Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kryptonite People

I grew up watching the Superman series with Christopher (Can You Read My Mind?) Reeves.  By the time I got married, the Lois and Clark series was in its first season, and Patrick and I became avid watchers.  It was our show.  There was even a group of fans as devoted as we were called FOLC 's... Friends of Lois and Clark.  I'll bet you didn't know such nerdom existed, did you?

Anyhow, because of all this Superman background, I have a very good knowledge of Kryptonite.  It's that glowing green (well, sometimes red and other colors... sorry, nerd alert)  element... the radioactive remains of Superman's home planet, Krypton.  If you've seen Superman around this element, you know that it does not affect him well at all.  Suddenly, his super powers are zapped away, he grabs his head in pain, and dissolves into a heap on the floor.  The essence and strength of who he is disappears and you feel so sorry for him.  Then the bad guys take over and start plotting and executing their evil plans.

I don't know about you, but over the years, I've struggled with Kryptonite people in my own life.  Not that these people are evil villians with maniacal plots per se, but when I am around them, I am not at all myself.  Or I become the worst version of myself imaginable.  For some reason they push my buttons and weaken my resolve.  I can't think straight, I become irritated, and I say things I don't mean (or maybe I meant them, but shouldn't have said them).  I go into the bathroom and take an Advil and comb down the hair standing up on my neck.  I look in the mirror and say to myself, "Linda, you can do this."  And then I walk out with my legs feeling like Jell-0. 

Do you have any of these Kryptonite people in your life?  Sometimes they show up specifically at holidays.  When everyone else is laughing and smiling and having a Norman Rockwell celebration, you are in a proverbial heap in the corner.

Just like Superman insulates himself against the powers of Kryptonite with some type of lead box, I sometimes have had to think about insulating myself spiritually as well.  I don't want this Kryptonite effect to be an area were the enemy gets in and starts to put a wedge in my heart.

First, I ask God to deal with my own heart.  What fears, insecurities, bitterness, anger, or unforgiveness may be festering there?  I want to be clean.  I want to confess what may be darkening my heart and let God's light shine instead.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalm 139:23-24

Next, I think about putting on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17) because I know I'm going into a spiritual battle.  

Put on the whole armor of God, 
that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Ephesians 6:11

Then I pray through Romans 12:9-21.  I want love to come from Him and I want it to be genuine.  I want to see others through His eyes, instead of my own.  I want Him to be strong in the weakness I feel. 

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; 
hold fast to what is good. 
Love one another with brotherly affection. 
Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 12:9-10 

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Romans 12:18

I also remind myself that as much as I want to be at peace with everyone, it all doesn't depend on me.  Maybe that Kryptonite person doesn't just push my buttons, but has really brought out the red variety... they have truly sinned against me in some way.   It is up to me to forgive that person.  It is up to me to let go of bitterness or resentment toward them.  

But... there is always the other side that I have no control over.  Maybe they just keep offering more Kryptonite instead of a desire for peace and reconciliation.  Forgiveness I can choose to do, but reconciliation is a two-sided proposition.  Reconciliation requires repentance, truth and grace, and both sides choosing to live peaceably with one another.

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God 
by the death of his Son, 
much more, now that we are reconciled, 
shall we be saved by his life. 
More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
through whom we have now received reconciliation. 
Romans 5:10-11

Jesus offered us, His own Kryptonite people, forgiveness for our sins through His birth and sacrifice of His life on the cross.  We, however, have to confess our sins, receive His forgiveness, and reconcile our lives to Him.  That is the only way we have a true, peaceable, loving relationship with our Creator and Savior. 

And that is the only way we can have a relationship with a red Kryptonite person as well.  Both parties have to let Jesus come in and lock it all up in a lead box for true relationship to be restored.  That takes some doing... and I'd venture to say, even some testing, to make sure that person has truly given up all their Kryptonite and it's safe to be so close to them.  Sometimes that even takes time apart, just like Joseph tested the brothers who sold him into slavery and told his father he was dead.  He kept his distance and tested those brothers to see if their hearts had really changed.  True reconciliation isn't just forgetting the past, but it is true repentance and forgiveness on each side that stands the test of time. Then Jesus' love can truly be that lead box, covering over the multitude of sins and letting His glory shine.

Do you have any green or red Kryptonite people in your life?
How do you handle those situations?
What are your thoughts on these things?


Kristen said...

ugh... yes i have two green kryptonite people in my life. they are people that i have to deal with because they are relatives. even though i have forgiven them and tired to move on they continue to do the same things over and over and over again. it definitely tests me to see them through Jesus' eyes and show them love. i definitely have to make an intentional effort when i am around them to keep the peace. it is difficult to not be able to be myself and walk on eggshells the entire time i am with them. i pray that one day this situation will be resolved.

i think i am going to need to bookmark this post to read and reread before i have to deal with my green kryptonite people.

Katrine said...

This is such a good post! I'm the type of person that cuts out the people with Kryptonite. But that's not possible when they are in your family! I love the scriptures you gave for dealing with the Kryptonite in your life. Good thoughts! Thanks for visiting my little old blog!

hannah singer said...

oh, linda. OH.
all i will say is amen and thank you:)


Denise said...

who doesn't!? most of them are unavoidable. but then who knows, i may unknowingly or unwantingly be kriptonite to someone too.

i hate becoming the worst version of myself. HATE.

i have to set up different healthy boundaries which each one. those boundaries are always a balancing act. sometimes it's success, sometimes fail. in addition there MUST be Truth and Grace. Truth at the forefront of my mind telling me who i am in I Am. Grace leading me to look past the initial hurt and to that persons (and my own) deep wound(s)- which may have absolutely nothing to do with the situation, but affect perception.

these are mt "thoughts on these things."

Cindy said...

Oh my, we all have those people in our lives, I'm sure. Your advise is dead on. I have a brother and sis-in-law that were kryptonite people and they changed as the years went by and we had a peaceable relationship for a long time.
I had to continually forgive them in my own heart and mind and try to understand how very insecure they were. And to be reminded by my husband that it was them that had problems, not me. Not fun!
Hugs, Cindy

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