TAKING AN INVENTORY
I really enjoyed our conversation last night and am writing to discuss more about your question. I found the place in the book I was looking for on the phone. The question of what should I do when I realize I am retaliating against a friend to make him feel bad because I feel bad is very current with me. Usually, I feel embarrassed or want to protect myself from feeling bad. Once I have hurt feelings or do not like what someone says to me, I feel pain and then anger. Immediately I want to feel good about myself and say some-thing mean or act in a way that would hurt the other person. My retaliation is trying to make the other person feel stupid or find faults in his looks. So, how do we not continue this?
Lately, I have been taking an inventory of myself to see why I want to hurt my family and friends. This has included doing a resentment list which I somewhat explained last night. First, we list people, institutions, or principles with whom we were angry. We ask ourselves why we were angry. Then write how it affects your self esteem, security, ambitions, and personal relationships (including sex). Then it is important to write your part, which is retaliation. An example is: I am resentful at my mother because she was critical of me when I cooked. It affected my self esteem and ambitions. I was self-seeking and inconsiderate. How I got back at her was not to cook at a11, measure incorrectly or do the job incompletely. I would ask her advice then criticize what she said. The place in the Alcoholics Anonymous book that I was looking for last night reads, "Though a situation had not been entirely our fault, we tried to disregard the other person involved entirely. Where were we to blame? The inventory was ours, not the other man’s" (p. 67). As I said, my experience doing this is very little. What got me in touch with hurting others was being a recipient of getting hurt and hating how painful it was. Recently, I have also experienced being the recipient of forgive ness. I went to visit some friends and family that I previously hurt and they expressed concern for me even though I caused them pain. I felt overwhelmed with grace and knew this was what God’s love is really about and this is how it is expressed through His vessels. This was an example of how I wanted to treat others which has led me to find out how.
Since we are Christians, there is the ultimate answer. God all in all! To me this means that my purpose is to believe in and agree with God’s will for me. My purpose is to believe by faith that the Spirit of Jesus Christ lives His life through me. Lots of times it feels hard and impossible because of outer circumstances such as I don’t feel Jesus Christ’s Spirit nor do I feel comfortable. That’s the faith part which certainly does not feel easy to believe, but faith is the only thing that I hang on W.
My thoughts, feelings, and negative reactions are a part of my every-day life to see the positive in a situation or person. If I feel like I hate my friend, I know it is a feeling and then I have a choice as to what to do with the feeling. I choose either to believe it is a feeling, and because I am a Christ person I do not have to act out the anger but instead can see how I can be for my friend. Or I can feel angry and choose to act angry to hurt her. I have had little experience with seeing other people as God’s people and wanting the best for them, but when I have chosen to do so, I experience freedom and am not stuck in Satan’s bondage.
I certainly do understand what you are going through since I have been through similar situations. I hope this letter will give you a better answer and I look forward to our conversations.
NO TURNING BACK
Our British Spring Conference this year called for a greater measure of involvement on my part: arranging accommodations, etc., leading the singing on one occasion; along with others, organizing the week’s pro-gramme and taking part when called upon; generally speaking up and being who I really am–Christ in my form.
During the week I saw that sloth is sin and has no place in Jesus Christ. I felt convicted. I needed to change my believing and choose not to be slothful. When we heard about intercession, I felt overwhelmed and scared as I realized the full implications; certainly no room for sloth here. There is a cost required: letting go of wanting MY time, MY space, MY schedule, MY rest, etc., etc. Am I prepared to be that involved in others’ lives? There is no turning back now. My life has been transformed and I have the answer to life. There are others who need me to be for them now and I am compelled to invite my workmate home, get involved in her life and allow Christ to be for her through me. The bigger picture is emerging–and I embrace it willingly–remembering with gratitude how much God has done for me and my family.
The British Easter Conference was, once again, a profitable time for me. The planning and organizing of the schedule was a team effort, which I enjoyed and was privileged to participate gained more insight into the fact that our feelings are a necessary negative to give us the stimulus to act, seeing through to God in each perfect circumstance. However pleas-ant or unpleasant the experience may be, it never alters the spirit truth that God determined it to be just as it was for His purpose and was designed for the ultimate goal of our selves and anyone else involved. I learned more about speaking the word of faith and intercession, that my part is simply to say what’s on my heart, knowing it’s Christ saying it, and not to look for the results–that’s God’s business and I’m happy to leave it to H.
Love to you, Christina
I’m writing to say how much I enjoyed the Easter conference at Hothorpe Hall. It was really great to re acquaint myself with some of the familiar faces like Meryl, Sanda, Marian, and yourself that I had previously met at Castleton, and also to meet some new Christ/I believers.
Because of many past (and present) fears (one of my most vulnerable spots) Satan did try his best to get me not to go to the conference because of course, I would be too afraid to travel and too afraid to do this and too afraid to do that. And I did feel very afraid. But I knew that my need to go to the conference and to experience fellowship with other believers was much greater than my feelings of fear and that my desire to go was God’s desire in me. So I just told Satan to "get lost" because Jesus Christ was able to get to the confer ence despite any feelings of fear I might have. So I bought a ticket–two months ahead of the time! I did that because I knew once I bought the ticket, I wouldn’t back out. Of course that didn’t stop Satan from badgering me for two months, but we all know who won that one because Christ/ Mary Kay was at the conference.
As I didn’t know quite what to expect from this conference, I did a lot of listening and I’m very glad I did. As others spoke out and shared their lives, you, Page, Sanda, etc. were not afraid to call sin (Satan) by it’s rightful name when it was apparent in someone’s life. This was very good for me as some of the things you named as sin in others’ lives, I had not realized was sin in my own life, but then Satan can be very subtle in his ways. So that in particular was very helpful for me.
I’m so grateful to everyone who followed their desire (God’s desire) to come to the conference to make it the special conference that it was. I’d also like to express my gratitude to my two roommates, Meryl and Mari-an, out of whose mouths the Christ life just poured when we were together in our room. Over the week I experienced both the wrong way (some of it from myself) and the right way to live and the times in our room and listening to you teachers during the meetings was very inspiring for me and is something I desire for my own life.
Thanks again to everyone; I really learned a lot.
NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE
GREAT EASTER CONFERENCE!
One afternoon I messed up a little. I let one small negative thought go unchallenged and unexpressed. All too soon another and another, and it became evident in my actions this time. It wasn’t until someone showed anger and another asked me to explain what was happening. Only then did I see I had to go back to the first thought of wrong believing. If I had dealt in the right way with the first negative, i.e., spoke about my negative feelings and got another person’s view, the downward spiral of unbelief could have been stopped almost as soon as it started. This was one small, but still vital, experience for me. I see it as from God, because as we were taught, God is all and in all. Negatives are a vital part of life. They push us to find an answer–God’s positive. Negative and positive–neither can exist without the other–the
Law of Opposites. So thank God for all
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 11 No 3
- The Deep Things of God
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- Annual Business Meeting
- The Single Eye
- Prayer Without Works
- The Letter to the Romans
- Birmingham Fellowship Weekend
- British Easter Conference
- Questions & Answers
- My Dark Hidden Secret
- New Light on the Twelve Steps
- God’s Promises
- A Look at a Book
- The Mailbox
- Tape Talk
- Words to Live By