Saturday, June 25, 2016

She must be jealous of me.

I have known her for over 40 years.  She is just about the most bitter person I have ever known - only, unfortunately, I know three other women who top this one’s ugly bitterness.

Bitterness is an ugly, gross thing when seen in played out in a person. Avoid it. 

Fight becoming bitter.

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."
Ephesians 4:31

Precious Sisters in Jesus, whatever you do, whatever you are going through, however you must handle your circumstances, control yourself! Because you do NOT want to become bitter.  It is an abhorrent trait.

"I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:14-19

"He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion."

Proverbs 28:13

But, with this certain bitter person, I know of her childhood, and I know how she was dealt with when she was grown up, so I have always had pity for her, prayed for her, and “given her a pass” so many times when she has been cruel to me or others.

I think she was trying to be friendly with me once when she showed me a treasured picture in her wallet.  It was of herself and her prom date at their senior prom.  The man  was NOT who she had been married to for 15 years.  I was shocked, said nothing,  and I felt sad for her to live in the past this way. Plus, I wondered how this made her husband feel.

She is a wee bit older than me so she has always felt like she could tell me what to do.  I, on the other hand, even when I was spiritually immature have tried to love her as I would want to be loved, and I love her like a sister.  I have been there for her in her agonies, and befriended her when no one else would.   As far as I have seen, though, I do not think my kindness and love has affected any change in her at all.

One solution was for me to distance myself from her. But her manipulation and cruelty towards me has reached out and has affected me greatly over these years.  One consolation, if I should call it this, is that she has chosen to pretend I do not exist any longer.  When communication was paramount, I was ignored and vilified.  When she was held accountable by those in authority she was able to continue her cruelty in secret to this day.

I have spent all these years wondering why she did not like me, and why she even hated me.  I have had to explain her behavior and choices in polite terms to those people who I have had to deal with (friends, medical professionals, social workers, nurses, etc) because she has blocked my freedoms.

I know how she has behaved as a wife and how she has parented her own children. I marvel at how God’s grace and mercy has been showered on her with her family is still intact when other precious, godly families have been torn apart by the world.  These loving families have cherished their spouses and children and have lost everything because the world captured their families. Why does it seem like the "good guys" lose?

No matter how she has hurt me, angered me, ignored me ~ I still pity her, because I know where she came from.  Strangely, just today, I realized that what may have spurred her on in her quest to destroy me was her jealously of me.  Perhaps it is because I have had parents who loved me, a husband who adores me, and children I loved and spent my quality time on. I have loved God as long as I have known her, but when my faith shown, she disliked me even more.  Jealousy, I suppose, can be ugly in itself. How pitiful to see played out.

What can we learn from our relationships?  We can not make anyone hear us, believe us, or change them.  This is not our job.  We can only do our job which is to live our lives for the LORD no matter what others do to us, or how others behave. 

Let us remove all bitterness, etc. out of our inner most beings even if it means a daily inner fight.  We are not fighting alone, for we have the LORD! 

"bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you."
Colossians 3:13

"Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. 
He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

Ephesians 4:25-32


Anonymous said...


What a powerful post today. What a cautionary tale against the root of bitterness! I cringed when you said you knew three other women who top this woman's bitterness. Saying this with a smile, but maybe it's time to pick new acquaintances? :)

Consider it a blessing that she pretends you don't exist anymore. Proverbs talks about "putting away" the scoffer in order to have peace... the distance you put between yourself and her was very wise. Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. I'm not sure it's profitable to spend any time wondering why certain people are cruel. Scripture tells us why mankind is so corrupted. The sin nature just manifests differently - and to different degrees - in each person. We are simply told in Proverbs that there are people that we should avoid, like fools and scoffers. I think there's a saying that goes, some people need to be fed with a long, long spoon.

Yes, sometimes it seems like the "good guys" lose, but if you scratch the surface, you will see the veneer on most people's lives - the people who "look" like they are "winning" - it is very, very thin. An intact family is not necessarily a healthy family. Not at all. Just because dad, mom and the kids are all under the same roof doesn't mean all is well, peaceful, and good. There are more problems in many homes than you think - and more than they let on...

Your conclusion was spot on. It is not our job to change others, nor can we control them. We can only live for the Lord in the integrity of our own spirit.

That - and the best way to love in a difficult situation is to speak the truth, always. Bring the truth of the situation to the light. One of the best Biblical examples: Tamar. Think of what happened after she was raped by her brother. As a devotional I read said, "Tamar was too upright to pretend that nothing had happened". Think about that. Think about the power of that statement. Tamar was upright and courageous... she did not keep silent... she did not pretend everything was ok... she tore her robes and cried out publicly. Meanwhile, her father, David, while angry, apparently did nothing to punish his wicked son, and did nothing to redeem the shattered heart of his daughter.

Sad to say, but I'm not sure I've been in a church where Tamar's response would have been welcome. Most families and most churches love to pretend, more than face reality, sad to say.

Keep pressing on Jill, whoever happens across your blog, will surely be edified.


The Piper's Wife said...

Until I dealt with "bitterness" up front and personal I had not realized how horribly gross it was. It even looks gross on the outside of a person.

I agree that being away from this kind of person, and guarding my heart from them is so very important for my own sanity. My problem is that these acquaintances are related in one way or another.

I appreciate your comment on scratching the surface of "the bad guys" who seemingly "win". You are so very correct. When you are in the storms it is easy to forget to use logic and reason, but when you pull yourself away and look correctly you can truly see what is reality. These people are not happy, they have no joy. Their "joy" is to manipulate and control, to bring others down, not encourage or love others.

Yes, the Tamar account is tragic. The Church today has much to be repenting of in the presence of our Holy God.

Thank you, Carolyn, for your encouragements!

Anonymous said...

You're welcome, and so sorry that the acquaintances are "so close" to you. :(

Well, you can still keep a mental/emotional distance... :)


The Piper's Wife said...

Hehe...and this is what I do ~ as much as possible!

Anonymous said...

Wise words from two sisters in the Lord! Jill, I've struggled with my sister- in -law, trying not to dislike her for her ways....sometimes caustic and mean. I end up praying for her and repenting for failing in my attitudes. You are right about bitterness. It won't work. Asking the Lord to help me show love to her is what gets me beyond bitterness. He knows every single hurtful word and action I have experienced from her. It comforts me to just know He is aware and can comfort me when I choose to do things His way.

The Piper's Wife said...

Thank you, Anonymous. I completely understand!

On another note ~ it is absolutely frustrating when the "someone else" is the real problem, but then "we" end up sinning, at least in our heads, and then we must deal with it rightly with the LORD. He is working on our inner person :o) and it is a good thing! (even in the bad situation)

Continue to fight the good fight! The LORD is with you (and me!) and so we can do this.

You are not a door mat to be walked on, but ~ Minimizing your time with that person is important, and then always being gracious is very important also. We do not know the impact we make in other people's lives.

Praise God for His mercy and comfort!