In answer to your points
- …I get the chance to ask the person directly why they are responding in such a way to me
- …I get the chance to reflect on my own motives and reactions and see where/if I have fed their the negative narrative that they’re playing in their head. It may even open up avenues for me to apologise and/or firmly stand my ground…both of which can be valuable.When it comes to trying to communicate with family, some of people have extremely broken, dysfunctional interpersonal relationships. I am one of those people.
I do believe to the best of my ability I have sought to address these points. No doubt there is yet a lot more the Lord wants me to grow in through these experiences. I do practice in the Lord, self reflection and self examination, which helps me see where I can make responsible adjustments and amends for my fallen humanity. Yet, sometimes this only seems to add fuel to the fire.
My family of origins is full of brokenness, suffering, addiction, mental illness…although naturally speaking (genetically) God has gifted a strong physicality, and intelligence. Childhood trauma has deeply damaged the development of the self and ability to functional relationally, for each person in my family of origins.
I am the only believer in my family of origins. (other than a cousin whom I am close to.)
I came to faith at 17 years old and have been a believer for almost 50 years. The first 20-30 years of my faith walk, God had much work to do…to establish me in His word and reality (outside of the extreme damage my early life experiences had created in me.) (Complex Traumatic Stress)
God had to renew my mind (and in that create new brain neuropathways to stabilize me, so I could live and function without extreme fear and terror of other people.
It’s pretty complicated, but, in my family the reasons for the condescension and contempt likely stems from the history of family pain and relational dysfunction.
Without Christ, people with traumatic histories tend to take a few routes in life, but, one thing is certain, they are always well defended against everything external.
In my family, there is strong natural creativity, intelligence, and resilience…so, family members have managed to “survive and function” at a high level even with poor mental health and/or addictions.
My family members have all developed powerful self protection and defence mechanisms. This has enabled them to survive the overwhelming emotional, mental, physical pain and neglect, which in turn has allowed them to make it to adulthood, without completely disintegrating.
The problem with these self protection and defence mechanisms is … over a long period of time, it creates within a survivor a sense of superiority, condescension, contempt and self righteous pride because they have survived (according to the wisdom of the flesh) and in their minds, they have overcome horrendous human obstacles in the power of their own might. In my case, added to this dynamic, my siblings have become extremely wealthy, sophisticated and elite…after being born into circumstances very humble means…(poverty). They are truly in their minds self made people! (They don’t see God’s grace in the natural gifts, strengths and abilities. They don’t know that their sibling has been praying for them throughout our adult lives, and so, in my mind, God gets all the glory for whatever they have managed to come through and overcome.)
At an early age, God in His grace saved me from a course of natural and eternal destruction. He saved me while in the midst of a complete mental/emotional collapse. I had no touchstone for reality…and so, my broken heart, mind and spirit…imploded in on itself.
God has recreated me in the image of His dear Son. For which I am temporally and eternally grateful. My inner life was like the torments of hell, and I came very close to murdering myself out of self laothing / self hatred.
So, based on God’s saving grace… I don’t take credit for what ever good is in my life. (All glory goes to God alone, who is worthy of all my praise.) This makes me weak and contempteous in my family’s eyes.
God has blessed me with spiritual riches in Christ Jesus. I have peace, contentment…I have meaningful, functional relationships with others. God has chosen to take my brokenness and use it to help others with it, which is why He allowed me to suffer so bitterly in the first place. This upsets my family…
I believe there may be jealousy or envy at the gifts God has given me because of His grace in me. I am not wise, or important by the world’s measure of value.
Abiding in Christ alone…is an uncomfortable contrast to unrestrained, godless materialism. My very presence (whether I like it or not) reflects God’s purposes for humankind, in contradiction to the standards of the world. I don’t have to say anything. Animosity manifests naturally when I don’t join in excesses…or when I choose not to trust in worldly wisdom or establish my own righteousness.
Maybe God is convicting their hearts? I don’t really know…All I know is, I am despised and rejected, because I won’t collude or support functioning relationally from a position outside of Christ’s revealled will and purposes. This creates a barrier, one I don’t desire. It would be absolutely wonderful to me to have real love, fellowship and communion with my family. I know we (my family) all long for that…but, the means of acheiving that longing…is worlds apart. God has created that separation … as Paul said, “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is thwt they may be saved.” Roman 10:1. My heart before God is manifest in continual, steadfast prayer for my family. Even though, I am worthless to them, because of my weak humanity and my faith in Christ…I love them, and continue to seek their salvation, because Christ has loved me.
I hope this answers your question.
As to the Amos passage of scripture, to my understanding, God was addressing through the prophet, the rebellious godlessness of the Israelites. The context is one of widespread corruption, gross moral failure and abuse of power. While it may not apply to others experience, it does support to me in my present life experience.