Today’s devotion is based on 2 Corinthians 4.
“Don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time — before the Lord returns.
For He will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives.
Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.”
1 Corinthians 4:5
After the conversation, our friendship was gravely injured, which magnified my grief. At the darkest time in my marriage, I confided in a close friend, but left the encounter worse than ever. She had not been able to give me the benefit of the doubt.
My husband was struggling with chronic pain, had no diagnosis, and was feeling so angry. My heart was a pincushion. Our home was drenched in anger and anxiety. I had not shared my new normal with family or friends. He was not at his best. I didn’t want to change how anyone saw him. I wanted to be careful with his reputation.
I approached her with my heart in my hands
She said, “My opinion? Honestly, the problem probably lies with you. You know, you can be really selfish sometimes.”
Yes. In my teens, I had been selfish. That was where her mind went. But time, marriage, and motherhood had refined me. I had been in the crucible of his chronic pain for months and needed a shoulder. Or an ear. Or a kind word.
I know I flinched. I don’t remember what I said, but I ended that conversation as soon as I could.
I wasn’t angry, because I was too empty. I remember being thankful the Lord knew my situation and my heart. I felt reconciled to Him, but not to her. Her words fell like cold, heavy rain.
The Lord was my shelter, so I was able to stand in that rain . . . but I was appalled at the lack of common decency.
I am thankful to be past that difficult time. My husband and I have learned better how to manage ourselves on his painful journey. Close to a decade later, my relationship with that friend is mostly repaired. I have forgiven, and my heart is changed.
Thankfully, where seeds of pain were planted, the Lord has grown compassion and understanding. He has schooled me in this truth:
People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (Samuel 16:7)
Have you been misjudged? Misunderstood? Misquoted?
Rest in the knowledge that God knows your heart, and that is what matters most.