I did not wake up this morning with the intention to do a blog or podcast; however, when the inspiration comes you have to move with it. By the way, did you catch the big announcement? Everything that I do can now be found on my personal website. Yes! This has been a huge step outside of my comfort zone but when whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram all went down yesterday, I was comforted in knowing you all can still reach out to me. So yes, learn more about me and what I do by visiting my website.
This morning’s snippet said “Those in the innermost part of your circle can be your greatest source of attack during spiritual warfare if you all aren’t careful.” Please do not read into this what I am not saying. I am not saying that all of the people in our inner circle are out to get us. We also have to realise that the people in our inner circle are exactly that – people. They are flawed human beings who were born in sin and shapen in iniquity. They are people who are undergoing their own personal development processes with their own baggages and hurts. This is not an excuse for their behaviours but a context within which to view and understand their actions. We’ve all been on the receiving end of betrayal and hurt from people closest to us. However, we are equally guilty of allowing ourselves to be the agents of hurt to those closest to us. There is absolutely no room for self righteousness here and that also has to be balanced out by righteous indignation for wrongdoing.
When you think about your inner circle there are often layers to even that small subsection of friends and family. You will discuss the more intimate details of your life with the closest of the close. Jesus had many followers, but then He called unto Himself a set of disciples and within that set of close followers there was the group of three. We could even say that of the three, there was the “one whom Jesus loved” – just ask John. It was one of the close disciples who betrayed Jesus and one of the inner circle members who denied Him, not once but three times. I am running ahead of myself and that is because the thoughts are coming faster than I am able to process and type.
Your inner circle has the most information about you: they know you! They know where you are coming from, they know where you are currrently and they know enough about your future plans. We have to have confidantes and accountability partners but these people to whom we are vulnerable, are susceptible to being used by the enemy of our souls to derail us. We have to constantly evaluate them. We have to keep each other in check. We have to remember that we are all humans and we all need to live at the feet of Jesus being constant in prayer and the Word. And even then sometimes we still mess up. We speak something too soon or we say something hurtful or we, singlehandedly, derail each other’s plans. We [un]wittingly sow seeds of discord and cultivate ill repute even amongst siblings, friends and coworkers. I think we severely underestimate the power of our words to kill or to create, to hurt or to heal.
No one wants to think of their famly and best friends as their enemy. I am not necessarily saying that you should either. Discernment is a very important spiritual skill to hone because when the attacks happen, we need to understand what is going on. Sometimes people are used and they don’t even know they are being used! However, at other times they are deliberately leaving themselves susceptible to being used. They delight in seeing you hurt because there is just a smidgen of jealousy or hatred there. Sometimes they are aware of their hatred and other times they are not. Remember they are carrying their own unresolved issues – although it is no excuse for their behaviour.
When the hurt comes from within our inner circle, the pain is so great that we forget that we have done the same thing before and are liable to doing so again. We forget that it could really be unintentional. All we see and feel is hurt that, if we are not careful will spring up into a root of bitternes. We say like David “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company” (Psalm 55:-12-14 KJV). In those moments rifed with pain we forget that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood and that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (Ephesians 6:12 & 2 Corinthians 10:4 respectively). We can only think of praying imprecatory prayers, and do not get me wrong, there is a place for that but our first response should be a prayer of mercy and forgiveness. We forget that the spirit of offense is always lurking with its confederate the spirit of rejection. Together they set out to destroy meaningful relationships. Truthfully, all relationships require a measure of vulnerablity, the more intimate the association the greater the vulnerabilty required. This will cause you to be more susceptible to hurt and in turn requires you to work more diligently to avoid same and to quickly, and with emotional intelligence, make the requisite amends when that is the most appropriate thing to do.
When the relationship must come to an end, it can be difficult. And sometimes it is not that we have to completely cut off the person(s), maybe we just have to gradually distance ourselves, whether for a time or permanently. As my good friend D says, when people show you who they are you can either continue in the same manner, or adjust to the new information you have received. This same friend also seems immune to offense. Nothing bothers this person. Absolutely nothing. We have to get to that place where the spirit of offense cannot take root in our lives…it really does eliminate a lot of the emotional stress. This doesn’t mean that you should resort to being cold and narcissistic. Everything in balance!
Whatever happens, let love be the key factor. Take the time to process your emotions in a safe space before making whichever decision is necessary. Sometimes reconciliation can happen after a period of separation. Do not be ignorant of satan’s devices nor his schemes. Know who the real enemy is and most importantly stay connected to the Source.
So, will you periodically evaluate your innercircle? Will you work towards eliminating the spirits of offense and rejection out of your lives? When the attacks come will you try to view them objectively? Lastly, what are you waiting for to go and visit our website and let me know what you’d like to see added over there?