Yesterday a friend said to me, when you started coming to church I was a little jealous because you had only been coming a short time and you knew stories in the Bible that I didn't know and I had gone to church my whole life. My friend said, I could have let that get ugly.
I've been dealing with a internal battle for several months now, and I am one who shuts down, because somehow or another I will be at fault. Such is the case to this battle. It's always something I could have done better, or handled better, or said differently, and those things are all true. BUT....there's things others could have come along side to do their part also. If you are living life together, we are all held accountable.
The Spirit of God comes to reveal. One of the things he reveals are things that are not healthy in your life. Now the process of eliminating those things can become quite painful. As Paul shares with us (below) because our flesh will begin to battle our Spirit in recovery. For me, this is an ugly ugly process. Shedding chains doesn't always look like it does in the movies, where the Princess's chains just drop off and she goes running to the Prince...on the contrary it looks more like the horror film "The Exorcist". Now you are getting much closer to what it looks like in my life. Demons beg to stay attached, and they cling to your flesh and as my Pastor friend shared in his sermon on Sunday, becomes quite the "chatterbox" in your head. Claiming territory of anger, hurt, lies and discord.
Another friend once said if something is bothering you about someone else, take a look in your own heart to find out what God wants to work on you with. I'm convinced she is right. You will never change anyone else's behavior anyway. For one, it's not our job and for two, our purpose isn't to change others, it's to be a light and change our self. If that change is appealing to others, perhaps they may want to change too... but if looks like the "exorcist" in the process you might just scare them away.
I'm envious of many people, and what I find is that it never strengthens the relationship. I'm envious because I don't understand that the gifts God gave me are valuable. I don't believe them, because of many things that were stained in my "memory trees" as Dr. Caroline Leaf would say as poor images of not being good enougt. I need them to be rerouted, and healed. In order for that to happen, I might have to go through a few battlefields. I'd rather hide, but God said, do not let your light be hidden. I trust that there is a spark...and where there is a spark there is potential for a flame, and where there is a flame there is light, and the darkness can never put it out. There is no darkness or shadows from the light. Just look at the picture.
Life by the Spirit
Galatians 5:13-26 New International Version (NIV)
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.