Last night, I spent over six hours listening to 12 college students share about this fall semester. The majority are in their first year of college and one of the questions I asked was, “What is something God has shown you, or something new you have learned?”
One of the girls mentioned it was sometimes hard to make friends because when she genuinely extended kindness and friendship, they didn’t always believe it or accept it, and she couldn’t understand why they did not see her heart and love for what it was.
Then she used the phrase about when things “blow up in your face.”
This resonated with me because there has been more than one occasion this year where I truly thought I was doing to the right thing… to help, protect or avoid a potentially harmful situation. I had the best intentions and really was treading carefully, but it blew up in my face.
It went completely wrong, was taken out of context, made me look bad and the exact opposite of what I thought would happen – happened.
I wished I could perform the “Care Bear Stare” and let them visually see the rainbows and hearts I intended!
Sometimes, being in these situations will make you want to just withdraw from society and give up on ever helping anyone again because you don’t want to misunderstood.
It makes you feel like it is better not to risk the pain of rejection than to extend out your vulnerable heart.
But, what should we really do? Giving up can’t be an option – even if that is the more comfortable and safe choice.
Things to consider:
- Before we make a move, are we asking the Lord to guide us? Perhaps our intentions were good, but it was in the wrong timing. Maybe we took it upon ourselves to “fix” something and it was from our own idea, and not from the Lord’s leading?
- It could be that from the conflict we are to learn a lesson or gain understanding. The Lord allowed us to walk into it only because we needed to experience humility.
- The enemy could be using your discouragement to actually make you give up on others. How many people do we know who grow old and bitter from hurtful events, becoming numb and calloused to those around them? What a terrible way to spend your life… and what an unfortunate victory for the enemy, to take out yet another warrior for the Kingdom. If he can clear the chess board of players, then there’s no one left to make moves for the Lord.
- In the example of friendship, there are so many reasons why someone could turn away from the offer.
- They might have experienced previous betrayal or failed relationships and do not trust easily.
- The Lord may not want you to open the door to that particular friendship because He’s guarding you from something that could harm you.
- Or, the process by which you slowly become friends builds a deeper relationship than one taken immediately at face value. If the Lord, prompts you, continue to pray and show kindness to that person, so that through your perseverance they see not only your heart, but His. It could even be a matter of their salvation and you are the one who tips the scales showing the hope for which they have so desperately searched.
The bottom line? We can’t give up on doing good works, with the right, Spirit-led intentions. Even in defeat, hurt feelings, or attacks from the enemy…no surrender.
Regroup. Pray. Get a new plan. Seek the Lord.