Thursday, October 8, 2015

Me Versus Myself

I have never been your "normal" girl :)   I love super heroes, action movies, watching football, etc.   One of my favorite cartoons when I was younger was the Justice League.  I would wake up on Saturdays and watch through other cartoons just waiting for that one to come on.   I loved the episodes where Superman would fight his evil alter ego.   They would go to an alternate universe and everything that was good about Superman in his own world was just as evil about him in the bizarro universe.

Why God uses simple things like this to speak a spiritual lesson to me always amuses me!   He knows me pretty well :)      Recently I had been going through just a little personal funk of feeling lonely.   My only child is a Senior in high school and I am single.   As great as he is, and as much as he loves me, I am not the person that he wants to spend all of his time with :)    He reminds me of myself at the age so much.  Something felt wrong if I was home!!  I had to be running around all of the time.  

On one of these particular nights of being by myself and feeling lonely, I was flipping through the TV and a certain show was on and the person was fighting an evil version of themselves.  I began to feel the Lord speak to me through this.   (Yes, I knew that me paying for cable was a Godly thing!! :)  The Lord began to show me that our strengths are often our weaknesses as well.   That the very things that make us who we are tend to be the very same things that the enemy uses against us.    I have such a heart for people.  I am motivated by being around people, spending time with them, loving people who are lonely, speaking into others lives.   I have a hard time doing anything half way.  I tend to leap before I look so to speak.     So not surprisingly, I struggle with feeling alone, being lonely, feeling invisible at times, feeling like I love others more than they love me.

That got me to thinking about other people that I know.   I have a friend that was a giver!  He was the true definition of a servant.  We worked together at a church.   You could ask him to do anything and he would try to do it for you.   He was such a giver that he didn't really draw healthy boundaries now that I look back on it.   After a few years of working with him,  all of the sudden, I  started to notice subtle little changes in him.   He was never a complainer, but he started to grumble and feel used.    He started to say things like why do I have to be the one to always do this or why doesn't that other person ever have to be here.  He started to feel like he gave all of the time, but did not get back.    Before he knew it, he was fed up and stepped out of his position.  He became of a victim of his own making. 

I can name story after story of people who I know that struggle with things that are on one hand - the best thing about them and on the other hand - the biggest problem they have.   The enemy is so cunning.    He doesn't scream things in our face, he whispers them in our ears.    He takes a subtle negative thought and plants it deep and then slowly makes it grow with his innuendos and lies.    For example:   because I make it a point to check on people and spend time with people, etc.  When I a home by myself on a Friday night, I have thoughts like "wonder what my friends are doing?"  Before I know it, the devil has turned those questions into thoughts like "i never get asked to do anything" or "I have no one to talk to"  and even..."people only call me when they need something from me!" 

Is that the truth he is telling me?   For the most part, absolutely not!!  Of course there will always be people who don't give back and only think of themselves.  But I am THAT person sometimes too.    The real truth is that the devil is using me against myself.  He is trying to take the gifting and the personality that God has given me and make me feel like it is a burden not a blessing.  That I would be better off not loving because then I would not feel unloved.   BUT the Word of God tells us that greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world!!    God gave us special talents and characteristics because He needed us to be willing to be used by Him to help others!!

What is your strength/weakness?    Are you courageous so you fight feeling afraid?   Are you loyal so then the enemy fights you with feelings of distrust?   Are you like me and you love with all your heart and then you fight feeling like no one will ever love you back the same?   We all need to learn to develop "spiritual earmuffs".   When the devil tries to whisper, we need to shout God's praise.    When he tries to fool us with lies, we need to learn to preach the Truth!    When we are tired and weary in our journey, we need to learn to surround ourselves with others who can help carry us in the right direction.

We can be our own worse critics, we can be our own worse enemies.   We can be the very thing that keeps us from reaching the full potential that God has for us.  Or we can learn to shut the enemy out when he tries to pull us to our "dark side" and believe that God made us the way He made us, for a purpose bigger than ourselves. That our best is still ahead and that like the Justice League cartoons...Good always wins!!!

In this thing called life with you my friends :)

April Phipps