A man who holds true to what he believes in a way that disagrees with your beliefs is thought to be stubborn. But if what he believes is pleasing to the lord, well, then it’s faithfulness.
There is a fine line now, a stubborn man will stick to his guns long after he’s been proven to be wrong. A faithful man will keep the faith even into martyrdom and death. The difference is found in their fruit. The fruit of a stubborn man is desanant to harmony and joy. Faithful men are gentle and kind. Stubborn men are hardly patient. Faithful men are full of patience and self control.
There is also a fine line between agape love and obsession. Both are passionate, one of them overly so.
There are many attributes to abuse: entitlement, covetousness, projecting, gas lighting… and beneath it all lies a propensity towards obsession.
Obsessive people say all sorts of falsehoods, whatever it takes from, “I can’t live without you”, “you’re my guiding light”, and so on. These can be sweet truths when true love is present. It’s the ending that you should judge, what happens after such words are said.
Agape love says these things and then proves them to be true. Obsessive people say whatever it takes to control you.
You will know the true heart of a friend after you do something they don’t like. Now, I’m not even talking about a difficult or major thing, just a simple thing, as in, perhaps there are several ways of doing something and you just happen to choose the one path that they don’t agree with. An obsessed friend calls you out, reasons with you in how your way is off. You might point out how they may have done it this way before, but then they gaslight the situation, ignore their own hypocrisy, and continue to claim you’re in the wrong. What they claim you are is in fact the very actions they are doing themselves (projecting). It can be very disorienting and confusing. Just stick with what you know to be true, be faithful in that. Don’t buy the lies.
Obsessive people are loud and confident. What they say seems to be so true not because of any logic behind it (though there might be some logic) but rather in how powerfully they profess it. Their goal is not to find the best way to do things but to convince you that you should only do it their way.
It’s all about control.
Agape love handles things differently. To put it simply, true love understands the art of letting go. There is a component of passion to agape love as well, but if that passion begins to cross the line into obsession… agape love says, “Be free”, or “Go in peace.”
People who have only experienced obsession from abusive parents have no clue what letting go is. They wish to hold on to things to the point of obsession and beyond. After all, partnering with abusers can make you an abuser yourself. Unless help is sought from a counselor, pastor’s wife, or psychologist, the victim will, through an obsession of their own, become the very thing they hate.
You can only hide the abuse for so long. Eventually you will become it. Such is the fate of the sleepers who do not expose what is being done to them.
I know that things get confusing, but here are some pointers: are you hanging around abusive people? Do they project their sins upon others (eventually you will be their target). Do they gaslight their wrongs? Do they feel entitled to things that they have not really earned? Do they obsess over people (maybe even you) to the point that you feel more like a possession than a person?
Do you want to help them? Then take some pointers from agape love. Let them go. When you are away from them, they will see what a loss it is, and perhaps realize the idol they made of you. Perhaps, they will repent.
But you can’t change them, and you can’t be Jesus to them. As long as they have you in their life… they will always turn towards the idol, the possession, the object of their obsession.
Let me tell you from experience, letting go is extremely hard! I hate doing it every time, but in my realization that I must do this… I learn a very powerful truth… my willingness to let them go truly means that I love them with agape love. I can only pray that the Holy Spirit reveals this to them. I can only pray that they (for once) return the love I have given over many years.
If they don’t, I move faithfully on to whatever grand places the Lord has for me, satisfied that I have done all that I can, knowing that my lack of obsession pleases the Lord very much, knowing that my fate is in His hands.
If they return my love? Well then, I guess they can experience true love for the first time… and in time learn how to receive and return it more and more!