for us or only when the situation seems like a logical win in our favour.
When those frustrations (which are distractions in fancy dress) and continue to exponentially pile on, a solution is for us to redirect our thoughts to things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise”
And keep doing this until it become habitual!
9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing.
Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4: 8-9
New Living Translation
This will probably not fix the situation but it brings peace of mind to you. We are not focusing on the other people: we want to make sure that our spirit and mind is strong, and our heart is guarded. Therefore, we do not give rise to advantageous opportunities for the devil to exploit us because we are not tempted to carry out our temptations.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”
Proverbs 4: 23
New International Version