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Tag Archives: faith
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Tomorrow marks the five year anniversary (if you can call it that.. anniversary sounds too positive) of the day I nearly died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Not really the happiest day of the year for me obviously, but at least it does make me think. Yes, I remember the awfulness of that day but it also makes me think of the good that’s come from it all.
When I realized I couldn’t tell my parents what happened to me because they would invalidate my near death experience &/or spin it around to how it affected them, that was a big wake-up call. I realized I needed them out of my life & began to actively pray about making that happen. I also realized there were other toxic people in my life that needed to go as well. Those who trivialized my experience or tried to make me think positively about it had to go. My circle of those close to me has become very small, but they are absolutely wonderful people. Quality over quantity, as the saying goes, & that is how I like it. Better to have only a few very close, good friends than a wide circle of acquaintances.
What happened also caused me to realize just how quickly your life can change & change drastically. The morning of February 27, 2015 appeared to be any other day. By the end of that day however, I was an entirely different person. Not only because of the brain damage & other health problems the carbon monoxide caused, but because coming close to death will shake a person up! Yes, I knew if I died, I would’ve gone to Heaven, so that wasn’t a problem. What was a problem is that I didn’t expect to die that day! Coming close when it was unexpected was traumatic, even though I did survive. Even now, thinking about it still shakes me up!
Coming close also showed me how quickly & unexpectedly a person’s life can end. That made me realize how important it is to enjoy your life as much as you possibly can. There are unenjoyable things that we can’t avoid of course, like getting stuck in traffic. But, there are ways we can sneak enjoyment even into those situations. Use that stuck in traffic time to listen to some good music or an audio book, for example.
Part of enjoying life for me is I also use my time in the evenings to indulge in hobbies I like. I’ve come to realize that when I don’t get creative time in, I get irritable & don’t enjoy anything like I normally do. Creative time is very important for most people, not only me. It gives freedom to use your imagination. It also gives down time that we all need in this often overly busy & chaotic life. If you don’t have a creative outlet, it may be time for you to find one. Wandering around a craft store can be a great place to start. They carry items for almost every hobby imaginable! And guys reading this, they even carry “guy stuff”, not just things for knitting & cross stitch. Many carry model car & airplane kits, stuff for electric trains, wood working & more.
I hope this post doesn’t sound like I’m looking for pity because of what happened. I’m not. I just believe I learned some valuable things from my experience & wanted to share them. Although I can’t say I’m grateful for what happened on that fateful day, I am grateful for the good that came from it. The things I shared here definitely changed my life & my attitude for the better! I hope they can help you too! ❤
James 4:17 in the Amplified Bible states, “So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.” These are pretty powerful words, don’t you think? They made me think….
People sin every day in all kinds of ways, no matter how hard we try not to. Some by doing something extreme, such as killing another person, but most of the time it’s smaller things. How many times have you felt in your heart that God wanted you to do something, even just something small, for another person, yet you ignored it? I don’t even want to think about how many times I have been guilty of this. I don’t always let that car into my lane when I feel I should or leave a good tip to a waitress as I know in my heart God would like me to do.
There are bigger issues though & yes, they relate to narcissistic abuse. There are also times I don’t want to listen to another victim of narcissistic abuse tell me their story. I’m not proud of that but it’s true. There are times I just can’t because I’m burned out on the topic, & in dire need of a break. But there are other times when I’m not burned out that I just don’t want to offer support or even just a listening ear for whatever reason. That is being really selfish & I’m not proud of it. I also believe it’s a sin, because I know God put this person in my path for a reason.
Unfortunately I think many people are guilty of this same behavior. We need to use balance & wisdom when someone approaches us, wanting to discuss their experiences with narcissistic abuse. There are times we need to protect our mental health, such as when burning out on the topic or if the C-PTSD is flaring up. At those times we can gently explain this isn’t a good time for us to discuss the topic. Let’s talk later. Or even suggest they email you.. that way they can get it out now, but you don’t have to deal with it immediately. It’s a really good solution.
Other times, however, maybe someone needs your support & you just aren’t in the mood to discuss narcissism. I truly get that. I am so tired of this topic it’s pitiful! That being said though, if someone is suffering, it isn’t fair to brush them off just because I don’t feel like talking about a topic they need to discuss. It’s unkind, & there is already a lack of kindness in the world today.
I’ve found if I know I should be there for someone when I’m not really feeling my most supportive, there are ways I can motivate myself. Knowing I’m helping someone is wonderful of course, but there are times I need a little extra motivation I think of a little reward for myself I can do or get later. Maybe it’s a new bottle of nail polish or time alone with a good movie & some knitting. The rewards are nothing really extravagant, just little things I like. It’s amazing how silly little things like that can be so motivating. It’s a good thing though, because it helps you to do the right thing when you just don’t want to. You also get a little something you really like
When in these situations, how can you think to help to motivate yourself? Like I said, it doesn’t even have to be extravagant. Some small little thing can be surprisingly motivating. And never forget the best part of all.. you’re helping someone else who has suffered as you have.
So many people I have spoken with were abused under the guise of Christianity. Parents abuse their children because they think Proverbs 13:24 basically saying, “Spare the rod, spoil the child” means parents have the right to beat their children. They are also often the same parents who claim their children aren’t honoring them by refusing to tolerate their abuse. There are also husbands who demand blind obedience from their wives because Ephesians 5:22 says wives should submit to their husbands. There are even those active in their church who abuse other church members. Some sexually abuse children, others ostracize other members for not fitting their ideal of what they should be & more.
There are so many things wrong with such situations!!
Personally I believe that as wrong as abuse is, when it is done using God as a justification or as a way to lure victims in, that somehow makes the abuse even worse. The person in this situation not only has the fallout of the abuse to deal with, but also is going to have a lot of spiritual damage as well. They may believe God doesn’t care about them or maybe that He simply doesn’t exist at all because what happened to them was so horrific. I felt the same way. My mother went through a phase when I was a teenager of telling me that she knew she was going to Heaven when she died because she was such a good person. I, however, was terrible to her so I was destined for Hell. I thought no God could exist & let me go through what I was going through, but if He did, I clearly wanted no part of Him if that was truly how He was.
Also, it seems to me when people twist Scripture around, if you look at the Bible, somewhere there is at least one nearby verse that clearly proves their interpretation is wrong. Look at Ephesians 5:22 for a second. Yes, it does say that wives should submit to their husbands. It also says in the verse immediately before that a couple should submit to each other. It clearly isn’t one sided, but you won’t hear an abusive husband mention Ephesians 5:21. The same goes for abusive parents who claim their children aren’t honoring them. The Bible also mentions in Ephesians 6:4 & Colossians 3:21 that parents shouldn’t provoke their children.
Truly toxic, abusive, narcissistic people will use the Bible or the label of “Christian” to justify their wicked behavior. To combat this, you have to know the Bible at least a bit. Nowhere in there does it justify any form of abuse! If you have any doubts, do your research with a good concordance or the internet. It won’t take you long to see how wrong the abuser is.
People also claim they are Christian to be underestimated, so people will feel safe with them or if they’re on the fence about something, they will think it’s OK because this person said they’re a Christian. Most people hear someone say they’re a Christian & somehow think those people are impervious to mistakes or bad behavior. Nothing could be further from the truth! EVERYONE makes mistakes for one thing. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t need Jesus. And for another thing, no true believer is going to be deliberately abusive towards someone else.
Rather than take someone on their word, observe a person’s behavior. Any true Christian’s behavior should show that they are doing their best to live a good, Godly life. Sure, they make mistakes, but they quickly try to fix them. If they hurt someone, it isn’t done intentionally, they are fast to apologize & change their behavior so it never happens again.
There are plenty of wolves in sheep’s clothing out there, looking for innocent victims. Remembering the points in this article can help you to avoid them.
Since my mother died, I’ve been concerned about her Salvation or lack thereof. I’d been praying for her for years now, but saw no evidence of any change. I asked God for a sign last Saturday if she was saved. No signs happened & I was discouraged.
Monday, hubby & I went to the funeral home to settle things. The guy who owns the place is a Christian. In his office, I saw a small model boat on a bookshelf. The boat’s name was Bailey. I thought that was interesting.. something felt strange though when I noticed that. I couldn’t put my finger on that feeling.
We had a nice long chat about our faith. As he was talking, he suddenly said, “The Lord is putting something on my heart. He wants me to tell you your mom accepted Him.” I had told no one I’d asked for a sign, but that was a big one!
A few minutes later, he said, “He wants me to tell you too, that everything is going to work out somehow. Trust Him. Everything is going to be just fine.” I left feeling a lot better than when I arrived.
And, I decided against a funeral. The people my mother was emotionally the closest to are physically far away. They’re also in failing health or elderly or both, so they won’t be able to attend. She only wanted a graveside service anyway, but still, there isn’t a point in having that for only a few people. My mother was practical so I believe she’d have been fine with my decision. Family members, however, I didn’t think would be. I was afraid of telling them of this considering how awful these people treated me when my father died.
Thank God, among all these awful people, He blessed me with a couple of good ones. One of my cousins said he would take care of telling my father’s family what happened & tell them they are NOT to contact me. So far, not a peep…
As for my mother’s family, I remembered I had an email for one of her cousins. That was the only contact information I had, so I used it. We’ve been talking & she’s been quite helpful. She’s dealt with my mother’s side of the family, so I haven’t needed to. The best part is when I explained there wouldn’t be a funeral & why, she said she thought it was the best solution since so many of her friends & family wouldn’t be able to attend. Whew…
God is truly working in this situation & blessing me beyond description right now. My mother’s salvation being the biggest blessing of all!
I hope this encourages you, Dear Reader. All things truly are possible with God! If my mother could turn to Him, that alone is proof all things are possible!
From March 3-9, 2019, my publisher is having a sale! All of my ebooks will be 25% off.
Come check it out at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug
Recently, hubby & I have been looking into changing our car & homeowner’s insurance company to a place where we can get a fairer rate. We found it, I’m very happy to say! It also got me thinking of something I haven’t shared in a while…
Some of you know, my beautiful ’69 Fury once belonged to my wonderful granddad. He gave the car to my father in 1976 when his car was stolen. In 1979, the transmission & rear end were going out, & he didn’t want the expense of replacing them both. My father sold the car to a local junkyard instead. I was only 8, & still remember the day this happened. My mother followed him in her car to the junkyard. He talked with the guy there briefly, & gave him the keys. Then he got into my mother’s car & we drove off to pick up his next car from the dealer. I remember staring out the window, watching the Fury get smaller & smaller in the distance. I’ve always loved cars, & for some reason, that one in particular, so it made me sad. My father even gave me a spare set of keys that I kept for years.. possibly they’re still in my parents’ house, I don’t know.
Anyway in 2005, my husband & I went to a local flea market. After parking, as we crossed the parking area, we saw this gorgeous green 1969 Fury! I was excited & told him it looked just like my father’s & granddad’s! My husband said, “Why don’t you leave a note on the car? Maybe the owner wants to sell.” On a whim, I did. A couple of days later, the owner called me & said he was considering selling the car for about 2 weeks. He sold me this beautiful car.
Shortly after, my father came by my house. He looked at the car & said, “This is my car! I remember this bit of silicone on the windshield trim.. I never could get rid of that. There’s that dent in the back bumper where a guy on a motorcycle rear ended me!” I thought that is impossible. His car had to be crushed years ago. Still, it’s very interesting…the same exact dent in the bumper? Silicone on the chrome in the same place? And, come to think of it, the keys the seller gave me said “Taylor” on them like my father’s keys did. They weren’t the original Plymouth keys, but copies. It got him & I both thinking.
After going home, my father called me. He found the maintenance records he had for his cars. Although he got rid of the ones for his Fury, he still had the VIN that he wrote down when he had the car during the latter part of the 1970’s. I compared it to the VIN on my car. It was an exact match!!! I was the proud owner not of a twin to my father & granddad’s car as I expected, but their exact car! Check this out.. the above VIN is what my father wrote down in the 1970’s. The bottom is the VIN off my car that I wrote down…
I know a lot of people who read my work probably aren’t car buffs like I am. But, I do believe many of you can appreciate this story anyway. This amazing car is such a wonderful display of God’s kindness & love! Getting this beautiful car is not something I ever expected to happen. It never even crossed my mind. It crossed God’s though. He was working on this back in 1979 apparently. The guy at the junkyard easily could have simply crushed the car, but he didn’t. He repaired the transmission & rear end. In fact, in 1990 I remember seeing the car at a traffic light, & wondering if that was the same car I had known. Apparently one former owner also had engine work done, so the engine is in fantastic shape. The car was also painted & the interior reupholstered. I not only got the same car, I got the same car in great condition!
If God could orchestrate all of this just to get this car to me & in such great shape, I think that is proof of how incredible He is! I mean, this plan was in place for 26 years, & all just because I always loved this car. Isn’t that mind blowing?! And, the Bible says in Acts 10:34 that God doesn’t show partiality, so this means if He can do something so amazing for me, He can do something amazing for you, too. xoxo
Did you know that it is acceptable to ask God for justice and expect Him to provide it? It is. It is actually in the Bible…
- Job 11:20“But the eyes of the wicked will fail, And they will not escape [the justice of God]; And their hope is to breathe their last [and die].” (AMP)
- Job 36:6“He does not prolong the life of the wicked, But gives the afflicted their justice.” (AMP)
- Psalm 11:7“For the Lord is [absolutely] righteous, He loves righteousness (virtue, morality, justice); The upright shall see His face.” (AMP)
- Psalm 37:28“For the Lord delights in justice And does not abandon His saints (faithful ones); They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will [in time] be cut off.” (AMP)
- Psalm 70:2“Let those be ashamed and humiliated Who seek my life; Let them be turned back and humiliated Who delight in my hurt.” (AMP)
- Isaiah 1:17“Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”
- Amos 5:24“But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream”
- Luke 18:7-8“7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (NIV)
In Psalm 7, King David very eloquently asked God to protect him from his enemies as well as to get justice for him:
“1 O Lord my God, in You I take refuge;
Save me and rescue me from all those who pursue me,
2 So that my enemy will not tear me like a lion, Dragging me away while there is no one to rescue [me].
3 O Lord my God, if I have done this, If there is injustice in my hands,
4 If I have done evil to him who was at peace with me,
Or without cause robbed him who was my enemy,
5 Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;
And let him trample my life to the ground
And lay my honor in the dust. Selah.
6 Arise, O Lord, in Your anger;
Lift up Yourself against the rage of my enemies;
Rise up for me; You have commanded judgment and vindication.
7 Let the assembly of the nations be gathered around You,
And return on high over them.
8 The Lord judges the peoples;
Judge me, O Lord, and grant me justice according to my righteousness and according to the integrity within me.
9 Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous [those in right standing with You];
For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.
10 My shield and my defense depend on God,
Who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
And a God who is indignant every day.
12 If a man does not repent, God will sharpen His sword;
He has strung and bent His [mighty] bow and made it ready.
13 He has also prepared [other] deadly weapons for Himself;
He makes His arrows fiery shafts [aimed at the unrepentant].
14 Behold, the [wicked and irreverent] man is pregnant with sin,
And he conceives mischief and gives birth to lies.
15 He has dug a pit and hollowed it out,
And has fallen into the [very] pit which he made [as a trap].
16 His mischief will return on his own head,
And his violence will come down on the top of his head [like loose dirt].
17 I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness and justice,
And I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” (AMP)
(Notice how David asks for justice, not revenge. There is a big difference between the two. Justice is a correct punishment for a wrong done to a person. Revenge is inflicting suffering on someone.)
I am not saying you have to ask God for justice, that it will make people suddenly behave properly or you will no longer hurt by anything they have done. However, if you want to, there is nothing wrong with asking God for justice in your situation if you feel so inclined. Maybe it would help you somehow to do it, and if it would, then it is absolutely worth doing. Besides, maybe when God sends them His justice, they will learn that their behavior was wrong, and not behave that way any longer. It is certainly possible. All things are possible with God!
When my father was dying & I was abused daily by the flying monkeys, I did not ask for justice at first. It took me a couple of months before I prayed for justice. I also asked that when His justice happened to these people that they would learn never, ever to treat anyone else the way they treated me. I also only prayed this prayer a couple of times. It certainly is not a part of my daily prayers. It did help me to feel a bit better to pray for justice those two times, though. I am not a vengeful person at all. I am however, very tired of people getting away with hurting innocent people without consequences. It is not right, and people need to know that they cannot simply treat anyone however badly they feel like without consequences. Since talking to these people would do no good, I believe that praying for justice for what they did to me is the next best thing. God can get through to them like no mere mortal can!
Narcissists abuse their victims in many ways – emotionally, mentally, financially, physically & sexually. Some also abuse their victims spiritually.
Spiritual abusers aren’t only those who are preachers, deacons or others who are active in their church. Anyone can be a spiritual abuser. When my mother’s abuse peaked when I was in my late teens, she became very spiritually abusive. She frequently told me that I was going to hell for the terrible way I treated her. She never was active in a church or taught me anything about God. In fact, she always said she hated Christians.
If you’re wondering if the narcissist in your life is abusing you spiritually, there are some signs to look for.
- Twisting Scripture around or eliminating parts of it to suit their agenda is a big red flag. A narcissistic parent who tells their child the commandment says to honor your parents, yet never considers where the Bible says parents shouldn’t exasperate their children is guilty of this behavior, as is the narcissistic husband who says wives should submit to their husbands while conveniently forgetting the rest of the verse says husband should also submit to their wives.
- Narcissists also may lie to the victim, saying they are doing God’s will by abusing the victim. This can do a tremendous amount of damage to a victim. It can turn someone against God, or destroy their faith in Him. I did not believe in God as a child, since I had no real teaching about Him, but my mother using Him as a weapon to hurt me made sure I didn’t want to know anything about Him either.
- Someone who reminds victims of the imperfection of human nature as an excuse to abuse is being spiritually abusive.
- Claiming a victim shouldn’t get angry because it’s not Godly is spiritually abusive.
- Anyone who tells a victim to “forgive & forget” the abuse, to stay with an abuser no matter what or gets angry when a victim gives an abuser consequences is being spiritually abusive.
- Some narcissists are quite active in their church, making themselves very valuable to the church with their service. They will recruit enablers who are also in the church, so when their victim speaks out, they shun the victim. The logic is something like, “He couldn’t be like she says! Look at all of the good things he does for our church!”
- They also may tell people that the “good” people at church are disappointed in the victim for behaving so badly, whether or not this is true. This can leave a victim feeling unable to reach out for support.
Coping with spiritual abuse isn’t easy, but it can be done.
- Do you know Jesus as your personal savior? If not, I really suggest you turn to Him now because you truly need help! There is information available on my website at this link: Salvation Through Jesus Christ.
- Learn what the Bible has to say. Use an easy to understand translation like the Good News or New King James version. The more you learn & the closer you draw to God, the more truth you will see & the more you will see the narcissist has been lying to you.
- Question things the narcissist says to you. Not necessarily out loud, but to yourself at least. “How does this coincide with the Bible?” “Is there Scripture that backs up what he/she is saying?”
- Pray. Pray often & pray a lot. Ask God to show you the truth & to give you clarity. While God is holy, He is also a very loving & gentle Father. He will guide, teach & even correct you while never making you feel badly about yourself.
- Do you have good Christian friends? If not, it’s time to find some! If you know someone who has been a Christian for a while, & is actively trying to be a good example of their faith, this person can help you to keep focused on the truth. If the narcissist prevents you from having friends (as so many do), see what you can find online. There are many online forums & groups. You can find friends there that the narcissist doesn’t know about.
- Never forget that your Heavenly Father loves you a great deal. He does NOT want you suffering & miserable. He does NOT condone abuse nor does He want victims to suffer in silence. Speak out & protect yourself.
Have you ever noticed sometimes that the more your relationship with God improves, the more bad things seem to come your way? Suddenly it seems like everything is going wrong, & the things that are going wrong are big challenges. If only they were simple ones like having a flat tire.
This is because the closer you get to God, the more the devil hates you & wants to steal your peace & joy.
I have seen this in my own life recently. A couple of weeks ago, I spent a good part of my day in tears & praying about a big problem happening in my life. That afternoon, one of my wonderful, Godly friends texted me. She reminded me that with God, all things are possible & that He loves me. The amazing part of this is that I didn’t tell her anything that was happening until after she sent me the text & I explained why this meant so much to me that she did that. This incident caused my faith in God to grow by leaps & bounds. Since then, I’ve been experiencing more nightmares & flashbacks than usual which causes my health to be worse, my husband & I have been getting along worse & even my cats have been fussing with each other a lot which is highly unusual for them.
If things are suddenly going badly in your life, this may be why. Did you have some sort of spiritual breakthrough recently? Are you feeling closer to God than usual due to an answered prayer or display of His favor & love? That may be why things suddenly took a turn for the worse in your life.
During these trying times, I’ve learned that as hard as they are, there can still be peace. On the outside, nothing has really changed in my life at all. Things are still challenging. However, I know beyond any doubt that God is still in control. He still loves me, He still has my back. Even during the bad times, He is still with me.
That goes for you too, Dear Reader. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, & it seems like God is a million miles away, He’s still with you & taking care of you. And, the only reason things are going badly at the moment is the devil is mad that you’re closer to God. He’s trying to destroy your faith, to make you think things like, “If this is what happens when I get close to God, I’m done believing in Him!” Don’t give him what he wants! Stick even closer to God! It makes a big difference! Maybe not in your circumstances immediately, but you’ll be better able to handle the bad things, you’ll have more peace & less anxiety & depression. One thing that helps me too, is to remember Psalm 23:4
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (NKJV)
I have found these Scriptures to be comforting & helpful as well…
Psalm 33:8 “Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.” (NKJV)
Psalm 33:18 “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, ” (NKJV)
Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.” (NKJV)
Remember, you are NOT alone, Dear Reader! God is in your corner with you, no matter what. xoxo
One of the things I love so much about the Bible is it never gets old. Even if you’ve read it countless times, you still will see something new.
This Scripture came to my attention a few minutes ago…
Titus 3:10 “After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him],” (AMP)
I thought about how this relates to no contact.
Many people think those of us who have gone no contact did so on a whim. The truth is that we struggle a great deal with no contact. It’s a VERY big & difficult decision! Some people go no contact but then later resume the relationship when the narcissist gets word to them that they need help, are sick or maybe even they simply wear down the victim by constant stalking & harassment. Many people who have considered or gone no contact also think it’s not Godly. You can’t be a Christian & sever ties with an abusive family member or divorce an abusive spouse. This thinking is completely wrong though, & Titus 3:10 proves that!
If you’re in this situation, then I urge you to consider your situation. Have you prayed about it? Chances are, if you share my faith then you have. A LOT! Yet, you still are leaning towards no contact or you have followed through with it… doesn’t that tell you that it’s ok? I mean, if it wasn’t, God would find some way to let you know it’s a bad idea. At the very least, you’d have a feeling inside that it’s not a good solution. God’s voice may not always boom loudly in our ears, but He does have the Holy Spirit quietly let us know if there is something we should or shouldn’t do.
Also, have you done as this Scripture said? Have you spoken with the narcissist in your life, explaining that their abusive behavior has hurt you? Again, chances are you have. Every single person I’ve spoken with who has survived narcissistic abuse whether it was at the hands of a parent, spouse or relative tried talking things out with that narcissist many times. They didn’t simply end the relationship, & I’m sure you are the same way.
Everyone has their limits, & there is nothing wrong with reaching the limits & eliminating toxic, abusive people from your life. The above Scripture from Titus is only one of many that say this in the Bible. Here are other Scriptures that show God wants us to be in good, healthy relationships.:
Psalm 1:1 “Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example],Nor stand in the path of sinners,Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of [b]scoffers (ridiculers).” (AMP)
Proverbs 13:20 “He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise,But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.” (AMP)
Luke 9:5 “And as for all those who do not welcome you, when you leave that city, shake the dust off your feet [breaking all ties with them] as a testimony against them [that they rejected My message].” ” (AMP)
Luke 17:3 “ Pay attention and always be on guard[looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him.” (AMP, emphasis added)
1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” (AMP)
2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (AMP)
2 Corinthians 6:17 “So come out from among unbelievers and be separate,” says the Lord, “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will graciously receive you and welcome you [with favor],” (AMP)
One year ago, I shared this post about the miraculous & wonderful events that surrounded my father’s death. If you haven’t read it, please do.
I still am absolutely blown away by the events of that time. Talking about the goodness of God doesn’t begin to explain just how loving, good, kind & merciful He truly is, & those events proved it to me.
It’s been quite the emotional roller coaster since my father’s passing last year, & my faith has grown tremendously too.
While I don’t believe the dead actually come to us in dreams, I do believe because God knows how much certain people mean to them & they mean to us, He allows us to have dreams to convey messages from them. That being said, I’ve had a couple of dreams about my father since his passing, although he rarely actually makes an appearance in them. At first, I knew the dreams were to tell me that he was sorry for everything & loves me a great deal. I also knew he didn’t want to appear in my dreams often because of the things that happened in our relationship- he was afraid it’d upset me. Recently though he showed up in a dream & it was lovely- we were talking & laughing, & he was telling jokes. It was fun since we shared the same skewed since of humor. I believe that dream was to let me know that he appreciates all the prayers that not only I said for him, but my friends said as well, & now he’s enjoying Heaven because God answered those prayers.
I wanted to share these events with you to (hopefully!) encourage your faith & comfort you are losing someone you love. God truly can save everyone who wants to be saved. Never give up hope or give up praying for them, Dear Reader, even when it looks hopeless. It may happen at the very last minute like it did with my father, but it can still happen. Keep praying!!
Also, if you’ve lost a loved one, draw close to God. Allow Him to help you to get through & to comfort you. He truly will! I’ve even asked Him if it’s ok, please tell my deceased loved ones I miss them, are thinking of them or even happy birthday. I know as Christians, we aren’t supposed to try to contact the dead, so obviously I won’t seek out a medium or grab a Ouija board. But, I see nothing wrong with asking that sort of thing of God. Besides, if He didn’t want it to happen, He wouldn’t do it & would tell me it’s wrong! He also has told me little things that they wanted me to know, & of course there have been many dreams. Sometimes during the hardest times, I’ve dreamed about my grandfather, & the dream helped comfort me. On February 26, 2016, the night before the one year anniversary that I survived carbon monoxide poisoning, I had a dream of going four-wheeling with my grandfather. It was so fun & helped me feel much less depressed about that anniversary. God can bless you in the same way. He is no respecter of persons, so what He does for one, He can do for another.
I guess my thoughts are a bit scattered on this post, but I do hope they help & encourage you anyway. xoxo
Psalm 101:5 in the Amplified translation of the Bible says, “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will silence;
The one who has a haughty look and a proud (arrogant) heart I will not tolerate.”
This verse has come to my attention quite a few times recently. It find it VERY interesting. Don’t you think that it describes some aspects of narcissistic behavior? Narcissists have NO trouble slandering others. They also have the haughty look & an arrogant heart. What is even more interesting to me than the description of these behaviors is that God has no tolerance for them.
Yet, narcissists’ evil minions, also known as flying monkeys, love to tell victims of narcissistic abuse that we are being cruel, unloving, & even ungodly if we set boundaries with the narcissist in our lives. They tell us invalidating & horrible things like, “You only get one set of parents!” “He won’t be around forever yanno!” “But that’s your MOTHER!!!” & more. If the flying monkey claims to be a Christian, they also like to throw in their version of Scripture to prove that your behavior is terrible, such as you aren’t honoring your parents or “God hates divorce” if your narcissist is your spouse.
Awful statements like these can make a victim feel ashamed for not tolerating the abuse or even feel enough guilt to resume the dysfunctional, abusive relationship as it was & abandon all attempts of self protection.
This should not be!!!
If you have been subjected to the inane ramblings of flying monkeys, you need to know some things.
First, the people saying these things are abusive. Invalidation is abusive. Encouraging someone to return to an abusive situation is also abusive. Attempting to force someone to do something is controlling & abusive. You have every right to protect yourself from these awful people.
Second, I’ve come to realize that many flying monkeys are simply covert narcissists. Narcissists only care about what is best for them, no one else. Why would you take the advice of someone like that?!
Third, you also have the right to protect yourself from any abusive person, which includes your narcissistic parent(s) or significant other. There is nothing holy, good or loving about tolerating abuse. Anyone who thinks there is has some seriously warped beliefs, & obviously they know nothing of God or His ways.
Fourth, the Bible says in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (NIV) One duty all Christians have is to become like God. While we can’t be just like God, of course, we can love as He loves, & treat people as He does. So, keeping this in mind, if God does not tolerate certain things, like narcissistic behavior, this means we shouldn’t tolerate it either.
And lastly, as I said, there is nothing holy, good or loving about tolerating abuse. Doing so encourages a person to behave poorly. It keeps them indulging in sinful behavior, hurting other people & even themselves. How can this be good for anyone?! It’s impossible!
On the opposite side of that coin, refusing to tolerate abuse is a good & loving thing to do. It sets boundaries that give consequences for a person’s bad behavior. If they wish to avoid those consequences, they will behave better. (While no one can force another person to change, boundaries at least create circumstances that can make a person want to change. ) Helping a person to be the best version of themselves that they can be is a loving thing to do.
Refusing to tolerate abusive treatment also removes the opportunity for the abusive person to sin, at least where you’re concerned, & that is a good thing. Tolerating abuse not only allows the abuser to sin but practically encourages it. After all, why should the abuser stop being abusive when they don’t have any reason to? And no, for narcissists, knowing they’re hurting someone else isn’t enough of a reason to stop abusing.
Dear Reader, the next time someone criticizes you for not tolerating abuse from the narcissists in your life, please remember what I’ve said. There is absolutely nothing good about tolerating abuse for you or the abuser. You have every right to protect yourself however you see fit, whether it’s by setting boundaries or even ending the relationship. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise! xoxo
As some of you may remember, my late mother in-law was a covert narcissist. She also was exceptionally good at what she did. My own husband didn’t believe me when I told him of many of the things she said & did to me. Like everyone else, he was fooled by her innocent act. I can’t blame him entirely for that. Like I said, she was VERY good.
During the time she was in my life, I knew something was wrong, even though I had no understanding about Narcissistic Personality Disorder at the time. It blew my mind how, like my mother, she could appear one way to other people, but the moment we were alone, the fangs came out. That just isn’t normal & you don’t have to have a degree in psychology to know that.
Then one day when my husband & I were at his parents’ home, visiting his parents. My mother in-law said something, & my father in-law said, “Shut your stupid mouth. Nobody wants to hear what you have to say!” I’d never seen that side of him before, only heard about it. He & my husband went outside shortly after. My mother in-law & I were left alone. I don’t remember exactly what she said, it was probably over 20 years ago by now, but I do remember that she was especially mean to me that evening. I figured she was just upset by how her husband spoke to her & taking it out on me.
The anger I usually felt at her because of her nastiness softened a lot. I felt bad for her for what just happened. And, for some time after that, I put up with her nastiness without complaint. I figured she obviously has no real coping skills, so maybe being mean to me is the only way she can deal with the hurt & anger she felt inside. I didn’t like it but I figured if it helped her somehow, fine. If I could live through the horrible things my mother said to me, I could handle the mother in-law.
This didn’t last long, a couple of months tops. I realized it wasn’t helping her, it was really hurting me & frankly, it wasn’t fair.
Situations like this are no doubt why so many people say you should never pity a narcissist. It means you will tolerate a LOT of abuse. Well, that is a very valid point. I tolerated so much more than I should have because I felt pity for my mother in-law.
However, that being said, I still don’t regret feeling that pity for her at that time or at any point. Probably that makes me sound crazy, but hear me out…
I realized some time later that the ability to feel pity for someone who was so cruel to me showed that in spite of all of the narcissistic abuse I’ve been through in my life, it didn’t destroy my ability to feel compassion for others. It can be so easy to turn bitter & angry when you’ve been through narcissistic abuse. I also didn’t turn into a narcissist like a few victims of narcissistic abuse do. I am grateful that neither happened to me.
Feeling pity for my mother in-law motivated me to pray for her, & all Christians know God wants us to pray for others, including our enemies:
“43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, [a]love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. 46 For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? 48 You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (AMP)
I prayed for her quite a bit over the years, albeit not as much as I should have. All of my prayers for her were answered. My mother in-law did come to know Jesus, so she is in Heaven now instead of Hell. She also died in her home rather than a nursing home, as she wanted. She even died in her sleep, peacefully.
Praying for her also was good for me. It helped me to release the anger I’d felt at her for so long. I eventually got to the point of feeling nothing for her beyond wanting her to come to the Lord & not to suffer at the end of her life. Sorta sad, I admit, but it sure beats hating her like I once did!
My point in telling you this story is this.. some people find it easy to feel pity for people, even narcissists. When you know that the narcissistic person in your life has suffered, in spite of how awfully they treat you, there’s probably a little part of you that pities that person. It’s natural to want to shut that part of you down when the object of your pity is so abusive. Instead, why not acknowledge it? Accept that feeling as it is- just a feeling. Also, you can take the feeling as a sign that person needs prayer & you need to be the one to pray.
However, please, PLEASE do not get all crazy like I did & let the pity you feel be a reason to tolerate abuse from the narcissist. It’s very possible to feel pity for someone while still maintaining healthy boundaries & distance. I did with my mother in-law & still do with my mother. Please learn from my mistake in this area!
Lastly, if you don’t feel pity for the narcissist in your life, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or a bad Christian. Many people don’t feel it & there is nothing wrong with that! Even good, loving, faithful people don’t always feel pity towards narcissists. It happens, & it’s ok. This post is simply directed at those who may feel differently than you. 🙂
So over the last couple of weeks, on top of dealing with my husband’s father’s sudden passing, one of our beautiful kitties, Zippy, got sick with a urinary tract issue plus a reaction to his medication. On our way to the vet’s offie, we hit an unusual amount of green lights & little traffic. We were only there a short time. And, as usual, there was no emergency fee (I think it’s $65) because our vet is more concerned with caring for animals than making huge profits. I truly have the most awesome, wonderful vet in the universe 🙂
On the good side, as I’m writing this, Zippy is doing well. It’ll take him a few days to get back to normal, but praise God, he’ll be normal again!
Also as I was writing this, my husband called after his dad’s funeral service was done. Naturally it was tough, but the good thing is our neighbor showed up to be there for him. How sweet is that?! As if him & his wife baking a couple of cakes for the wake wasn’t kind enough.
The past week has been incredibly rough but while I was thinking about it, I realized yet again how true Psalm 23:4 is….
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (KJV)
The reason I’m telling you about this is to encourage you. I know during hard times it can feel like God is nowhere around. It sure can feel like you’re walking alone in, “the valley of the shadow of death!” I’ve felt the same way myself the last few days. But, whether or not you feel His presence, God is there, listening to your prayers & working out your situation. Somehow, some way, God will help you get through even the hardest of times.
This was hardly the first time God has helped us & no doubt it won’t be the last, so I feel assured in telling you that if you’re going through hard times, even if you feel totally alone, you really aren’t. God is there with you, in your corner, working things out somehow for the best solution to the situation. You’re never alone in those dark valleys of the shadow of death! Keep praying, keep believing & He will show up in ways you never expected. xoxo
The past two weeks has been quite overwhelming.
Tuesday, June 12, my husband’s father fell in his home. Hubby took him to the hospital, & they decided to keep him. Upsetting of course, but not entirely unusual considering his age. Saturday, June 16, my husband was told his father only had a couple of days left to live. Friday, June 22, his father died.
Out of protecting my husband’s & his father’s privacy, I don’t want to reveal more details than that about the situation, so pardon me for being vague.
The situation got me thinking & I decided to share those thoughts.
First & foremost, this situation was just another reminder of how quickly life can change. When hubby took his father to the emergency room, he had no clue that only 11 days later, his father would die. Never take anyone you love for granted! Enjoy every moment you can with them. Never forget that things can change quickly, so tell them & show them often that you love them. I make it a point to tell people I love them as the last thing before hanging up the phone or leaving their company.
Don’t forget to enjoy your life as much as possible. Don’t settle for working a job you hate longer than absolutely necessary or continuing a relationship that is making you miserable. Do things that make you happy & avoid things that don’t as much as humanly possible. Travel, dance, write poetry, paint or participate in hobbies you love. Do whatever benefits your peace & joy. No one knows how long we have to live so why not enjoy every moment possible?
If you’re an animal lover, rely on your furbabies to help you in tough times. Animals do love us & want to help if they can. Just before my husband called to tell me about his dad, I saw two of my cats looking rather adorable & decided to take their pictures. He called just as I took the last picture. Later when I put the pictures on my computer, I noticed how sad my cats looked in those pictures, which is highly unusual for them. I really believe they knew what was going on. And, when my husband got home, they proved it. The cats haven’t left him alone since he got home that night. They’re doing their best to make him feel loved & comforted, & it’s a great help to him!
I also realized that once you’ve lost a narcissistic parent, death can be triggering. This is the first person we’ve lost since my father died last October. I feel like emotionally speaking, this situation has sent me back to last year. It’s an emotional flashback of sorts, I think. I assume this is happening because my father died not all that long ago & I haven’t been able to heal from that awful time yet. I’m not telling my husband about this because he doesn’t need any further burdens right now of course, but my word, this is a challenge & one I never expected.
If you too have experienced the death of a narcissistic parent, Dear Reader, I think you need to know this kind of thing can happen to you too. Even if the person who passes on is someone you aren’t particularly close to or not a person in a parental type role, I think it’s possible it can happen to you too, so just be prepared.
So, that’s what has been happening recently. I figured I’d let everyone know & I hope the thoughts I had help you. xoxo
Some very naive people think that being a Christian means some pretty awful things. One of those awful things is that as a Christian, you are to tolerate any & all abuse because calling people out on it is “un-Christian” or unloving. These ingenuous people actually think that removing yourself from an abuser’s life isn’t Godly behavior, especially if that abuser is a parent. It’s much better to allow that person to abuse you indefinitely! After all, the Bible says you should honor your parents, & it’s honorable to tolerate anything they dish out!
I am certainly not claiming to have all the answers to all things Christian. I am well aware that I don’t. But, I have been a Christian for 22 years now & have learned a few things.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean you are better than other people or that you’re perfect. Far from it. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need Jesus. And, just because we have Him in our lives & hearts doesn’t mean we’re perfect. No matter how perfect an artist may be, if the canvas is flawed, even the greatest artist can’t paint a perfect picture on a flawed canvas.
Another important thing I have learned is that being a Christian also means we need to love God’s way, which is very different from loving people’s way. God’s love wants what is best, not what is easiest. Confronting abusers is best because it encourages them to make appropriate changes in their behavior. Granted with narcissists, the chances of them making positive changes is very slim. However, it is not your place to force them to change. It is your place to encourage them to change, which is much different than forcing someone to change.
But it’s certainly NOT easy! Tolerating bad behavior & even abuse is much easier than standing up to someone about their behavior. As painful as tolerating abuse is, at least you won’t lose your friends & family so long as you tolerate it. Once you stand up to an abuser, chances are excellent that you will lose people you love. They will call you unreasonable, unloving, cruel, abusive, a bad son/daughter/friend/etc. & yes, even attack your faith by saying you aren’t a real Christian or are a bad one. People who stand up to abusers find out quickly who really loves them & who doesn’t.
I believe many people, Christian or not, have misinterpreted the Bible when it comes to love. Yes, love is patient & kind & other wonderful things. However, love also must be tough sometimes. God proves that! He doesn’t let His people get away with any old kind of behavior. He lets us suffer consequences of bad actions or be blessed with good actions. As His children, we are supposed to behave like God- Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (KJV)
Dear Reader, if your faith has been judged & criticized because you have removed an abuser from your life, you are most certainly not alone. Many people have been, including me. When this happens, I try to remember Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. 12 Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (AMP) As painful as it is when people side with your abuser over you, & even shame you for no longer tolerating abuse, it can bring comfort when you remember God is all too aware of what is being said to & about you. He will reward you one day! Those who said such cruel things however?? Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes…
2 Thessalonians 1:8 “dealing out [full and complete] vengeance to those who do not [seek to] know God and to those who ignore and refuse to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus [by choosing not to respond to Him].” (AMP)
Romans 12:19 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” (AMP)
I get a wonderful daily email from Bible Gateway- Psalms in a month. This was in today’s email, & I couldn’t help but think of narcissists.
Psalm 101:5 (AMP)
“Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will silence;
The one who has a haughty look and a proud (arrogant) heart I will not tolerate.”
Soooooo… if God Himself has absolutely no tolerance for this type of behavior, why do people think victims should tolerate it? How is it being a “good Christian” to tolerate this sort of abuse?
It seems to me that people who believe those of us who have gone no contact or at the very least refuse to tolerate a narcissist’s abuse by giving them boundaries & consequences are putting people & their wishes above God. What they think should happen is obviously more important to them than what the Bible says. If the narcissist in question is family, they’re also putting the institution of family above God.
If you think that I’m just overreacting, consider the following from the Gospel of Matthew…
Matthew 10:34-37 (MSG) (emphasis added)
“Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.”
Reread the part I underlined. “Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.” That’s pretty clear, don’t you think? God should come first in your life, NOT other people, no matter who those people are!
For those of you who have been on the same boat as me with being condemned for being a bad person &/or bad Christian for not tolerating abuse from the narcissist in your life, please remember what the Bible has to say. God doesn’t think you’re a terrible person because you refuse to allow some horrible person to abuse you. He has called you to be like Him, not to please people, & if other people have a problem with that, well, that isn’t your problem- it’s theirs.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (AMP)
“Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]; 2 and walk continually in love [that is, value one another—practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God [slain for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.”
1 Thessalonians 2:4 (AMP)
“But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel [that tells the good news of salvation through faith in Christ], so we speak, not as [if we were trying] to please people [to gain power and popularity], but to please God who examines our hearts [expecting our best].”
Two years ago yesterday was a big argument with my parents. The biggest ever. That’s saying something because there have been some very ugly fights over the years.
I knew something ugly was brewing. My husband’s mom died 5 days prior, & he’d warned me there was an obituary in the local paper that my parents read religiously. I knew they would call about it, & I figured it’d be something like, “she was such a lovely woman” & other nonsense. My parents knew perfectly well that I hadn’t spoken to her since 2002. I’d told them that she was cruel to me (a covert narcissist), & they only met her twice. I didn’t think her death would be of any major concern to them. Comments praising her supposed sainthood were expected, & that was it. I did NOT expect the huge blow up it turned into. In fact, I’d prayed when I saw my parents’ number on my caller ID, asking God to help me behave & not blow up. That didn’t happen.. I blew. I blew big time. When both of my parents made it clear that they were mad at me for not telling them she died so they could go “pay their respects”, I blew. I felt betrayed by that, & by the fact they didn’t understand why I felt betrayed. I spelled out my feelings & they didn’t get it. (I don’t know why I even wasted my breath doing that when I know better.) I remember each of my parents defending themselves, & I kept saying things like “you know how she treated me”. They responded the same.. “But that’s Eric’s MOTHER!” I always responded with, “But I’m YOUR DAUGHTER!” Nothing. They said absolutely nothing in return to that, as if that fact was unimportant & the only thing that mattered was that this person was my husband’s mother.
What was odd is after I hung up & was praying, I knew God wanted my parents to see me that angry. I started out saying I was sorry for how I acted. I’d yelled at & cussed at my parents! That was awful & I was so sorry for not letting God lead my behavior. He said it’s ok- they needed to see their normally calm, reasonable daughter livid because of what they did (I’m still not sure why exactly). This argument also opened the door for no contact. I finally felt the time was right after wanting to do it for over a year & knowing in my heart the timing wasn’t right. My mother gave me the silent treatment anyway for standing up to her, so that was easy. My father was tougher since he always demanded I talk to him whenever he wanted, no matter what I had going on.
It’s strange the way things worked out for the best in spite of how much that incident hurt me. Good came from it! It taught me to trust God more, since He clearly helped me that night to accomplish what needed to be done. He truly knows best & it’s amazing how He guides you when you let Him. It also helped me to realize I can stand up for myself, which is something I never felt well equipped to do.
I guess my point in sharing this, Dear Reader, is you really can trust God to enable you to do whatever you need to do, & that includes standing up to narcissist. I know, that is incredibly difficult to do. But, it’s also very possible. Trust Him- He won’t lead you wrong! He’ll give you the words you need to say as you need them. He’ll give you strength & courage. He’ll help you to be quiet when the timing is wrong for standing up to them & help you when the timing is right. God is truly a loving, caring Father. He always has your back! xoxo
Some time ago, I wrote about the miraculous events that surrounded my father’s death last October. (If you missed that post, I’d really like to urge you to read it now. It’s quite a story!)
Recently I’ve been thinking about those events a lot. One aspect of it in particular that is on my mind is how God told my friend to tell me never stop praying for my mother.
Looking at the situation now, her salvation seems utterly impossible. She’s a narcissist. We all know how they are- they know best about everything. This makes them very closed off to listening to anyone tell them about salvation through Jesus, & my mother is no exception. In fact, my mother has told me she has a “direct line” to God & “when she prays, God listens!”
This can be very discouraging. On a positive note though, I also know what happened with my father which eliminates my discouragement. While I know God is the One who did all the work to save my father, I prayed & asked many other people to pray for him as well. Not trying to take any credit from God of course, but I do know that my prayers & those of others made a big difference for my father. James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (KJV, emphasis added)
As my prayers & those of my friends made a big difference with my father, so can yours with the narcissist in your life.
I know, praying for someone who has hurt you is a very, very hard thing to do. Like it or not though, as Christians, we are commanded to do so….
Matthew 5:43-48 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (KJV)
I would guess these verses aren’t anyone’s favorites… lol They certainly weren’t mine for a long time. Then a few years ago, I felt that God wanted me to start to pray for some people who have been abusive to me. Much as I didn’t want to, I did it anyway, even when I didn’t mean it because I was still angry with them. As time passed though, it got easier. Then I felt He wanted me to pray for more people who had abused me, then more. At the current time, I am praying daily for a lot of people who have treated me terribly every single morning. And you know something? It’s not hard to do anymore. In fact, I have an alarm set on my cell phone to ring each morning to remind me to pray, but even with my terrible short term memory, I usually remember to pray long before the alarm goes off. Often even before I get out of bed in the morning.
Praying for these people is something I look forward to now. Since I began to do so, I have felt closer to God than ever. Even if I am angry at them at the time I pray for whatever reason, I know God appreciates the fact I’m trying to do as He wants in spite of how I feel.
It also has helped to release the anger I felt towards these people. I can’t explain how it works, but somehow it does work! Of course, if something new happens, I may get angry- that’s just normal- but at least I’m not walking around full of unforgiveness & bitterness anymore. (For the record, this also doesn’t mean some people will be allowed back in my life- forgiveness does NOT equal reconciliation. It means I released the anger I felt at them, period. Trusting them again would be foolish unless their actions changed dramatically.)
I’ve also realized that maybe no one else prays for them. Have you ever considered that about the narcissist in your life? I thought about this after my ex husband’s mother passed away in 2010. She was a devoted Christian, but I am unsure if any other of his relatives are. Since he said he didn’t believe in God, it’s safe to assume he didn’t seek out Christian friends. There is an excellent chance he has no one praying for him aside from me! That to me is heartbreaking! And, if it could happen with him, it could happen with others as well. So many narcissists claim to be atheists & have no patience for Christians so they don’t exactly surround themselves with them. You may be the only person who prays for that narcissist in your life! I tell you this not to make you feel obligated or guilty somehow- it’s just a simple fact & it may be possible in your situation.
I know it’s hard to pray for someone who has hurt you so deeply as only a narcissist can, but please, Dear Reader, try it. Hopefully you’ll see the results of your prayers in that person’s life. If you don’t, however, you can rest easy knowing you did the right thing, you can enjoy the new closeness to God & feel better with less anger inside of you!
I recently read about a term called spiritual bypassing. It was coined by a psychologist named John Welwood in the 1980’s. The term is used to describe when a person uses their religious beliefs to avoid dealing with uncomfortable things, healing old wounds & meeting important psychological needs.
While the term applies to all religions, I thought of it as to how it relates to Christianity since I’m not overly familiar with most other religions & most of my readers are also Christians.
Also, please know that I’m not trying to judge anyone. I’ve been guilty of doing some of these things myself.
Becoming very active in church activities. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being active in your church, but when you spend more time at church than with your family, something is wrong. It needs to be done in balance. Otherwise, resentments can build & trouble starts in your relationships. You may even develop a superior attitude because you participate so much in your church.
Judging people for being angry or hurt. The Bible says we shouldn’t let the sun go down on our anger. Jesus said we are to forgive those who trespass against us in the Lord’s prayer. Seems obvious to me that we’re going to feel angry or hurt sometimes, otherwise the need to forgive wouldn’t be mentioned in the Bible. Remember, there is nothing wrong with anger or hurt. They are God-given emotions that tell us when something isn’t right. It’s what we do with the emotions that can be wrong.
Ignoring your own anger or hurt in favor of saying you forgive that person. Maybe you think it makes you holy to claim forgiveness rather than facing your negative emotions, but it only sets you up for problems. Emotions demand to be heard, especially the strong ones like anger. If you ignore them, they will find another way to be heard, & most likely, not such a good way.
Being too positive. So many people in the world emphasize the importance of thinking positively. Positive confessions are stressed as very important. People are criticized for “being too negative” if they admit they are struggling or hurting. In fact, people can be downright shamed for discussing abuse since it’s so “negative”. I’ve been told I need to “get over my childhood hurts” for example, which at the time, was extremely painful to hear. I felt ashamed. I felt like I was making too big of a deal out of being abused. I felt like a bad Christian for not just forgiving & forgetting. The truth is though, that when I tried to be positive, not talk or think about what I’ve gone through, & to “forgive & forget,” I was miserable. Now that I’m open with my experiences, & facing things head on, I’m not so miserable. I started using good boundaries. I’ve gotten a more balanced view of my situation- bad things happened to me. Horrible things, really, but God brought me through them & is helping me to heal. He’s also helping me to write about my experiences to help others which I love doing. I can’t honestly say I’m grateful for my bad experiences, but I’m grateful good has come from them.
Claiming to be happy 100% of the time. Yes, in God’s presence is fullness of joy, according to the Psalms. Yes, Jesus told us to “be of good cheer.” However, no one is above feeling bad sometimes. It’s not a sin to feel sad, scared, hurt or angry. They are natural reactions to abnormal circumstances. Jesus wasn’t exactly happy in the Garden of Gethsemane now was He? Or, when He flipped over the vendors’ tables in the church. He also got frustrated with the apostles & their lack of faith. Even Jesus wasn’t above feeling emotions other than joy.
Trying to be perfect all of the time. People are NOT perfect! If we were, we wouldn’t need Jesus now would we? ’nuff said!
Seeing the best in people. I have given up looking for the best in people, & instead, look for the real in people. If you only see the best, you can set yourself up to be taken advantage of or victimized in some way, because you’d feel guilty for being negative or judgmental. It just makes sense to be realistic about people. There is nothing wrong with that! Jesus basically told His apostles the same thing. Matthew 10:16 says, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (KJV)
I feel a degree of pity for narcissists, even the ones who have tried to destroy me. It’s so sad to me that they felt they had to resort to behaving so horribly to cope with the pain in their lives or their insecurities. It’s sad how afraid so many are & everything they do is out of that fear. It’s sad that they waste their entire lives being angry, bitter, hateful & pushing away those closest to them. Many are even full of anger, bitterness & hate on their death beds. These people live pathetic lives not knowing what it is like to love, really love. What lonely, empty, superficial lives they live.
This being said, it certainly doesn’t mean I think narcissists deserve a free pass to abuse. Being abused is NOT an excuse to abuse others! Being abusive is a choice, not a consequence of experiencing abuse! If you don’t believe me, consider this example: your narcissistic mother ignores your requests to change her behavior so she doesn’t hurt you. She clearly is opting to continue abusing you, isn’t she?
The pain in their pasts also doesn’t negate your pain. Please never tell yourself that it’s OK- the narcissist had a hard life too or they had it harder than you did. It’s not OK! Never invalidate your own pain! You don’t deserve that! You were no doubt invalidated enough by your narcissistic parent- don’t do it to yourself too! Invalidation is abuse, no matter who does it, even when you do it to yourself. It has the potential for causing a victim all kinds of problems- bad coping skills, low self-esteem, guilt, shame, placing the needs of others before yourself even when you are in crisis, & even Borderline Personality Disorder. Don’t do this to yourself! It is very possible to feel sorry for your narcissistic parent while not trivializing or invalidating your pain.
Why pity narcissists? They are horrible people, right? Honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary to pity narcissists to heal. Some people think it’s foolishness, in fact. And this works fine for them. There is nothing wrong with that thinking.
For me, however, feeling that degree of pity that I do for narcissists enables me to pray for them.
The Bible tells us to pray for our enemies…
Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ 44 “But I say to you, [a]love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. 46 For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? 48 You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (AMP)
Praying for those who hurt you isn’t an option if you wish to live a holy, Christian life. It also isn’t easy. In fact, praying for someone who hurt you is hard enough, but praying for someone who tried to destroy you is a thousand times harder.
God dealt with me a couple of years ago about praying for my parents & in-laws. I didn’t feel able to do it. My parents & mother in-law were incredibly cruel to me, & frankly I didn’t much care about any of them. Once I started thinking about them, I felt some pity for them. My mother was abused by her mother, which is why she turned narcissistic I believe. My father wasn’t abused, but had a terrible traumatic brain injury at only 15 that I believe may be at the root of his narcissism. His behavior changed after it. That TBI has given him many health problems. My mother in-law had a very sad upbringing & many difficult years married to my father in-law. Thinking about such things plus the other things I have mentioned above their behavior has caused stirred up pity in me for them. I now pray for my parents & in-laws daily, & even set up reminders on my cell phone so I don’t forget. Not knowing what they need specifically, I simply ask God to save them, meet all of their needs & bless them. Praying this way I hope has been a blessing to them, but at the very least, it feels good to me. It shows me that try as they might, they haven’t destroyed my good heart.
Feeling pity for narcissists isn’t always necessary & certainly isn’t easy. However, it can benefit you by enabling you to pray for them.
Psalm 26:6-7 “I wash my hands to prove my innocence and come before your altar, 7 singing a song of thanksgiving and telling about your miracles.” (TLB)
Before I became a Christian, my parents said good people go to Heaven, bad people to Hell. This left me confused wondering what exactly defines good & bad people. Later, I remember people telling me I was going to hell if I didn’t accept Jesus right then & there. Not that they told me how or why to accept Him- they just said I had to do it, period, with no explanation.
Eventually, in spite of all of the nonsense, I did become a Christian. Then I heard more confusing, vague statements such as “God tells us to forgive so I just do it. I don’t know why you’re having any problem forgiving those who abused you.”
Comments like these have done one good thing for me- they have shown me how NOT to treat people.
Whether you are trying to witness about your faith to an unbeliever or trying to comfort a brother or sister in the faith, you need to exercise wisdom in what you say to them. One thing that is often good no matter what the circumstances is bragging about the great things God has done for you, & reminding them that He can do the same & even more for them.
If you’re attempting to help someone see their need for Jesus in their life, they need to see the great things He can do for them. They need to be wooed gently to Him, not told they’re going to rot in hell for eternity! Scaring someone into the faith just doesn’t work. Showing them that God is kind & loving, however, will work much better. If someone sees that God helped you in your times of dire need & that He is willing to do it for them, too, that will get their attention!
Or, if a brother or sister is discouraged, a reminder of how good God is can help to encourage them. Remind them of the things God has done for them in the past or that He has done for you & will do for them also.
By bragging about the good things God does, you are helping people, & blessing yourself as well. Remembering God’s blessings often helps you to stay strong in your faith.
Dear Reader, there is no way you can go wrong talking about the great things God has done for you. Why don’t you try it? Share stories with your friends & family. Write them in your journal, or begin a gratitude journal specifically for recalling all of God’s blessings.
Some time back, I created an android app for my website. In the years since, I made some changes to my site & never updated the app. Now, I have. It is basically the same, but looks a bit better, I think. The original one probably doesn’t work any longer as I had to delete it & re-create the app. If you still have it, I recommend deleting that app & downloading the new one.
While I was at it, I also made an app for my website’s sister site, The Butterfly project.
I’m letting you know these things in case you are interested in getting them. They are totally free. Links are below…
For my website, http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com :
Romans 15:2 “We should all be concerned about our neighbor and the good things that will build his faith.” (GW)
One thing that is important for all Christians to do is share stories of the wonderful things God has done for them, big or small. Doing so encourages others. It’s a good reminder that God still does miracles, big & small, for everyone. That reminder can be a blessing when times are tough & you feel like God doesn’t care.
I think sharing stories of God’s blessings is also good to do with non believers. For one thing, it encourages them that good things do happen even in the worst of times. For another, maybe telling them the story of your blessings will sow a seed in them. They may decide they want to know more about this God of yours. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing? In my experience before I was a Christian, I was more responsive to stories of God’s love than the Bible thumping, fire & brimstone types who told me I was going to hell. Stories of His love gently wooed me to God, while the “you’re going to hell if you don’t accept Jesus right now!” conversation pushed me far away. I believe most people are that way as well. Personally, I don’t witness in the traditional sense of that word. I tell people stories of miraculous & beautiful things God has done for me instead, & I find even die-hard atheists will at least listen to me without objection.
Also, sharing your stories encourages you too. It keeps the blessing close to your heart & reminds you that God loves you, even if for some reason you don’t feel His love. You can’t always count on others to encourage you, so you have to encourage yourself. What better way to do so than remembering the wonderful things God has done for you?
Telling such stories also increases your joy & your faith. While you’re blessing others, you’re also blessing yourself. How can you go wrong by sharing stories of your blessings?
Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (KJV)
There are people watching you every single day. Other Christians may be comparing your faith to theirs while unbelievers are judging you to see if you’re the real thing or not. I also personally believe our loved ones who have passed on & are in Heaven now are aware of what is happening in our lives.
Do you think about the kind of image you present?
I’ve learned a couple of very valuable things on this topic since I became a Christian in 1996, & I’d like to share them with you today.
People don’t respond well to the “holier than thou” types- they prefer people who are real. As a new Christian, I quickly learned this one. Those who looked down on me because I didn’t grow up in the church, because I was divorced, because I had once dabbled in the occult or because I was a new Christian really got under my skin. Their “I’m better than you” attitude made me feel insecure & even doubt God’s love for me. But, people who told me things like, “I was a drug addicted prostitute before I met Jesus” or admitted their current struggles encouraged me. They showed me that you don’t have to be perfect for Jesus to love you. And, you can be a Christian & still make mistakes or deal with struggles. Being saved doesn’t mean life is perfect & if it isn’t, something is wrong with you. It means you’re human! Admitting your faults & struggles helps people see you’re like them- flawed, but trying to improve yourself. And, if Jesus can love imperfect you, then just maybe He can love imperfect them as well!
Closely related to being real is letting your behavior witness to others more than your words. People can say anything- it’s their actions that speak volumes about what is inside of them. Let your actions show that you are trying to live a Godly life. If you quote Scripture yet steal, lie, cheat, judge, criticize or hurt people, you’ll be viewed as a hypocrite. This can turn other people away from not only you, but God as well. Unbelievers see you proclaiming your faith yet acting worse than atheists, & will want to run as far from God as they can.
Bragging about the blessings God has given you is a good thing! Whether God healed you from a fatal illness, restored a broken relationship or provided you with something you needed, people are encouraged by these stories. They build the faith of Christians & entice non-believers to learn more about this God of yours. As many of you know, I have my late Granddad’s car thanks to God providing quite a miracle. (The story is here if you care to read it: https://cynthiabaileyrug.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/gods-love-for-you/ ) I absolutely love telling the story of how I got it. It’s interesting because you can tell by people’s reactions who is a Christian & who isn’t. Christians praise God & unbelievers look puzzled. Either way, the listener is usually uplifted by such a cool story.
Never be ashamed of your faith. Some Christians are very hesitant to mention their faith. They act embarrassed about it. Why? There’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of! I’m not saying you have to talk about nothing but Jesus, but there is nothing wrong with saying you’re praying for something or bragging about something God has done for you. Your faith is the central focus of your life- why not mention it when you feel it’s appropriate? Just use common sense & speak in balance about it. Unbelievers can be very put off by Christians who speak of nothing but God, their faith, their church, etc. I remember that feeling- I thought those people were crazy. I understood that God was important to them, but I never understood why they didn’t seem to have room for anything else in their lives.
If you’d like more information on this topic, I wrote a free ebook on it. It’s available at this link: http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/documents/AWitnessOfFaith.pdf