I recently spent some time with a woman who was deeply hurt by the betrayal of a friend. When the woman tried to do the right thing and talk about what had happened, the friend responded by aggressively blaming the woman and accusing her of overreacting. It was clear to me that the friend’s response was coming from guilt and an unwillingness to examine her heart, as this would involve having to admit that she had been in the wrong. The result was estrangement between the two.
Paralytic Response to Hurt
When I spoke to the woman, she shared with me about her own initial response to the betrayal. Obviously, there was shock, hurt, and anger. While at this stage, the woman would often think “how could she?” “Why is she being like this?” Then she would start imagining what was being said behind her back. She would look back at their times of closeness and know with deep sadness that those days were gone forever. As a result, she became a sad person, lost her desire to do daily life, wondered what the point was in most things, stopped doing her daily chores, and put up a protective wall around her so that nobody could do the same to her again. She had become paralyzed because of her response to her hurt.
Life of Glory
Thankfully, the woman knew that this was not how God intended her to live. Even if her friend was to remain unrepentant, her way of living was not what the Lord desired for her. She decided that she wanted to live every day for the glory of the Lord, regardless of how her friend treated her. Initially, she had an intense fight to think about other things. Every time resentful, sad, or angry thoughts came into her mind she thought, “That is not of the Lord. I am dead to that,” and would pray, using the Lord’s strength to think about other things.
She started getting her life back together by making a list of her daily chores and doing each one with the motive of honoring the Lord. Even if it took her a long time to do a particular chore, she kept at it, knowing that she was glorifying the Lord as she did so.
My friend made the daily choice to move on to what the Lord has for her each day and His purpose for her life. She knew that living in defeat and sadness about what had happened was not the life that the Lord intends for her. She chose each day to live in the new person she is in Christ. Specifically, she chose not to allow the unrepentant sin of her friend to have a hold on her that kept her from living to the glory of the Lord.
When she went to church, she decided to engage people in conversation and seek how to be an encouragement to them. While still cautious about trusting people again, she decided to focus on encouraging others rather than being stuck in a protective wall.
My friend shows the difference that a supernatural work of the Lord makes on a person’s heart and how that is expressed mentally, physically, and relationally. In contrast to the paralysis that comes from living in hurt, she experienced the Lord giving purpose and life as she lived each day for His glory.
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