Tag Archives: God

When Tough Times Happen

Sometimes life is so hard.  It seems like things go wrong constantly & you are stressed, hurt or frustrated.  In those times, God seems far away.  Not only because of the problems you’re going through but also because it can be so easy to get caught up in them & forget to keep God first.  It is in those times that we need to stop behaving like the person Jesus described in Matthew 13:22 in the parable of the seeds sown in various types of soil.  That person is the one who is distracted from his relationship with God by the things of the world like personal problems.  Unfortunately no one is immune to behaving this way sometimes.

When you’re distracted by problems, it is vital to turn back to God as soon as you recognize what you are doing.  He deserves first place in your life after all!  Doing so also will help strengthen you & help you to figure out ways to handle your situation.  It may teach you some other things as well. God truly wants the best for His children, so He often uses circumstances to protect, teach & guide us.  Following are some examples of when He does these things.

Anything that isn’t Biblical, God will close the door to.  If you have to lie to get a new job for example, God will close that door so you don’t get the job or allow you to get it but you will be miserable with it.  It can be difficult & even painful in the moment, but truly it’s for the best!  You have learned not to behave that way, & He has something much better planned for you.  Seriously consider your situation.  If there is anything about it that goes contrary to God’s word, chances are it’s going wrong because God is trying to close that door to keep you away from that bad thing.

Sometimes God closes the door on relationships too.  Some people may look good on the surface, they may even be very good people, but they aren’t good for you.  God knows better than you what is in their hearts, so trust Him to lead you to people that are good for you.  It never hurts to ask God to give you good, healthy & Bible believing friends in your life.  If you’re looking for a romantic partner, this is an especially good prayer to pray.  Being a believer married to an unbeliever is not a good place to be!

Sometimes God uses difficult circumstances to teach us things.  We learn forgiveness when we are wronged by other people.  When we go through hard times, we learn mercy for others who go through similar hard times.  When someone tells us what we did hurt them, we learn humility.  None of these situations are fun at the time, but they do help us to learn some pretty valuable things.

There are also times God uses difficult circumstances to punish us.  Hebrews 12:6-7 in the Amplified Bible says, “For the Lord disciplines and corrects those whom He loves, And He punishes every son whom He receives and welcomes [to His heart].”  7You must submit to [correction for the purpose of] discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”  Obviously those times aren’t exactly pleasant, but they can be beneficial.  For example, your spouse tells you that they are upset about how disrespectfully your family treats them, but in spite of seeing evidence your spouse is correct, you ignore your family’s behavior or worse yet, make excuses for it.  Then you get a new coworker.  This person is very disrespectful to you.  They push you aside so they can deal with customers instead, or talk badly about you to other coworkers maybe even your boss.  You go to your boss with your concerns.  The boss tells you he doesn’t see this behavior as a problem or you have to let this go because this person has some sort of personal problems.  The way you feel in that situation mirrors much how your spouse feels.  God still loves you, but He is punishing you for treating your spouse badly.  Also, He uses this as a good learning experience.  Now that you know how your spouse feels, you are going to be more sensitive the next time they come to you with a complaint about your family’s disrespectful behavior.

The next time you are in a situation that is challenging or painful, I want to encourage you to try your best not to be so distracted by it that you ignore God.  Instead, turn to Him.  Ask what is going on, what is He trying to tell you & to help you get through it.  He absolutely will do answer your prayers!

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Filed under Mental Health, Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life

Biggest Sale EVER On My Print Books! 30% Off!

My publisher is offering 30% off all of my print books until Tuesday November 29, 2022. Simply use code JOYFUL30 at checkout.

My books can be found at this link:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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“Christian” Narcissists

Over the last few years, I have heard the term “Christian narcissists” used repeatedly.  It is used to describe people who are either active in their church or professing to be Christians, yet they also exhibit narcissistic behavior.  Most commonly, these people are covert narcissists who revel in appearing martyr like in their life, giving to & doing for those who are “beneath” them somehow.  They even can be leaders in their church who are perceived as good people, yet are subtly controlling church members & possibly even abusing their own families.

The problem is there is no such thing as a Christian narcissist.  There are narcissists who pretend to be good & even Godly people, but they truly aren’t Christians.  Labeling these people as such turns people away from Christianity.

These narcissists may be a bit hard to spot at first.  They are busy doing for others, even sometimes at their own expense.  They may donate large sums of money or spend great amounts of time volunteering.  People speak highly of them for all that they do for others.  Yet, if you look just below the surface, you can see hints that show these people aren’t the saints they portray themselves to be.

First & foremost, true Christians openly trust in Jesus as the Messiah, their personal Savior, & their behavior reflects that.  “Christian narcissists” may claim to trust Him, but their behavior says otherwise.  They don’t readily admit that they have a need for a Savior.  They don’t talk much God & his goodness.  They turn the topic back to themselves.  They don’t have any interest in doing God’s will for their lives.

“Christian narcissists” see themselves as more special to God than other people.  They don’t credit answers to their prayers to God’s love or kindness, but instead imply or even say outright it’s because He loves them more than other people.  They make it sound like the only reason God answers their prayers & loves them is because they are such wonderful, special people. The Bible says that God doesn’t show favoritism in Romans 2:11, so clearly they’re wrong about that.

Another sign of a “Christian narcissist” is that this person doesn’t brag about God, only themselves.  If you listen to these people long enough, you will see that their so called humility is peppered with bragging.  They subtly mention how they have been such a blessing to someone else by taking them food or giving money during their times of need.  They even may brag about the accomplishments of someone else in a way that makes them appear to deserve credit.  But, they definitely don’t say things like, “You won’t believe what God has done for me!”  “I am so grateful that God did this thing for me!”  “I couldn’t have done that thing without God helping me or showing me what to do!”  The Bible says that we are to brag not of our wisdom or other things, but only about God. Jeremiah 9:23-24 in the New International Bible says, “This is what the Lord says:  “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, 24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:  that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.””

If you speak to someone who claims to be a Christian yet demonstrates narcissistic behaviors like this, it’s certain you are dealing with a narcissist, not a Christian. 

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Biblical Meekness  Not Necessarily What You Think

Most people are well aware of Matthew 5:5 where Jesus states that the meek are blessed because they will inherit the earth. How many people know what it means to be truly meek though?

Most people hear the word meek & think of someone who is timid, mousy & always extremely submissive. This is actually a more accurate definition of the word “weak” than “meek.” As the saying goes, “don’t mistake my meekness for weakness.”

The original meaning for the word meek in Greek was a description of war horses, believe it or not. War horses were supposed to be extremely powerful yet also very willing to submit to those in authority over them. This is power that is kept in check.

In people, true meekness manifests in a person well aware of the power that they have as children of God, but they choose to submit to Him, doing His will for their life. 1 Corinthians 10:23 in the Amplified translation sums up the way this person thinks quite well: “All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].” The truly meek are also far from cowardly, trusting in God completely even when in their darkest hours.

Jesus was a perfect example of living with meekness while He was on the earth. He obviously possessed great power as evidenced by so many miracles He performed, yet in spite of His position & power, He never used it improperly. He lived His life submitted to God, willing to do anything He was asked to do, even to the point of death on the cross. And, when He knew the cross was going to happen soon, in spite of His fear & desire not to do it, He trusted God either to prevent it from happening or enabling Him to face it.

At the same time, Jesus was no pushover. Matthew 21:12 tells the story of Jesus driving out the moneychangers from the temple, & the Amplified translation says He drove them out “with force.” He also had no problems calling out people on their bad behavior, even the highly esteemed scribes & Pharisees. He called them hypocrites many times, & even called them “white washed tombs full of dead men’s bones” because although they appeared Godly, their hearts were full of things that went against God.

Christians are supposed to imitate Jesus in their behavior, & that includes being meek. If you aren’t sure exactly what this means to you, I would like to offer you some food for thought today.

Being meek means standing up for what is right in the right way. This doesn’t have to mean a big production. It means living a life of integrity, doing is right & what needs to be done. It also simply can mean saying, “This is wrong.” That sort of statement said to someone suffering at the hands of another can be life changing.

Being meek means being gentle in interacting with other people. It means you don’t have to be heard while quieting others, & allowing others to speak to you without fear of your judgment or criticism.

Being meek means accepting your limitations. That doesn’t mean you don’t try to improve yourself, of course. It means that you know you can’t do everything, & that is OK.

Being meek means realizing you don’t know everything, & admitting that rather than pretending to know everything. People respect those who are genuine. Even if they may be frustrated you don’t have the answer they’re looking for, they will respect you more for admitting than they would if you pretended to know.

Meekness is a truly undervalued attribute. Why not be someone who helps bring this admirable quality into the lives of those you love, & be a good example of meekness?

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Personality (including introversion, Myers Briggs, etc.)

Big Sale On My Print Books! 20% Off!

My publisher is offering a sale- 20% off all of my print books! Simply use code SNEAKPEEK20 at checkout. This code is valid until November 4, 2022.

My print books can be found at the following link:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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I’d Love Your Thoughts On A New Idea I Have

I’ve been toying with the idea of creating some digital ebook type courses, maybe printables. Nothing overly expensive of course. I always try to minimize costs of everything I write & these would be no exception to that. (Kinda weird to do, by the way.. I want costs to be cheap but not so cheap people see them & think “This can’t be any good.. it’s too cheap!” lol)

I need your thoughts on this idea.

First of all, is this something you would be interested in? I know written type courses aren’t as popular as audio or video, so I wonder if this would be appealing.

Second, if you like the idea, got any ideas on topic matter? I have a few but still would love to hear your thoughts to see if I’m on the right page (so to speak) with my readers.

If you’d like to answer my questions, feel free to comment or email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com

Thank you for your help, everyone!! I love & appreciate you! 😘❤️

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15% Off My Print Books Until October 7, 2022

My publisher is having yet another sale! 15% off all print books when you use code PUMPKIN15 at checkout.

My print books can be found at the following link:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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What Makes A Good Person Truly Good

So many people think that being a good person means that someone is very caring, willing to do anything for anyone, sacrifice anything & everything of themselves to others which includes those who treat them badly, & someone who never says or thinks anything negatively of other people.

The truth is that this isn’t the definition of a good person.  This is the definition of a doormat.  A person like this is going to be used & abused.  Naturally this will make many people who try to be good people think being a good person is a waste of time & sets them up for being mistreated.  They naturally prefer not to be so called “good people” over being treated so badly, & who can blame them?

Let’s consider what it’s like to be a good person rather than a doormat that people claim is a good person.

A good person is realistic.  If someone mistreats people, is arrogant, entitled or deliberately hurts other people, a good person recognizes these things & treats that person accordingly, even if that means eliminating that person from their life.

A good person also has standards.  They don’t tolerate just anything.  They give their best to others in every area of their lives, & they expect others to do the same thing.

A good person has boundaries.  They will respect your space, wants & needs, & act accordingly. They also expect you to return the favor to them.  If you cross certain boundaries with them, they won’t hesitate to call you out on it in a respectful way.  They also will care for you & watch out for you but they also have no problem saying no when they believe it is best to do so.

A good person shows respect to everyone, but also expects others to respect them in return.  This isn’t because they demand people respect them, but because they are aware that they are worthy of respect.

A good person is patient.  This doesn’t mean that they are weak nor are they willing to tolerate others using them.

A good person is very compassionate, but is not naive.  They will be very kind & gentle with a person, but if they realize that person is trying to use or abuse them, they won’t tolerate it.

A good person always will encourage you & build you up.  That doesn’t mean that they will tolerate you trying to tear them down as a way to build yourself up, however.

A good person will tell a person what they need to hear, even when it’s not necessarily what they want to hear because showing others God’s love is more important to them than building up their ego.

In short, being a good person isn’t what many people assume it is.  A good person can be truly good without being willing to tolerate nonsense or abuse.

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

My New Shop On Facebook Is Open!

I have just created a shop on Facebook! Most of my books are currently available for purchase in there, & soon all will be. I opened it to make a central location where all of my books can be purchased, & is easy to find. Each link on the books takes you to a universal link, showing you all places where it is available for purchase.

My shop is connected to my business page, The Butterfly Project, which is why my name doesn’t appear on the shop, just FYI.

I hope you like the shop! Come check it out at the link below:

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Save 10% On All My Print Books Until Sept. 2, 2022!

My publisher is having another sale. 10% off all print books until September 2, 2022 when you use code INNOVATION10 at checkout.

My print books can be found at this link:

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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You Matter!

Since my readers & followers consist primarily of people who have survived narcissistic abuse as I have, I naturally try to provide information to help either in dealing with narcissists, going no contact or healing from narcissistic abuse.  Simple encouragement, however, doesn’t happen all that often, & that is wrong on my part.  Everyone needs encouragement sometimes, & that is what I want to do today.

Victims of narcissistic abuse usually don’t realize their true worth & value.  How could they when narcissists do their level best to make sure their victims’ self esteem is utterly destroyed?  When a narcissist reminds you constantly about all of your faults, even ones you really don’t have, maintaining any sense of self esteem is nearly impossible.  So today, I just want you to know that no matter what a narcissist has told you, you matter.

You may think God made mistakes when He made you, but He certainly didn’t!  He made you as He did for valid reasons!  Ephesians 2:10 in the Good News Bible says, “God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.”  And, Psalm 139:16 says, “you saw me before I was born.  The days allotted to me. had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began.”  Clearly, God knew what He was doing when He made you, so obviously you mean so much to Him.

You may think no one would notice if you just disappeared from the lives of the people you love, but that isn’t true.  They would miss you & be devastated if you were no longer a part of their lives.  You fill a special place in their lives that no one else but you ever could fill.  You matter a great deal to them.

You may think the man or woman you love needs you to be low maintenance, to avoid “bothering” this person with your needs, wants or feelings, but that isn’t true.  Someone who truly loves you wants to know all about your needs, wants & feelings.  And, believe it or not, they will be happy to do things for you.  This person is with you because they don’t love anyone like they love you, & they want to share their life with you.  You matter so much to this person.

If you have children, you are of the utmost importance to them.  Children love their parents automatically.  I’m sure you have made mistakes raising your children & think that makes you an awful parent, but you’re wrong.  All parents make mistakes.  There is nothing wrong with that so long as you apologize & make things right to the best of your ability.  You taking care of your children, showing them love & protecting them makes you a wonderful parent, & you children love you.  You matter more to them than you realize.

If you have pets, I can promise that you matter a great deal to your pets too.  Animals may offer unconditional love, but even so, they aren’t happy with people who dislike them or mistreat them.  If your pet greets you when you come home, snuggles up to you while you watch tv or sleep, or just generally wants to be in your space, those are just some of the signs that say you matter a great deal to your baby.

Today, just remember that no matter what any terrible, cruel narcissist has said, you matter.  You matter much more than you know to those people in your life.  You aren’t whatever the narcissist told you that you were.  They only said such things as a way to hurt you.  In fact, what narcissists criticize most is what they are the most envious of in their victims.  They criticize those things to make their victims feel those special things about them aren’t really special, not because they mean what they are saying.  They know they are lying, even though they won’t admit it.  Just remember that, & give their lies no credibility. 

Starting today, please start reminding yourself often that you matter, because you truly do matter!  And while you’re at it, ask God to show you that you matter.  He will be more than happy to do so!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism

My Podcasts

As I mentioned some time back, I decided to give up making videos & just go with podcasts. I have added them to a bunch of different podcast sites, so I thought I would share them here for those of you who are a fan of podcasts. I hope you decide to check them out sometime! If your favorite podcast site isn’t on this list, then please let me know. I’ll try to add it.

Amazon Music:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/636257ca-b20e-4c80-b0c4-76c6da81d4b6/cynthia-bailey-rug

Anchor By Spotify:

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cynthia-bailey-rug/id1632080095

Castbox:

Google Podcasts:

https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8yNWViYmY5OC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==

iheartradio:

Overcast:

https://overcast.fm/itunes1519449931/cynthia-bailey-rug

Player fm:

https://player.fm/series/cynthia-bailey-rug

Pocketcasts:

https://pca.st/3qvsb30s

Podbean:

https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/32zdh-12d533/Cynthia-Bailey-Rug-Podcast

RadioPublic:

Soundcloud:

Spotify:

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/cynthia-baileyrug

Tune In:

https://tunein.com/podcasts/Religion–Spirituality-Podcas/Cynthia-Bailey-Rug-p1728318/

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Animals, Caregiving, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health, Narcissism, Personality (including introversion, Myers Briggs, etc.)

Guilt Or God Working Through You?

Some of you long time readers will remember this story..

In May, 2016, I had a huge argument with my parents.  My mother in-law had just died, & since they read the obituaries in the weekly paper, I knew they would see hers.  I also knew that they wouldn’t acknowledge what I had told them about her that caused me to go no contact with her 14 years prior, but instead would talk about what a great lady she was.  I was mentally prepared for that, so when I saw their number on my caller ID the day after her funeral when the paper came out, I wasn’t surprised.  I asked God to help me get through the call & guide my words.  I thought it was going to be a mostly typical conversation, & I was wrong. 

I was NOT prepared for my parents being angry with me for not telling them about her death so they could attend the funeral.  I also was ill prepared for the intense feeling of betrayal or the rage that I felt.  I ended up yelling at, crying & cussing out my parents.  Not my normal behavior by any means!  When I hung up the phone my first step was to pray.  I told God I was so sorry!  I never should’ve behaved that way.  Somehow I must have missed His guidance & messed up everything.  God spoke to me extremely clearly at that time, & said, “I wanted this to happen.  Your parents needed to see their normally calm & reasonable daughter extremely upset thanks to their behavior.” 

That argument was the last time I spoke to my mother before she died just under three years later.  It was also one of the last times I spoke to my father who died about eighteen months after.  Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I think that argument was a catalyst for no contact for me, which in turn motivated my parents to turn to God at the end of their lives.  It really did have a purpose!

At that time & for quite a while after, however, in spite of knowing my parents needed to see my reaction, I still felt terrible.  The guilt was intense!   

I think this is normal for most children of narcissistic parents.  Our parents train us early in life to please them at all costs, & to feel intense guilt or even shame when we fail.  Even when we are adults, when we do something that we perceive as wrong, we automatically feel that guilt because it’s a reflex built into us by our parents.

The thing is though that sometimes doing something other people think is wrong is a good thing.  Naturally narcissists would disagree with that, but it’s true.  What one person sees as wrong can be right for someone else. 

While the guilt may make you feel as if you’re doing something bad, it may be inappropriate to the situation.  God may be working through you, & sometimes He works through people in rather unusual ways.  Just look at the argument I had with my parents.  It felt awful at the time, but it turned out to be very beneficial for all three of us.

The next time you automatically feel guilt about something, then please, take a moment to ask God if that guilt is justified or if He is working through you somehow.  You may be very pleasantly surprised to find out He is working through you, & there is no valid reason for you to feel any guilt!

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10% Off My Print Books

My publisher is offering 10% off my print books until August 5, 2022 when you use code MAKER10 at checkout.

My books can be found at the link below..

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Doing Something New

As I mentioned some time back, I decided to abandon making YouTube videos in favor of podcasts since they are much easier for me to make. And thankfully, they have been well received!

Because they have been doing well, I decided to expand where they can be accessed. My podcasts now be found on many platforms. Those links are below. I hope you will check them out!

So far, I’m still figuring this all out as I go. Not entirely sure what I’m doing at the moment, so please just bear with me! Plus, writing is my top priority & has been since God told me many years ago it was my purpose. This means podcasts aren’t going to get as much of my attention. I don’t have any particular schedule with them, so I won’t release new ones faithfully every day, week or even month. I release them a few at a time periodically. I have been pretty lazy about doing this over the last year or so, & I apologize for that. It’s changing, I promise! I just had so much happening in my life in the recent past, my work has fallen too far behind.

So anyway, here is the list of where my podcasts can be found. I hope you find a platform that you like, & will listen to them. Thank you as always for reading & supporting my work! I hope it blesses you as much as you bless me!

Amazon Music:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/636257ca-b20e-4c80-b0c4-76c6da81d4b6/cynthia-bailey-rug

Anchor By Spotify:

https://anchor.fm/cynthiabaileyrug

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cynthia-bailey-rug/id1632080095

Castbox:

https://castbox.fm/channel/id3103069?utm_source=podcaster&utm_medium=dlink&utm_campaign=c_3103069&utm_content=Cynthia%20Bailey-Rug-CastBox_FM

Google Podcasts:

https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8yNWViYmY5OC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==

Overcast:

https://overcast.fm/itunes1519449931/cynthia-bailey-rug

Pocketcasts:

https://pca.st/3qvsb30s

RadioPublic:

https://radiopublic.com/cynthia-baileyrug-6BonBp

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/show/5aY76eAGa3xOfVMimiQMai

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/cynthia-baileyrug

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25% Off Sale On All Of My Ebooks & 15% Off Sale On All Of My Print Books!!

My ebooks are going on sale for the entire month of July! From July 1-31, 2022, all of my ebooks will be 25% off! The discount is applied automatically at checkout, so there are no coupon codes necessary. If you have wanted any of my books, this is a great time to grab them cheap!

My ebooks can be found at the link below…

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynthiaBaileyRug

If you prefer print books, you can get 15% off of them by adding code HUSTLE15 at checkout. This sale ends July 1, 2022. My print books can be found at the link below…

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cynthiabaileyrug

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Making Assumptions About People

It’s amazing to me the assumptions that people often make about each other.  Some people assume someone with tattoos & piercings can’t hold down a good job, for example.  Others assume women with blonde hair are all ditzy.  There are so many other assumptions that are equally ridiculous.

I’ve always been an introvert, & pretty quiet.  Around people I’m very close to, I can be fairly chatty, but those I’m not comfortable with or don’t really know well, I’m very quiet.  This has led to some pretty stupid assumptions about me from other people.  One of my sisters in-law told my husband I obviously think I’m better than their family & treat them like “trash.”  The accusation was astonishing since I really tried hard for years to be civil & even nice to her.  Guessing any of you introverts reading this have experienced similar accusations.  People often think being quiet means we feel superior. Some even think it means we’re depressed, whether or not we truly are depressed.

With the prominence of social media, assumptions have become even more commonplace.  Since many people share so much on there, they assume everyone else does.  If a person doesn’t share a lot, ridiculous assumptions are made.  In my life, people seem to think I must not have much to do each day since I rarely share anything personal.  I just see no point in sharing my plans for whatever I plan to do each day.  I also don’t complain about my physical & mental health concerns, so people assume they aren’t a daily struggle.  People also see pictures on social media of a happy couple or playing children & assume these people are living happy, care free lives.  They don’t realize that there could be a lot of pain hiding behind those smiles.

Assuming things about other people is so unwise.  People may be absolutely nothing like what you assume they are.  That big burly biker guy may have a baby at home that makes him melt into a big teddy bear every time he sees her.  That woman in your church who appears so pious & volunteers constantly may be abusing her husband & children at home.  

Making assumptions is so bad that the Bible discusses the topic in several locations.  All Scriptures are from the Amplified Bible.

  • I Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
  • Proverbs 18:2  “A [closed-minded] fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his personal opinions [unwittingly displaying his self-indulgence and his stupidity].”
  • John 7:24 “Do not judge by appearance [superficially and arrogantly], but judge fairly and righteously.”
  • James 4:11 “Believers, do not speak against or slander one another. He who speaks [self-righteously] against a brother or judges his brother [hypocritically], speaks against the Law and judges the Law. If you judge the Law, you are not a doer of the Law but a judge of it.”

The next time you are tempted to make an assumption about someone, I would urge you not to do that.  God frowns upon it pretty seriously, as these Scriptures point out.  Even if He didn’t, by behaving this way, you may be missing out on knowing some pretty awesome people.  Matthew 10:16 says, “Listen carefully: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves [have no self-serving agenda].”  I believe these words to be incredibly wise when dealing with people.  Spot the signs that they are either safe or unsafe & act accordingly.  Yet also be willing to be kind to everyone.

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Another Good Sale On My Print Books!

My publisher is offering 10% off my print books when you use code INFLUENCE10 at checkout until May 27, 2022.

Print versions of my books can be found at the link below..

Cynthia Bailey-Rug’s spotlight on Lulu

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Forgiveness After Abuse

Many people who have survived an abusive relationship, whether the abuser is a family member or spouse, have been told they must forgive their abuser if they truly want to heal.  It is often said like forgiveness is a magic wand – once you decide to forgive, you do, all damage caused by the abuse is gone, the abuser has an epiphany about their horrible behavior & abuser & victim live happily ever after.  Sadly, this is absolutely NOT the case!

Forgiveness can be an absolutely wonderful thing.  Unfortunately though the topic is misunderstood by so many, & the people who believe wrongly seem to be the loudest about the value of forgiveness.

To start with, forgiveness doesn’t mean forgive & forget.  There are many Scriptures that mention forgiveness in the Bible, but nowhere is “forgive & forget” mentioned.  In fact, I consider it to be a very un-biblical concept.  Jesus says we are to be as wise as serpents yet innocent as doves in Matthew 10:16.  Forgiving & forgetting to me seems completely unwise.  If someone is abusive, then their victim forgives & forgets abusive incidents, the abuser readily will repeat their abusive behavior because they know there will be no consequences.  However, if you give them consequences for their behavior, there is a much better chance of them changing.  Clearly that isn’t always the case but it creates a much more likely scenario than forgiving & forgetting, & allowing them to abuse you repeatedly.

Many people think that forgiveness & reconciliation are the same thing, but clearly they are not! Luke 17:3-4 in the Amplified Bible say, “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.  14 Even if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him [that is, give up resentment and consider the offense recalled and annulled].”  Notice how it states that the offending person repents, you are to forgive him.  It doesn’t say you must forgive no matter what.

Many people who misunderstand Godly forgiveness are also quick to quote the part of Ephesians 4:26 that says not to let the sun go down on your anger.  They quote only a small portion of the verse.  In reality, it says, “Ephesians 4:26  “Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down.”  According to this verse, anger is acceptable as long as you don’t allow it to motivate you to doing something shameful or sinful such as doing something vengeful to hurt the person who hurt you.

Another interesting point to consider about Ephesians 4:26.  It shows what actions are acceptable reasons for feeling anger.  Sin, immorality, injustice & ungodly behavior.  There should never be a point in a person’s life that such things don’t make them angry!  Feeling neutral about them or accepting them would normalize some pretty terrible behavior that should not be normal under any circumstances.  You can forgive a person while still being furious about the wicked & cruel things they have done to you.  I can tell you that I have forgiven my parents, but I still despise the cruel things they did to me in my lifetime.

If someone tells you that you need to hurry up & forgive your abuser or even “forgive & forget,” then please disregard what they say.  Forgive God’s way when you are ready to take that step.  Don’t let anyone make you feel as if you aren’t forgiving fast enough, as doing that can slow down the healing process.  Take the step when you feel ready to do so & only then.  And, never forget that you are always going to feel some anger at what was done to you because it was wrong.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling that way!  It’s a healthy way to feel & yes, even a Christian way to feel!

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15% Off All Print Books!

My publisher is offering a sale.. 15% off all print books when you use code SELFLOVE15 at checkout until May 20, 2022

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There May Be A Demonic Element To Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is a term used to describe the very uncomfortable feeling of having two conflicting beliefs.  As an example, let’s say you believe that your mother was a caring, loving mother & you also believe that any problems in that relationship are completely your fault.  Then one day you learn that she is a covert narcissist.  In such a situation, facing the truth feels awful.  You grew up believing this one thing & were comfortable with it, even if it was painful thinking you were the problem in the relationship.  Learning this isn’t true creates anxiety & confusion about what is really true.

In speaking with a follower of my work one day on the topic of cognitive dysfunction, she mentioned that she believes it can be demonic.  At first, this concept sounds very far fetched, I realize, but the more we spoke, the more it made sense.

As Kavya said, when faced with the truth, many people’s core beliefs come back & they believe the lies instead.  This could be evidence of demons at work.  This also could be people operating in the spirit of fear, because they’re afraid to step out of their comfort zone of what is familiar.  So afraid, in fact, they are content to stay with what’s familiar even when it’s wrong & toxic.  That spirit of fear comes in & keeps them in toxic situations.

Another good point she made is evil is against rational thinking.  These spirits want to stunt growth.  They want to keep people miserable & down.  So when people lack good rational thought skills, there can be a demonic influence. 

Evil is also against truth.  They worked through the people in Jesus’ time on earth to hide the knowledge of who He was & what He could do.  That hasn’t changed today.  They instill doubt in people or find ways to make the Gospel message sound impossible.  They also work to hide the truth about other things.  Creating cognitive dissonance easily could be a part of that.  They make people so despondent that they return to their original beliefs, in spite of how obviously wrong they were & how miserable they were while functioning in those beliefs. 

Even good, caring people can end up supporting narcissists because they lack critical thinking skills.  They don’t recognize that there is evil influencing them.  They go with their feelings rather than facing the evidence in front of them, because the truth is making them so incredibly uncomfortable.  Doing this opens the door for evil to work in their minds & lives.  After all, who wants to face the fact that someone they are close to or even love is an abusive monster?  No one!  Doing that is extremely hard & painful!  Some people lack the strength & courage to face painful truths, so instead, they take the easy way out.  They continue in their denial out of fear of facing that pain.  I believe that fear can open a door for evil to enter their hearts, because sometimes in this situation, even a good person can end up so focused on protecting their denial that they mistreat & abuse a victim. 

If you experience cognitive dissonance like many victims of narcissistic abuse do, then please keep this in mind.  I don’t think it is always demonic, but it has that potential to be.  Protect yourself, & face the truth, even when it’s hard.

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Receiving God’s Comfort

God created people to need relationships not only with Him but with each other.  A part of that is the need for consolation & comfort during the tough times.

There were many times shortly after the death of my mother that I received God’s comfort.  It was such a horrific time, undoubtedly the hardest of my life.  I was overwhelmed with everything I had to do as well as processing her death & the fact she chose me to be her personal representative after her & my father saying otherwise years prior.  His comfort & strength enabled me to do the impossible at that time & come out on the other side even stronger than I went into the situation.  It gave me a new appreciation for His comfort.  It also showed me that people, even the most well meaning ones, can’t offer the kind of comfort that God can.

People can’t understand your pain exactly.  Even if they have experienced similar situations to yours, you are different people, which means you feel pain & process it differently.  God created you, so naturally He knows you better than any human can.  This also means He understands your pain better than anyone else.  He has experienced things that humans have such as rejection, betrayal, being taken for granted & more.  His comfort comes from the place of truly understanding how you feel, which is something no human being can manage.

God’s comfort is truly something special.  His comfort creates a deep intimacy with Him, a feeling of truly meshing with Him, because you know He truly understands.  He also gently gives words of encouragement in ways no human can, such as by calling your attention to song lyrics or a Scripture that you never thought of quite this way before.  There is also comfort in knowing that He is working in your situation on your behalf.  This deep intimacy with God comes from no means other than allowing Him to comfort you.  It is one good thing that comes from a pain that causes you to run to Him for comfort. 

Another good thing that comes from that is once you have received His comfort, you become more able to offer comfort to other hurting people.  Your empathy has increased & naturally you want to help others.  You also have experience in receiving God’s comfort & can help other people to do the same.  2 Corinthians 1:3-5 in the New International Bible says, 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

If you haven’t asked God to comfort you before, why not try it now?  There are plenty of verses in the Bible that show He is willing to do it.  In the New International Translation, Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  And, Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  Clearly, God wants to comfort you.  Let Him!  You won’t be sorry!

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15% Off My Print Books!

My print book publisher is offering 15% off all print books until April 8, 2022. To take advantage of this sale, enter code COOKBOOK15 at checkout.

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Read An Ebook Week Sale

From March 6-12, 2022, all of my ebooks will be 25% off. Discount is applied at checkout, so there is no need for a coupon code.

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10% Off All Print Books!

My print book publisher is offering a sale.. 10% off all print versions of my books until March 4, 2022. Simply use code DIRECT10 at checkout.

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Biblical Love- It’s Not What You May Think

Have you ever heard of the book, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman?  I read it years ago.  It’s a wonderful book that suggests five different ways people can feel loved, & says every person has a preference for one of those ways over the others.  Although the book was written with couples in mind, I think it’s good for all relationships.  People naturally tend to show others love in ways they feel the most loved, often without realizing that the other person may feel more loved by a different action.

While it is important to know how best to make those in your life feel loved, I believe there is something else that is equally important.  We need to know how to love people God’s way. 

Of course with narcissists, they are convinced it is loving behavior to give them anything they want & to do anything they order their victims to do.  If someone doesn’t do such things, in the narcissist’s eyes, they are unloving, selfish jerks.  When subjected to narcissistic abuse, it’s easy to believe that they are right, & having any sort of boundaries is unloving & selfish.  This is extremely wrong however!    

Ephesians 5:2 in the Amplified Bible says, “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.”  Notice that one part that says, “unselfishly seeking the best for others.”  Sometimes the most loving thing you can do may look unloving on the surface, but is truly the best thing for someone else. 

Giving someone everything they want isn’t loving in a Godly way.  It makes people entitled & selfish.  It isn’t loving because it isn’t seeking the best for them.

When someone is dysfunctional, they may think that it’s loving behavior to treat them a certain way, such as enabling unhealthy behavior.  The truth is that isn’t loving at all.  Although it may not feel like it to the dysfunctional person, it is much more loving to have healthy boundaries & encourage good behavior.

Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to walk away from someone.  That may sound hard to believe, but it’s true!

If someone is abusive, they need to know that behavior is unacceptable so they can be motivated to improve their behavior.  Admittedly, with narcissists, this is highly unlikely, but it’s only right to try to get the point across to them by setting boundaries.  Eventually if this doesn’t work, walking away is a very viable option.  It is best for the victim, obviously but also for the abuser.  Walking away removes the opportunity for the abuser to sin by abusing the victim.  It also models healthy behavior for the abuser. 

If you have been in this painful position of needing to walk away from an abusive person, chances are you’ve been criticized harshly for going no contact, especially if your abuser was a parent or other family member.  People are extremely critical of those who sever ties with their parents, no matter the circumstances, as you no doubt have learned.  This message is for you today.  Please don’t think they are right.  Walking away is a loving thing to do in such cases.  You did what was best for you & for the abuser in your life. 

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20% Off ALL Print Books!

My publisher turns 20 this year, & as a way to celebrate, they’re offering 20% off print book purchases until February 11, 2022. All you have to do to take advantage is use code 20FOR20 at checkout.

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Struggling To Feel Loved By God After Narcissistic Abuse

After surviving narcissistic abuse at the hands of parents, when victims turn to God, many struggle with feeling that God truly loves them.  It’s not that they think God is a liar or they doubt what the Bible says.  Many have strong faith & believe every word in the Bible to be the word of God.  They also believe that God loves & forgives other people.  Yet, they struggle believing this is true for them.  This is because of the narcissistic abuse they endured.

Narcissistic abuse at any age by any person is a terrible thing, but it seems to have the most profound effect on those who grew up with narcissistic parents.  Children look to their parents to be their everything – their source of love, nurturing, food, shelter & more.  Basically parents are like a god to children.  When that “god” is abusive, it distorts a person’s reality terribly.  One of those ways is making them believe that authority figures aren’t trustworthy, even God.

Not to mention, children’s brains aren’t fully developed.  This means they process things differently than adults do.  Adults realize that someone being abusive towards them doesn’t mean something is wrong with them.  It means something is wrong with the abusive person.  Children don’t realize that.  They think when someone abuses them, in particular a parent, that means something must be wrong with them to make that parent treat them badly.   This is a huge blow to one’s self esteem, & makes them believe they are unlovable.    

When that child grows up & decides to turn their life over to God, that doesn’t mean their dysfunction vanishes.  That dysfunction is still a part of their life, & it will show up in their relationship with God. 

Although that adult child may truly love God, chances are excellent that he or she doesn’t completely trust God.  God being a father figure means that people relate to Him as they did their earthly father.  That relationship automatically starts out mirroring the relationship a person has with their earthly father, good or bad.  This is a wonderful thing for those with great relationships with their father.  It’s a terrible thing for those with dysfunctional or even abusive relationships with their father.  They may love God, but fail to trust Him completely, exactly as they did their earthly father. 

People also relate to God as a child relates to a parent in many ways.  The abused child as an adult will relate to God as they did when they related to their parents when they were children.  If they felt that they were unlovable as children, they will struggle to believe God loves them.  After all, if a person’s own parents didn’t love them, how could anyone else, including God, right?  WRONG! 

Although it can be extremely hard to believe for a child of narcissistic parents, God does love you & He also forgives you for everything!  It seems impossible, but it’s true. 

If you are struggling in this area, the best thing I know to tell you to do is to get to know God even better.  I don’t care if you’ve been a Christian for 50 years, do it anyway!  Spend time in prayer, ask Him to talk to you then listen to what He says, read the Bible, read books, listen to Christian music.. whatever helps you feel closer to your Heavenly Father, do it.  The more you get to know Him, the more you will realize He truly does love you & forgive you.  Psalm 27:10 is one of my favorite Bible verses, & is an excellent one to remember.  It says that although my parents forsake me, God will adopt me.  Isn’t that amazing?!  Clearly He loves you so much more than you realize, & His love for you will never change!

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15% Off ALL My Print Books!

My publisher is having a 15% off sale until January 28, 2022. Simply enter code IMAGINE15 at checkout.

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God Plans Our Lives With Love

There is no denying that live can be exceedingly difficult sometimes. My readers know this as well if not better than anyone due to experiences with narcissists. This can make anyone wonder where was God during the abuse? Did He even care about what was happening to me? Does He really love me? The answers are He was right with you, He did care & was deeply upset about it & yes, He absolutely loves you!

I was considering writing my own post on this topic but found this one on an amazing blog that explains this topic much better than I can. I decided to share that post instead, & I hope it blesses you tremendously! The link to the post is below.

I did want to say one thing though… for years now, Romans 8:28 has helped me during the especially tough times & I think it may help you as well…

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

Romans 8:28 AMP

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