Undeterred and in Joy
It’s funny (not haha) how God uses everyday things to give me inspiration and remind me just how good He is. It is equally funny (not haha once again) how everyday annoyances remind me how silly the enemy of our soul is (aka Satan and the devil) when he’s desperate to get to you but can’t do so. He just runs on his hamster wheel even faster getting nowhere – doing the same thing over and over again, hence the definition of mad insanity. It’s a bit comical actually – he’s had no original thought since he fell out of Heaven (Revelation 12:9, Luke 10:18).
If you will remember yesterday’s blog, I spoke of how hurt people hurt people. Sometimes those hurt people try and hurt you or someone you know or both. Fifty percent of the time, I am convinced they don’t know what they are doing. The other 50% of the time is up for debate. Yesterday, Satan came at me with another very hurt, controlling, manipulative person. It went something like this: lies, an attempt to manipulate, then a scare tactic and then a closing statement as if the world was at this person’s command. The familiar sound of our enemy speaking through a hurt person. Honestly, the familiar voice of my late husband during one of his many bad times. Have you ever been addressed that way or had a conversation like that with someone? This isn’t my fist.
Needless to say it was a short conversation and a goodbye from me. I neither entertained nor addressed any threats. I simply told this person what they did not have permission to do. I then took the necessary steps to protect myself. Conversation over. Undeterred and in Joy! Not today or any day Satan!
How can you be “undeterred and in joy” when someone tries to hurt you? You look to the One who made you and who defines you, Jesus Christ. You don’t look to the hurt person attempting to throw their pain and issues on you. You don’t listen to the voice you hear coming out of their mouth. And trust me, it’s all mouth. In that voice is destruction, deception, and lies. They have yet to give their heart to Jesus so he can heal it, so all of their “yuck” comes out on you. We often times think we have to hold conversations with people like this or try to reason with them. I used to think so. I used to think I wasn’t being “kind” or “Christian enough” if I didn’t try. As I studied Jesus’ example I noticed something, he was kind yet he did not tolerate or hold long conversations with any form of evil. He did not let it define him and it wasn’t given “the floor” so to speak. The Gadarene demoniac (whom he delivered) and his encounter with the temple money changers are excellent examples. You can find these accounts in John 2:13-16 and Luke 8:26-39 for our own reference.
In following Jesus’ example, I don’t give evil a foothold, “the floor” when it’s coming out of someone’s mouth, or any permission to define or identify me. We don’t have to entertain it, wring our hands about it, or worry about it. Leave the hurting person in God’s hands, pray for them and love them from a distance – as I said in yesterday’s blog, you can’t fix or save them anyway. If you look at Jesus in the New Testament, those who wanted nothing to do with the gospel, he could do little for or help them. The Apostle Paul even told early Christian leaders (echoing Christ’s admonition), if people don’t want to treat you right or hear what you have to say, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet with no hard feelings. (Matthew 10:14 and Acts 13:51). I shake the dust off my feet when it comes to evil and to people who don’t want to treat me right. I pray for them and hold no ill will toward them. However, I don’t have to tolerate their “yuck” slinging. Is this making sense to you today?
When we follow Jesus and Paul’s example, we are undeterred and walk in joy just as they did! Nothing, no one nor any circumstance can steal our joy! This person did not steal my joy yesterday. They cannot steal my joy today, tomorrow or any other day! I will pray for this individual and I have no ill will but that does not mean I have to “hang out” with them or that they even need be in any of my social circles at all. It’s okay to protect yourself from evil and from people who want to hurt you. You don’t have to feel bad about that or apologize for it to anyone! And as for the person trying to hurt you or who continues to try and “yuck” sling, they will learn something from your intolerance of them – that there are people they can’t control nor manipulate and it would be best to move along and find someone else who will tolerate them (there is always, sadly, someone who will).
I hope I’ve given you some hope today to know that we don’t have to let hurt people continue to hurt us or abuse us in any way. We can walk undeterred in our purpose and in joy no matter what! We can walk as Jesus did – free of other’s opinions and owing no man anything. We can shut the mouth of evil in our lives! Choose joy and freedom today! Moving right along, Elizabeth