In The Atlantic Community
Welcome to another week!
May 22 was Trinity Sunday, when Christians honor the Holy Trinity: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Hymns such as “Holy, Holy, Holy!” and “Come, Thou Almighty King” celebrate the Trinity. Christians believe that God is three in one. This boggles the mind, but I’ve heard it explained in two ways that make it very clear.
A wise lady at my church explained that the Trinity is like an egg. The shell, yolk, and white are three separate parts. But they all combine to form one egg.
Our former pastor used a banana as an example of the Trinity. She peeled a banana and pushed her thumb from the bottom up. It separated into three equal parts. Each part is like one member of the Trinity.
It doesn’t get any clearer than that.
Lately I’ve been wrestling with feelings of anger and pain because of someone’s manipulative behavior. Have you ever met people who try to control everyone around them? I’ll bet you have. I try to avoid such people. But what if they are coworkers, friends, church members, or part of your own family? What then?
Controlling people are everywhere. Often they disguise themselves with charm and big smiles. Sometimes they’re so subtlety controlling that you don’t recognize it until someone else points it out. It’s very difficult to get out controlling relationships. These kinds of people will settle for nothing less than domination.
The Bible has a lot to say about human relationships. In marriage, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church. That means sacrificially and completely. Wives are supposed to respect their husbands.
Children are supposed to obey and respect their parents.
Christians are supposed to treat each other and nonbelievers alike with love and kindness.
Whew. That’s a tall order.
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t always respect my parents. I surely don’t always treat others, Christian or otherwise, with love and kindness. Sometimes I get ticked off. I feel slighted and want revenge. Have you ever felt that way?
There are several types of controlling relationships. If you’re dealing with an abusive person, you need to get out of that relationship. Pray for God’s protection and get to a shelter. Seek counseling.
If it’s a controlling boss, I suggest looking for a new job. Pray about it first, but once you feel God’s approval on the matter, start job hunting. Your boss will not stop until you feel worthless. Get out.
If it’s a toxic friendship, end it. Again, pray about it, but tell him or her you’re done with the friendship. Stick to your guns and leave him or her in the past.
Family, on the other hand, is different. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to free yourself from controlling parents, siblings, in-laws, uncles, and aunts. Holidays are particularly difficult. Remember the song from the ‘80s, “12 Pains of Christmas” by Bob Rivers? It’s impossible not to laugh at and identify with at least one of these pains.
One of my favorites is how Christmas is intolerable for a woman with a difficult mother-in-law. We’ve all been there. I doubt there’s a person reading this column who hasn’t dreaded seeing at least one person at a Christmas gathering. If you’re in a family that’s comfortable with people arguing, you let loose. If you’re in a harmonizing, peace-making family, man is this tough. Everybody fake a smile!
How do you get through these events with your peace of mind intact? I wish I knew. All I can say is pray. Don’t give these people power over you. If you are at odds with someone, Satan is behind it, I guarantee it. Anger distracts us from serving Jesus.
Senior citizens -- don’t forget to stop by North Salem United Methodist Church on Thursday, May 26, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. They are offering a free luncheon. A free will offering will be collected.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge #1128 and Rebekahs will host a Memorial Day service at 1 p.m. on May 30. The service typically includes a keynote speaker, music, and laying fresh flowers on veterans’ graves. The Odd Fellows place flags at each grave stone. The service will end with the playing of “Taps.”
Have a wonderful week. Blessings!