Amanda Jolley

Studio Joy

Applying lessons from Good vs. Evil

Whenever my children are in a situation when others are not behaving properly, or when feelings (or bodies) get hurt by someone else, my response is “Now you have learned why you should never behave/treat another person that way. Remember how it made you feel so that you never make someone else feel like that.” 

This is just the lesson I need to apply to my latest inner conflict. How does it make me feel when others are so caught up in their close-knit relationships that they forget to include me? How does it make me feel when I make an intentional effort to get to know them and the effort is not reciprocated? It hurts. As my son so wisely said at age 6, “It makes me hurt way down inside.”

I feel guilty about the pain too. Is this a self inflicted pain? Is my desire to be accepted by people so great that I get hurt so easily? Shouldn’t Christ be filling this desire? Shouldn’t all offences just roll off my back since I am a Christian? You can see where this goes. I just begin to rip myself apart for feeling this way.

Yesterday, Yielded made an excellent point in a comment to my Good vs. Evil post. She said “…I always have to make a decision to be selfless…” This is the truth. Although it is not easy, it is Christ’s way. No matter how I feel, I need to treat these people how Christ would treat them. So when the efforts to get to know them are not reciprocated, I will continue to make the effort. When I begin to focus on my feelings of separation, I will make a concerted effort to REfocus on the people involved, rather than simply shutting down and being hurt.

My feelings of guilt, the questions I throw at myself, are accurate. I am not in Christ when I embrace the hurt rather than taking the high road and viewing these people through Christ’s eyes.

And here’s the big question…Do I ever treat other people this way? When I get with a group of close friends and someone new is there, am I making an effort to warmly welcome the new person? I do try, but can think of some times that I have not. Ouch. I have probably made others feel this same way.

Thank you, Lord, for using my pain to show me where I need to change.

amanda ∞

0 Comments on “Applying lessons from Good vs. Evil”

  1. “How does it make me feel when others are so caught up in their close-knit relationships that they forget to include me?”

    Horrible, but my wife suffers more from this than me. I could care less about other people including me- I am a classic introvert. She however is mucho extroverted and it really upsets her.

    My husband has a very similar response to yours. He handles it much better than I. Sounds like you do too. Maybe your wife and I should chat. =)

  2. Have you ever joined something and felt beat up and wounded each time to go?

    Well, that was what I was going through a few months ago. I told the Lord that I will keep going to this group because someday, someone like me will walk in, and I will be right there to make that mom feel welcome. I said I’m gonna get over myself and just show up to be a blessing to someone else every week. (not to mention our kids who love to go!)

    Well, things suddenly got better, but I don’t think it was because the other people changed, but because my heart did.

    It is still a battle of crucifying the flesh. Every time. I wish I could say I’m always successful. Only with His grace, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sneaking me in another beautiful post!

    <3 Flo

  3. I LOVE the *choosing* to be selfless~great way to put it! When I read the first post yesterday, I was thinking more of the responsibility of those around to welcome others in….

    When I saw the title of this post, I expected it to be about the book by Michael Pearl~LOL! I JUST read your comment on my summer school post~I don’t know how I missed it! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

    I love Michael Pearl’s Good and Evil. What an excellent book. For those of you who have not seen it, check it out here.

  4. You know Amanda… I have thought about this too. Because I think it may be me. Shortly after I graduated from High School, I returned to Biloxi to visit a friend. While there we went skiing with another person I went to high school with. I hadn’t known this other person well. You know what at the end of the day she told me she had enjoyed being with me and wished she had taken the time to get to know me. She had thought I was a snob. Later, I worked with a man who would often join me for lunch. He told me one day that I was unapproachable. He contended it was the reason I was single.

    So, as a total introvert… do I send the message that I don’t need people? I do need a lot of down time to recharge, but I enjoy being in relationships too. I try to come across as friendly, but sometime I think I must just miss the mark. I try to give other people the benefit of the doubt… take on the failure as my own… and try a little harder the next time.

    But you know, I think it is harder as we age. I have always moved around a lot. My Dad was in the Air Force. It took several months, but generally I had a good friend everywhere we lived. I haven’t had that for a long time. My husband really is my best friend.

    You know, I am so similar to you. I know I can be hard to get to know at times. I can be in my own little world not picking up on other’s attempts to communicate. But God has just been changing me so much lately. I suppose He’s just showing me how I’ve made others feel for years. If it’s from God, change is good.

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