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How Do I Not Be Like Satan?


Rivers

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I am going through a particular trial in my life right now and when I see others finding happiness, I become more bitter. I resent people for their happiness. And I sometimes feel better when I learn of other peoples' misfortunes.

The Book of Mormon describes Satan as being this way. He wants others to be as miserable as he is. I know I am supposed to let virtue garnish my thoughts but I am having a really hard time doing so.

Any advice?

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I am going through a particular trial in my life right now and when I see others finding happiness, I become more bitter. I resent people for their happiness. And I sometimes feel better when I learn of other peoples' misfortunes.

The Book of Mormon describes Satan as being this way. He wants others to be as miserable as he is. I know I am supposed to let virtue garnish my thoughts but I am having a really hard time doing so.

Any advice?

 

I think we all fall into the same trap at times.

The big issue that Satan had was that he thought of himself.  The Savior thought of others.

 

You feel better when you learn of other people's misfortunes, not because you want them unhappy, but because it makes you feel less alone, less uniquely tried, less guilt for any weakness.

A friend of mine calls this reverse envy or reverse pride.

 

I think the BEST thing you could do to overcome these feelings (and this is the pot to the kettle here) is to do some service.  Turn that vision outward and help others.

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I get the first part...the bitterness especially if one is working hard at doing the right thing for the right reason. I think it is very hard not to feel that way at times when things are hard, especially if it goes on and on without letting up. With this like any other carnal thought, to control it you don't nurture it. Sometimes it means I can talk myself to a point I can appreciate the person and therefore feel good that at least it is working for them; other times when they are not so nice and I am not in the mood to be generous, not nurturing amounts to distracting myself with something else so I get off the treadmill of dwelling on it.

I have to admit I am not sure I can relate to the other unless you mean that at times you feel satisfaction someone is having a rough time because they've taken advantage of others and caused pain and hardship for others. If it is just liking to see suffering because you are suffering, I don't think I am wired that way. Too programmed for trying to put myself in others' place (Mom would jump on us hard anytime we were unsympathetic, even if we were angry at someone for mistreating us) and I know I don't want to suffer. If that is how you are feeling, at this point I am not sure what to suggest besides "stop it" which I am sure is extremely helpful (obviously not). Maybe something someone else says will trigger a thought though. I will think about it and talk to the family about it and see if they have anything useful to say (my husband is more prone to anger and resentment than I am, but long term tends to forget about it so may have some ideas).

Edited by calmoriah
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Last year I was going through a particular trial. I had a friend on facebook who was blessed in the opposite way constantly celebrating. My mom had it much worse than I did so I asked her how she felt about friends who saw the blessings instead of the trials. She told me she was just grateful they were getting those blessings. That's when I knew how much better she was than me.

I finally just had to hide this friend until I was healed enough to deal with it.

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By looking for the blessings, looking for how you can be grateful, looking for the growth that you can make.   (It also helps if you are thinking of the trial in accurate healthy ways.)  

 

Trust in the Lord and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path.

 

Fact is, lots of times trials are blessings we simply have recognized yet.

 

I'm very sorry you are struggling with trials.   Refining isn't for wimps, any more than agency is.

Edited by rpn
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I am going through a particular trial in my life right now and when I see others finding happiness, I become more bitter. I resent people for their happiness. And I sometimes feel better when I learn of other peoples' misfortunes.

The Book of Mormon describes Satan as being this way. He wants others to be as miserable as he is. I know I am supposed to let virtue garnish my thoughts but I am having a really hard time doing so.

Any advice?

 

I am aware of what you speak of.  I have come through some very dark periods in my life.  What helps me is a solid testimony that God lives and Jesus Christ is my savior.  I have learned that after the dark times there is a time of healing and peace.  Continue to trust and to serve there really is light at the end.

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The problem starts with comparing your situation with that of others, doesn't it?  No comparison, no (or at least less) dissatisfaction, right?  While I believe the scriptures that say that blessings are predicated on obedience and that we'll reap what we sow, I think we need to let go of the idea that God is Santa Claus, that he gives us blessings if we're "good" and gives us lumps of coal if we're "bad."  

 

I don't think even our absolute, very best day in mortality is going to compare in any way with an "average" day in the life to come.  Even if we have no major problems or we don't seem to want for much, we're all still "stuck" here in mortality and spiritually "dead" because we're away from home and out of Father's presence.

 

https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/reflections-on-the-book-of-job/

 

https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/on-gods-injustice/

 

This, too, might provide some perspective: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/grateful-in-any-circumstances?lang=eng

Edited by Kenngo1969
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I am going through a particular trial in my life right now and when I see others finding happiness, I become more bitter. I resent people for their happiness. And I sometimes feel better when I learn of other peoples' misfortunes.

The Book of Mormon describes Satan as being this way. He wants others to be as miserable as he is. I know I am supposed to let virtue garnish my thoughts but I am having a really hard time doing so.

Any advice?

If you can ask the question....you're nothing like him or ever will be.
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Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

       Max Ehrmann, "Desiderata

Edited by thesometimesaint
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