Tag Archives: Relationships

On Having a Positive Attitude

When we are told to have a positive attitude, we often consider it either a wishy-washy platitude or an apathetic dismissal.  While it is true that such an admonition is used in both of these ways, I would like to submit that there is more substance in a positive attitude than what these common uses would indicate.  What is it that makes a positive attitude more than just a nice thought or saccharine shtick?

Firstly, our attitude colors our outlook on everything.  It is a psychological lens through which information passes as it is formed into our perceptions.  As such, it can sharpen or distort our perceptions, either allowing them to be more accurate or skewing them (sometimes drastically) away from reality.  Our attitude is the difference between taking a passing comment as a passing comment and taking it as an insult; the difference between having an open or closed mind.  It is also key to the phenomenon known as the “self-fulfilling prophecy”.  Our attitude affects how we treat people, which, in turn, affects how they treat us.

Second, our attitude makes a very real impact on the people around us.  As noted in the self-fulfilling prophecy example above, our attitude really is contagious.  It can be what helps someone else to, themselves, have a positive attitude which goes on to affect the people they come into contact with and who we may never see.  In this way, our attitude has a subtle effect on actions and interactions beyond our little sphere.  This wide-ranging influence is why the kind of attitude we have is a very important decision.

Third, in addition to having an effect on our perceptions and on others, our attitudes have an effect on our own lives and how we live them.  Paul touches on this idea in his letter to the Philippians:

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:  I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.  Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

-Philippians 4:11-13

Paul says that he is content no matter his circumstance.  This speaks to his attitude not as a passing feeling, but as a persistent disposition.  It is interesting to note the ideas Paul uses to convey his point.  He says that he has learned “how to” be abased, abound, etc.  This suggests that there is a better and worse way to undergo these things.  To bring this into better focus, consider the more mundane example of having a cold.  There seem to be two general categories into which people fall when dealing with this kind of disturbance.  One group accepts the cold for what it is and proceeds forward with life in anticipation that the annoyingly runny nose will eventually go away with the aid of proper care and rest.  The other group allows the discomfort and disturbance of the cold to take over their lives and dominate their attitude, inflicting undue strain and stress not only on themselves, but also on those around them.  Chances are that we’ve encountered both of these approaches to the problem of being sick.  In this case, it is clear that the first is a better way of addressing our cold and the second worse.  They do not change the fact that a cold is a bad thing to deal with.  Rather they speak to our disposition in a bad circumstance.  We can apply the same reasoning to a good circumstance; noting that we can have better and worse mindsets as we move through it.  This is the line of reasoning that Paul sets out as he addresses the Philippian Christians:  he has learned how to have a positive attitude in both good and bad circumstances.

As we unpack this further, we come to the foundation upon which Paul grounds his attitude.  He says that he can “do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Paul’s positive mindset is not based on his force of will when particular circumstances arise.  He’s not forcing himself to be happy or humble.  Instead, his mindset stems from a larger perspective in which circumstance forms a transient part.  This perspective is cultivated as we grow in our relationship with God and learn to live our lives with Him.  God, rather than being forgotten or relegated to a particular corner of our lives, is allowed to be a part of all that we say, think, and do.  We allow Him to provide comfort, to provide guidance, or to provide insight in the innumerable situations we find ourselves in.  Rather than being an escapist mentality, living our lives with God helps us to engage the people and situations around us in a healthy and constructive way.  Paul does not say that his positive attitude is based on ignoring his problems.  Instead, he says that he relies on Christ, who casts a light on the situation and helps him to proceed well.  Above all else, Paul (and we as Christians) has an unquenchable hope in the new life we have in Christ which surpasses anything that this world or Hell itself can throw at us.  It is this hope that strengthens us against the despair and cynicism inherent in having a bad attitude.

Although we often take having a positive attitude as a fluffy platitude anymore, I hope that the writing above has shown or at least helped you consider the idea that a positive attitude is something with substance that is worth taking the trouble to maintain.  It would be foolish to claim that it is easy to keep a positive attitude, especially when we are surrounded by a world bursting at the seams with negativity.  Nonetheless there is real value in this endeavor, for our attitude affects our perceptions and interactions with others as well as how we address ourselves to all manner of situations.  We make a difference in the world every day, whether we like it or not.  What kind of difference we make is very often the product of the attitude we have in life.

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Afterword

With the election drawing to a close this week with heightened emotion and intensity for many, we now find ourselves pondering what the future holds from here.  It has oft been observed that this election in particular has been especially polarizing and, in affirmation of this, it has also weighed heavily upon many of our hearts and minds for some time now.  However, as the dust begins to settle, our attention must turn to the matter of how we are going to proceed.  For, though the presidential election is one of the most important events in the United States, which greatly affects and shapes the future course of the nation, it does not negate the numerous other moving parts of our lives.

As Christians, we must not lose sight of the fact that even something as big as the presidential election is ultimately a piece in the bigger picture.  It is a piece that we, as part of the stewardship given to us in our lives, are required to speak to through casting our vote.  Nonetheless, after the election is done, the votes tallied, and speeches made, there will still be evils such as hunger, poverty, corruption, and injustice in our world just as there were before.  Our Adversary, the devil, will still be tirelessly pursuing our spiritual ruin and the spiritual ruin of all humanity.

For these reasons, as we return our focus to our more routine cycles, it is paramount that we remain mindful of the eternal aspects of our temporal lives.  The words of Paul to the church in Colosse are poignant to us following the election:

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

-Colossians 3:12-17

Paul’s words provide a gut-check that makes us look at who we are called to be as Christians.  It seems that this last campaign, perhaps more so than those previous, has tended to incline our hearts to hate and wish ill for others depending on who they did or didn’t support.  However, our devotion and obedience to Christ demands that we put off such wickedness and instead give grace and love just as we have received grace and love from Christ.  We are called to support and look out for one another for the greater glory of God, rather than give in to bitterness and hysteria.  This is an admittedly difficult task, given that our political views may not have won the election and that we are faced with sentiments all too eager to stir us to anger and fear whenever we do things like turn on the TV or log on to Facebook.  Sometimes we must take a deep breath and clear our minds of the clutter that so easily accumulates in it and distorts our perceptions.  We must not let fear or resentment govern our lives, for then we and we alone have robbed ourselves of faith, hope, and love.

Life goes on after this election, and so does our goal of living our lives with and for God.  As we move forward in our lives, we must keep our hearts and minds set on what is truly important and not lose sight of the God who loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son so that, while we were still enemies to Him, we might be reconciled to Him.  Let us then, in keeping with His love, continue, as ever, to aim at and uphold the heart and spirit expressed in the greatest commandments:

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,’ this is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

-Matthew 22:37-40


Halloween – Beyond the Mask

With pumpkins, ghosts, and ghouls out in abundance, it can only mean that Halloween is once more upon us.  This time of year, good scares are not difficult to find with haunted houses opening their doors, networks running scary movies, and the occasional friend or colleague jumping out of a concealed location.  Indeed, Halloween is the season to get scared.  The scares themselves come in a wide spectrum of styles ranging from the quick and reliable jumpscare to carefully arranged and artfully crafted ambiance which draws us into another world.  With all these frights at our fingertips, it is worth our while to examine and think on them.  Is there more to be gleaned from them than a quick thrill?  I would like to propose that there is, in fact, more substance amid the boos than first meets the eye.

Getting scared introduces an element of humility into our lives.  In our culture today, we take ourselves very seriously.  I think this stems in no small part from the pride and self-aggrandizement that permeates our lives.  We are regularly told that we “deserve it” or are shown images of what is considered to be an idealized person or life.  These are the measures we then compare ourselves to and doggedly pursue.   It is no wonder that we are so tightly wound when we are constantly fretting over meeting these goals.  So often, it becomes a matter of self-justification in which we tell ourselves that at least we are better than so-and-so or we attempt to take refuge in convincing ourselves and others that we are the smartest person in the room.  Our spiritual lives are subject to the same rat races as we attempt to have the “right” worship experience or be the most “spiritual” person in the room.  Even our fun has become a matter of utmost seriousness as we use the metrics of social media to evaluate and draw satisfaction from our recreational activities.

When we allow ourselves to get scared, we are in effect dropping all of these pretenses.  There is no image to keep up when we are breathlessly awaiting what is going to jump out at us from behind the next door.  We are very simply there, in the moment.  Put differently, getting spooked gives us a chance and (if we need it) an excuse to be authentic.  We are so focused on living up to what we think we need to be that sometimes we forget to be who we are.  The image we try to become is essentially a stylized perfection with all the depth and character of a G.I. Joe action figure or Barbie doll.  These plastic façades cannot afford to show the slightest imperfection or weakness because to do so would destroy their illusion.  To get scared (beyond a carefully scripted instance) is such an imperfection.  Getting a good fright helps to keep us honest by reminding us of the frailty and fakeness of these societal masks.  Our Halloween scares give us a touchstone with humility and reality.  We are imperfect and that is ok.  We can be healthy and imperfect because we have a perfect God who works with us, walks with us, and loves us in the midst of those imperfections.  Rather than shunning or whitewashing these imperfections, He engages us through them in order to heal and shape us.  Clinging to our false self-image turns our back on this vital part of our relationship with God which expands far beyond a single month of the year.

Sharing the fright with others adds yet another dimension.  As stated before, when we get scared we drop our pretenses, and, along with them, the barriers that they set up.  In an ironic twist, the images we project to others in order to better fit in end up making us further divided from them.  The reason for this is that these projected images are nothing more than a ruse and for a ruse to work, people must not know that it is a ruse.  Therefore, we must keep everyone at arm’s length to ensure that they do not accidently get a peek behind the curtain.  In the end, we make sure that our false self fits perfectly with the others on the surface while our true self remains trapped and drowning in isolation below.  Sharing a scare offers a unique experience in that we drop our acts and let our real selves come to the surface for air.  It brings us into a degree of vulnerability that we may not dare touch in other contexts.  While this mutual vulnerability may not, itself, bring us closer, it serves at the very least as a starting point.  As our true self pops through the façade-covered surface, we get to see other heads bobbing up and down and realize that perhaps we aren’t so alone in our situation after all.

While I do not wish to set the frights and fun of Halloween on a pedestal, I hope that I have cast them in a new light that serves as food for thought as we go about our lives this season.  More importantly, I hope that this brief discourse has shown some of the benefits of not taking ourselves too seriously.  When we learn to relax and let go of our carefully crafted false self, we can have a more authentic, open, and healthy relationship with God.  As an extension of our healthy relationship with God, our ability to relate to others also improves.  So as Halloween comes around again, let us step back from our pretenses, spend some time with our friends and loved ones, and draw nearer to God.


Waiting

Waiting:  it is perhaps one of the things we like the least but do the most.  Each day, we find ourselves forced to pause while someone or something completes a task.  Perhaps we find it frustrating because we are used to going through life at our own pace and find the imposition of a different pace to be both uncomfortable and irritating.  Or maybe it is because we feel that, as we are waiting, we are being cheated out of our time because we don’t have control over how long we must wait.

As frustrating as we find waiting to be in situations we do not think of as spiritual, it is no surprise that we are similarly irked when we find ourselves forced to wait in our Christian walk.  This may take shape as hitting a spiritual plateau in which we do not feel the same sense of growth that we used to.  We may also encounter waiting as a sense of being distant from God.  Nonetheless, from this handful of examples, we can see that waiting is an inseparable part of our spiritual journey.  It is part of the undulating road that we walk as we seek to draw closer to God.

Waiting, itself, is no novelty in Christianity:  after Christ’s ascension, the disciples were told to wait until they had received the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49), the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom had to wait until morning for the ditches that had been dug to fill with water (2 Kings 3:20), and we live our lives in anticipation of eternity, just to name a few examples.  Though we are forgiven the moment we repent and turn to Christ, Christianity is not of religion of instant gratification; it is a religion that is founded on relationship, and sometimes that means waiting and remaining faithful.  One of the most poignant examples of waiting on God is the story of Abraham being called out of his homeland by God (Genesis 12:1-9).  Abraham (then called Abram) was told to pack up, leave his home, and go to a land that God would show him.  In many ways, Abraham was being asked to go and wait.  It is one thing to wait while we are secure in the midst of familiar surroundings and quite another to wait while outside of our comfort zone.  Such circumstances bring to mind the question of exactly how we wait:  what do we do when we are waiting on God?

One way we may go about waiting on God is to push our spiritual life to the side.  There doesn’t seem to be much going on there, so why attend to it?  Surely our time is better spent on something else at the moment.  While such a mentality can assist us in becoming better multitaskers, it can also be a detriment to our spiritual growth.  Another way that we might approach waiting is to very simply refuse to do it and give up on our spiritual walk altogether.  After all, is it really worth the time and hassle if we’re just going to have to wait?  This, too, is spiritually unhealthy and cause for us to reconsider where we stand with God (Matthew 13:20-21).

So what are we to do when waiting on God?  Above all else, we must remain faithful.  This means continuing to be diligent in our daily lives:  maintaining our times of devotion and prayer and continuing to live our lives according to Christ’s example.  Our obedience to God and acts of devotion are responses to God’s love for us (1 John 4:17-5:5).  As such, they are not dependent upon immediate feedback because they are based on something far grander in scale.  Love is more than a feeling:  it is obedience, commitment, and selflessness, among other things.  When we love someone, our attitudes and actions towards them ultimately proceed not from temporary feelings (though these may certainly have influence), but from deeper within our hearts, from a deep-seated desire for them to be truly happy.  Love does not consist solely in doting and being doted upon, but also of making hard choices for the betterment of the other party.  This is why, for example, parents discipline their children:  it is not pleasant for any involved, but that discipline teaches the children valuable lessons and is instrumental in their continued healthy development.  When we are waiting on God, we continue to pursue Him and remain faithful, not because it is particularly pleasant at the time or we are trying to earn His love, but because He loves us and we love Him.  Perhaps we wish the answer was more complicated than that, but that is the heart of the matter.  Our response to God’s love persists even when we are not filled with the warm glow of affirmation.

It would be remiss to overlook why God sometimes makes us wait.  As stated earlier, when we love someone, we seek for them to be truly happy.  As God works in us to grow and shape us, sometimes He steps back to allow us to stand on our own.  It is not unlike a child learning to feed itself.  There comes a point when it must learn to convey food to its mouth on its own.  Even though the parents are no longer spoon-feeding it, they don’t love it any less; as a matter of fact, it is because they love it that they put it through the ordeal in the first place.  Likewise, when God asks us to wait on Him, it is because He is teaching us to feed ourselves:  to take what He has given us and be nurtured by it, rather than being spoon-fed.  It helps us to grow and mature spiritually.

When we are waiting on God, despite appearances, we are going through an important process of spiritual maturation.  We learn to show love when we don’t necessarily feel love as we are shaped into the image and likeness of Him who gave the fullest measure of love for those who hated and reviled Him.  Our growth while waiting is not restricted to times when we are waiting on God:  when we wait on others, we can still share the love of God with how we wait.  Are we patient?  Are we kind?  Do we give grace as we have received grace?  As the seed lies seemingly inert in the ground before growing into a fruit-bearing plant, so the times when our spiritual life seems inert eventually grow and bear spiritual fruit.


Sharing Faith

When we think of outreach, evangelism, and the like, we very often come up with thoughts of shiny new programs at church, awkward conversations, or those little track books.  In many cases it seems to be accompanied by a great amount of production and fanfare.  For some, it may raise a note of pride as they reflect on how many people they’ve “led to Christ.”  Others may experience a sense of shame or regret at opportunities missed or avoided.  Indeed, the Great Commission given by Christ Himself speaks to this very topic:

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

-Matthew 28:18-20

However, I believe a question we often wrestle with is how we go about doing this:  how we share our faith with others.  When we talk about this topic, we usually end up talking about marketing Christianity.  More to the point, we talk about how to convince people to join church and the result is that our evangelism is more akin to a sales pitch than any sort of witness or sharing of Christ’s message.  It is no accident that Christianity is treated and perceived as merely a club when it is presented as such by Christians themselves.

So what is the alternative?  If not convincing others to become Christians, what are we to do?  To begin, let’s take a moment to consider exactly what it is that makes a Christian a Christian, namely, our relationship with God.  We have accepted God’s free-standing offer of grace and thereby been reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ.  Through this reconciliation, our relationship with God becomes one in which, rather than resisting or being indifferent towards His love, we are free to receive and return that love.  Our obedience in following Jesus’ example is an act of love, not an attempt to earn love.  This mechanic of God’s love filling us and being manifested in our attitudes and actions lies at the heart of our lives as Christians.  It is also this love that binds the Church together and makes it what it is:  the body of believers across time and space.  So at both the individual and group level, our relationship with God is what moves and sustains us; it is the beating heart of our faith.  Thus, when we share our faith, the core of what we are sharing is this relationship.

With that in mind, we turn again to the question of how we go about sharing our faith.  The introduction to 1 John provides us with some perspective and guidance:

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.  And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”

-1 John 1:1-4

John’s aim is that the reader should join in the fellowship of believers, which is the fellowship shared with the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit.  He grounds his appeal not on clever arguments or flashy displays, but on the declaration of what he has witnessed.  John and the other Apostles testified to the reality of Christ’s resurrection through their eyewitness accounts and first-hand experience.  Anyone who is a believer has a testimony to give of their experience with God, for we all have witnessed Him working in our lives.

The abstract ideas and concepts utilized in arguments are useful for understanding what we know about our relationship with God.  However, they cannot, of themselves, show God to others.  They can speak to and convince the mind, but they have no power to move the heart.  At best, we can reach a kind of deism through these arguments, choosing to accept that God exists but remaining agnostic about His personal and ongoing involvement with His creation.  In order to share our faith, we must speak from our personal experience with God, declaring what we, ourselves, have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, and what our hands have handled.  In so doing, we let God speak through our lives.

As stated earlier, everyone who is a believer has a testimony to share and a relationship with God from which to draw.  We should be prepared to speak of what we believe and why, but we need not be professional nor even gifted orators to speak from the heart.  Christ does not call upon us to be salespeople or spokespersons, He calls upon us to be witnesses.


Romance and Sexuality -3- Relationships

The previous section was the image-based attack.  The relation-based attack focuses on interactions between the two genders.  We already have their heads swimming with images and standards of what an attractive man or woman should be.  Our next move is to muddy the waters concerning what kind of man or woman they should date/mate with.  Their reasons for choosing a mate with particular characteristics vary from “that’s what they deserve” to getting affirmation of their own manhood or womanhood.  Note the common denominator of their reasons for choosing:  the focus of the relationship is on the self.  That is the brimstone standard for infernal relationships.  A tempter can manage with a relationship focused on the other, but it creates a sort of selflessness as a byproduct that can give the Enemy a foothold.  The one thing that we absolutely don’t want is for the relationship to be centered on the Enemy.

Selfishness is a vital component of a relationship because it is the foundation on which you can build any number of dysfunctions.  The other part of the couple becomes an objectified source of gratification.  This dynamic is more visible in some relationships than others, and we will further clarify it by examining two relationship types:

“Say My Name” Relationships – This kind of relationship is something of a tempter classic.  The human goal is to use the other person to bolster one’s status as a man or a woman.  This relationship is one they use to convince themselves that they are successful as a man or woman.  We can thank our propagandists for setting the stage for this kind of relationship by convincing the flesh creatures that a man or woman is only complete if they have the “right” member of the opposite sex by their side.  We are also able to graft into their minds the concept of the trophy wife or husband.  Our infernal standards of what is or isn’t desirable are most effectively deployed in this type of relationship.

Consider the stereotypical dynamic of a cheerleading captain dating the star quarterback of the football team:  whether you look at it from the perspective of the male or the female, the relationship centers squarely upon status.  Can you see how each uses the other as a mark of success as a man or a woman?  Notice how one human is using the other as a means to an end rather than being an end in and of him or herself.  This depersonalization is exactly what we want to see in a relationship.

Now imagine if this kind of relationship were broken, what might the effects on the flesh creature be?  The relationship was their way of knowing that they are a successful man or woman; if that is taken away, so is part of their security.  This newfound insecurity can, and should, be exploited to the fullest extent.  One way to go about this is to bring them so far down that they question whether they really are what a man or woman should be.  Care needs to be taken not to leave the Enemy any room to exercise His influence here to answer their question.  The humans must take our answer or not find one at all.  The other option is to play off of the unpleasantness of their insecurity and get them to rush into another relationship just like the last.

“Identity” Relationships – This variety of relationship is a mutation of the “Say My Name” relationship.  The difference between the two is that the identity relationship is aimed at securing the answer to the fundamental question of “Am I a man/woman?”  The “say my name” relationship was a question of degree (i.e. “how successful of a man or woman am I?”)  The identity relationship centers on the question of being in the category at all.  In this case, again, we can see the human-as-a-means dynamic at work.  The human goal in this relationship is to know that they are a “real” man or a “real” woman.  This sort of pathetic wretch cannot be sure if he or she is what they are supposed to be unless they have a member of the opposite sex in a “romantic” relationship with them.

The great irony of this type of relationship is that what they are seeking cannot be found in the place they are looking.  Our espionage indicates that current opinion in the Enemy’s camp is that only the Enemy can confirm what it means to be a “real” man or woman and if the human meets the criteria.  Such an answer is expected, given that everything there seems to revolve around Him.  That is just another reason why Our Father Below was moved to rebellion.  After all, who could put up with such narcissism besides those sycophant seraphim?  Needless to say, there is no cause to worry that they might actually find what they are looking for as long as they are looking to the opposite gender for the answer.  That is simply not information they have to give.

Breaking a relationship of this kind provides us with some absolutely delightful possibilities.  When a human with this kind of relationship loses it, they are effectively being told that they are not really a man or a woman.  Once again, we are presented with two options of how to deal with their insecurity and confusion.  First, there is the option of using their emotions to push them back into a similar relationship.  The second option is one that promises greater accomplishment.  In the “say my name” type of relationship, we had the option to bring them to this “identity” stage in which they require a member of the opposite sex in order to know if they are a man or woman.  In this case, however, we are starting with the human wondering if he or she is a real man or woman.  We can use the same operation as before and, this time, break them on a fundamental level.  We are not talking about merely confusing their identity. We are talking about a blow to their spirit that will forever be a point of reckoning for them.

It is now standard procedure for us to lay the groundwork for this maneuver during childhood via deprivation of the instruction or confirmation of masculinity or femininity.  Thus, we have already primed them for the kind of blows we can deal by severing particular relationships.  If these are properly dealt at the right times, a competent tempter can stir up bitterness and self-hate that will take years to settle down (if ever) and severely compromise the wretch’s ability to have romantic relationships.  The reason why this status is so prized in fiendish circles is that the inner workings of the flesh creatures are interconnected.  Cripple one and the rest will suffer.  Thus, a shutdown of the human’s ability to have romantic relationships will have a global effect on all of their other relationships.

However, this operation doesn’t come without risk.  You must know by now that the Enemy does in fact call some of the wretches to life as a bachelor or bachelorette.  Always be certain that you are moving them away from the Enemy so that your hubris doesn’t lead you into ignorantly going along with His plans.  Those foolish enough to do so deserve their punishment.

Those are the two best examples of the other-as-object-of-gratification dynamics in relationships.  For the purposes of this text, we will limit the discussion of relationships to these two.  The important thing for you to take away from this section is the idea that in any relationship, not just the romantic variety, you are to lead the human to focus on him or herself. Do not allow the Enemy to become the center of any of the flesh creature’s relationships.  Should you allow that to happen, you will find that all of your best attacks will only yield temporary emotional results.

(c) Noah Wilson. All Rights Reserved.