A few years ago, I received some odd texts. Texts from someone I was sitting right next to but seemed to be ignoring me. Why would someone text me when sitting right next to me? Well, as it turns out, this person was trying to text someone else about me and accidentally sent them to me. As you can imagine, they weren’t the kindest words ever said.
Now look, I’m human. In those moments, I felt really really hurt. This person was someone I really respected in the church and was actively trying to befriend. And apparently I wasn’t doing such a great job at it haha! In that moment, surrounded by this person and about 20 others who were clueless to what was happening, I struggled to hold back tears. (Good news was, I was visibly pregnant so I could blame hormones for any strays that escaped my tear ducts.)
In the first few moments, I was hurt. Then I was angry! How dare they say those things about me?! I’ll admit, when I’m fired up, I tend to speak and act rashly. I blame my passionate nature for this, and while that nature works great for ministry and teaching about Christ, it’s not so great when there’s an offense against you.
But then something happened a few weeks later. I went to text my husband something because I was worked up about someone and what they had done. And right before I sent it, I caught myself checking who I was sending it to to make sure I wasn’t about to do the same thing.
Then it really hit me. What good is it to even send this? Who is helped by this? How is this going to build the kingdom? The text I was sending about someone would have been something I never would have sent to them. Ouch. I was learning a lesson here. A tough one.
When those texts got accidentally sent to me, it was in frustration and there’s a really good chance everything said in them about me was true from that person’s perspective. I can be annoying and whatever else it would have said. And this person was trying to vent to someone they loved and trusted. Like we all do! I began to feel deep forgiveness in my heart towards this person because I thought about how easily the table could have been turned and it could have been me in the hot seat, so to speak.
Look, I’m not perfect. I react strongly when I’m hurt and it’s not always fair. I’ll own up to that. But that experience (and one I’m still fighting to get out of today) has set some ground rules for me that I’m breaking less and less as I see the fruit from it.
1. Always give people the benefit of the doubt.
2. Never assume someone’s motives.
3. If you hear something, even if it looks like it could be true, if you haven’t heard it directly from that person, it’s unfair to believe it and act as if it were true.
4. Do not throw around labels!! Labels divide us quicker than anything else. I’ve had some really hurtful ones attached to my name recently and all it does is divide.
The Spirit has been revealing to me the grief He feels when the body of Christ cannot seek unity. We really need to up our game at living by the “golden rule”. It seems so simple but we fall into breaking it all the time – myself included, obviously!
Don’t send that text. Don’t let your tongue fall prey to gossip. Don’t tear each other down and label each other, Church. We have got to do better because the world is watching and they piece together what Christ looks like by our actions and words. Yikes.
It’s a really good thing God judges us by His standards and not our own.
5 thoughts on “Guilty”
Thank you Kim!!!m I needed this to remind me to not jump to conclusions, and to give others the benefit of the doubt (something my husband tells me frequently 😦 )
Oh I hear ya! I need this reminder often too!
First off Congratulations- if a baby is on the way! ( I really couldn’t tell- forgive me!)
This is incredibly timely as I’ve been dealing with this topic today concerning Children of God fighting one another! I hope more people read this and consider taking a breath and pray before they touch that “send” button!
God Bless You Darling! Still praying for you!
Nope no bun in this oven lol! I probably didn’t say it very well, but this happened a few years ago when pregnant with my daughter. I hope you are well! God bless! 💕
Great advice and words to live by. It’s so easy to fall into those traps. Thanks for the reminders.
By the way, you would absolutely love a trip to the Holy Land! 💜