“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”
― William Blake
There are moments in everyone’s lives where you just want to quit. Something. Anything. Everything. The key is not to rely on other people’s opinions, which change by any given hour, but on the everlasting, unchanging will of God. People can help or hurt, but in the end, they don’t matter nearly as much as Someone who knew you intimately before you were even born.
Maybe you just think I’m proselytizing my religion, but I’ll be the first one to say, a few years back I would have sneered at Christianity too. However, God was the one who taught me to get back up after feeling like a complete failure. When I was in middle school, I had an anxiety disorder and depression. I felt like my entire world was caving in. On top of that, teachers at my school and students were making fun of me….there was no escape. I just wanted to die. It took a few friendly faces at church and the Gospel of John to breathe life back into me.
Starting to live a Christian life wasn’t any easier. Even now, there are some times when I want to yell and scream in people’s faces, some of whom I wholly believe deserve it…but God didn’t ask us to defend our selfish hearts, but to give them up for service. As much as I want to say nasty things to the people who once and are hurting me, it won’t make a difference in the end to them. Instead, it will only hurt me and darken my own soul.
A wise person once told me that you should take criticism, bad or otherwise, like sandpaper. You are a precious gem in God’s eyes, and He’s just using the ugly, rough paper to polish you up. Thank your critics, because they obviously care about you the most (whether they know it or not). Be thankful for all the harsh and rude criticism you get if you can grow from it. If they’re just being deprecating or an idiot (to put it lightly), realize that the Bible leaves room for God’s wrath. Sure, it speaks of calming our own anger, but that doesn’t mean God’s wrath is abated. So don’t worry, the Creator of the entire universe has got yo back.
I think it’s particularly hard to stand up after hearing your friends criticize you. After all, these are people you trust and care about. For them to tear you down is no light matter. However, getting back up is simply a matter of dusting yourself off and forgiving…but not forgetting. I always thought that was such a dumb quote. I will forgive 70 times over 7, but I’m never going to forget who hurt me and get stabbed in the back again. Trust isn’t really something you can earn back with me once you’ve burned down too many bridges. Perhaps this is unsavory, but I’d like not to associate with people who enjoy watching the world burn.
Perhaps the most important thing you can learn? Surround yourself with love. Yesterday, I wouldn’t have been able to get back up without a helping hand from my friend, Bre. She provided the reassurance that Christ would never leave nor forsake me, no matter how many so-called “friends” did. Talk about a shoulder to cry on.
I guess I wrote this quote for me as much as I wrote this for all the hurting people out there, frustrated with friendships or relationships. I want to say…it gets better. No matter if it seems like everyone is misunderstanding your good intentions or if the entire group seems against you…if the entire world is against you (because if you’re a Christian, it kinda is). God is on your side and that is worth fighting for, that is worth keeping.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” ~John 1:5
“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” ~Amos 5:24
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;” ~Luke 6:37
God first, Bro.