Matthew 10:14 (ESV) says…
And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.
When we aren’t appreciated, it begins to wear on us. I’ve written about this often and today, I want to talk about taking action. It’s a huge first step to acknowledge that someone is taking advantage of you or mistreating you. But it’s an even bigger step to take action and remove them or their influence from your life. But you need to do this, and do it immediately.
You can understand that someone or something is doing damage, but refuse to do anything about it for years. Why? In some cases, it’s because we are surrounding ourselves with people who have bad intentions toward us and we aren’t aware of it. Usually, however, it’s because we have convinced ourselves that everything that isn’t working in our lives is somehow because we are deficient in some way or useless. Whether this mentality comes from years of abuse or neglect or if it was just always a part of our makeup; this logic is faulty. Since God has a purpose for everyone, nobody is useless. Some people may choose to use their purpose for evil, but everyone has a purpose and the ability to carry it out. The question is, if what they are doing seems to prevent you from pursuing your purpose or creates an environment that makes it impossible for you to even try to figure out why you’re here, then you are likely not with the right people.
As we learn how to live and have relationships, it’s normal to align ourselves with the wrong people from time to time. We gravitate toward people who have been through similar ordeals or who have the same dysfunctions as we have. Depending on where they are in their own healing process, those people may be hindering our progress without intending to do so. When I say that there are people in our lives that we need to get rid of, the people I’m referring to are those who abuse us. Those people need to go immediately. And you need not regret cutting them out of your life. So, to begin making changes in your life, you’ll need to understand the difference between those with intent to hinder and those who simply don’t know better. And you will know the difference when you start the process of weeding out what isn’t working.
It’s an awful place to be. Knowing that someone you care about would be intimidated or threatened by watching you reach your goals is hurtful and difficult to understand. Why would someone you love not want you to succeed? We should be cheering each other on at all times unless, of course, we’re doing things that are illegal or immoral. But soemtimes the fear of loneliness or disconnection that some of us have is so ingrained in our hearts and minds that we allow our insecurities to dictate the level of discomfort we permit others to create in our lives. Instead of setting appropriate boundaries and deciding for ourselves where our comfort level should be, we just keep doing what we’re told or shown is acceptable until we either reach a breaking point and self-destruct or we assert ourselves and break those confining ties.
Even when we “clean house” and start making our own rules for our lives, we can encounter individuals who want to test our resolve. We have to be careful to select relationships that add value to our lives and that do not seek to send us back down a negative path. There are people out there who are completely narcissistic and would have you believe that blocking their ability to manipulate you is really abuse that they are suffering at your hands. Those who do this are generally terrible and will never reform. You’ll have to leave them to God.
If it feels like things in your life are constantly in the crapper, ask yourself who or what is influencing your daily decisions. Be clear about what you want your life to look like and start taking the steps to do the things you want to do. Observe the reactions of those around you and take appropriate action to either include or eliminate certain influences. Make a firm decision to realign yourself with your purpose rather than protect unhealthy relationships. Everything changes when you start asking for what you want or what you need. Have faith that God will catch you if you fall and that His plan for you doesn’t include letting yourself be abused or taken for granted.
Rebecca Benston is the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media and the author of over twenty titles currently available through Amazon and other outlets. Her books include a mystery series (The Rona Shively Stories), empowerment resources such as Wise Up to Rise Up, Don’t Be Stupid (And I Mean That in the Nicest Way), and From Judgment to Jubilee, children’s books including Grumble D. Grumble Learns to Smile, All the Scary Things, and See How Strong You Are. Benston lives in Springfield, Ohio with her awesome daughter, Mya and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and telling it like it is. She enjoys being able to help other authors get their stories out there through Higher Ground and has recently expanded her freelance services to offer more extensive guidance as a writing coach and social media manager. For more information, you can contact Benston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you experienced a series of bad relationships? Does it seem like you are always a victim of the old bait-and-switch when it comes to dating? Have you grown past the available pool of bachelors? If it seems like you can’t find the right guy, take heart! God has plans for you and they may not always involve having a man in the picture. You need to stop settling for Mr. Wrong simply because you feel the need to have a Mr. in your life. In this book, I give you advice on how to set boundaries for yourself and stick to them! Don’t settle for less than a partner who is willing to do the work that a solid relationship takes. And if you can’t find one, don’t be afraid to do the work for yourself until God sends him your way.
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My name is Rebecca Benston. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. When I write fiction, I am usually writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories. My P.I. character, Rona Shively is feisty, fearless and fabulous and is usually caught up in something she doesn’t want to be caught up in. In addition to this series, I also have a blog called Higher Ground for Life. Through this blog, I’m hoping to reach women or anyone who is seeking to develop a relationship with God and give them inspiration to get out there and follow His path for their lives!
I also have a blog called Leading the Follower. This one is my favorite. I write about religion, faith, spirituality and all that goes along with it. What we believe, what we don’t believe, what we are told to believe and how society feels about believing in general. I do a lot of testifying here and some of what I say may make you angry. Most of it will make you think. Some of it will make you cry. Any of it could make you laugh. It’s really up to you.
If you are looking for practical advice, honest conversation, and no nonsense observations about living in today’s world, check out my blogs at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com and http://www.ronashively.wordpress.com and http://www.highergroundforlife.wordpress.com and http://www.leadingthefollower.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, you can purchase my books and some other great, inspirational works from Higher Ground Books & Media at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com.