I sat there – mostly quiet and minimally defending myself as I listened to my character being attacked. And, while I may possess MANY character flaws, the ones I was being charged with were not only untrue, but they were unfair and they stung deeply.
Perhaps it would have hurt less coming from a stranger, but as it were, it felt more like a Judas’ kiss.
I struggled to stay silent and in control of my tongue as hurtful words were flung in my direction. Unfair words. Untrue, half-story words. Unloving words coated in hypocrisy. –All from someone I trusted. Can I tell you how much I just wanted to launch a counter-attack? Oh, how I wanted to fling those words right back. How I wanted to twist them into tiny sharp daggers and rip flesh, how I wanted to explain the hypocrisy of the whole thing and use my angry and hurtful words to bring JUSTICE!
Instead, I said little. My silence was then mocked and considered as me flailing to defend myself, like I was too dumb to do even that. Regardless of how it seemed, my reactions were carefully measured and restrained.
And, why? Why not turn my tongue loose with every thought? I had every right to, didn’t I?
I could feel God working on my heart that day. I didn’t understand the intricacies of the lesson he was beginning in me, but I knew my mouth must be guarded. I knew that part of my lesson was to picture the end goal of this conversation. Would I use my words to harm or heal? Did I want understanding or did I just want payback? Was I willing to give up my “rights” to follow Jesus again and again?
That day, I left the conversation with no closure, no justice, and no human understanding. For the rest of the week, my heart ached with hurt and my mind replayed how unfair the conversation had been and how much it’d hurt. But then, God in His Glory revealed the rest of the lesson to me.
You see, one of the reasons it hurt so much for my friend to say the things they did was because I care deeply about what others think about me – especially the people I care about. But, instead of relying on others as my mirror to see my reflection and worth, I am meant to only use God as my mirror.
While it is true that others often see us truer than we can see ourselves, it is also true that compared to God, their reflections of us would more resemble a circus fun-house mirror.
The truth is that God loves me and He knows my heart and all it holds.
And by the way, it’s true for you, too…