Right Behavior

So I had an interesting experience today with someone I know. Purporting to “speak the truth in love” to me, she actually told me something rather unkind.

The thing is, in her own way, she thought she was doing a good thing. She thought that she was being helpful, but somewhere along the way, she forgot something important: I have feelings!

If there’s one thing that the Lord has been teaching me recently, it’s that we should not always speak that which we feel. After all, our initial impressions are often (but not always) misguided and incorrect. However, somewhere along the way, we erroneously make the decision to act: to say the thing that we should not have said, or do the thing that we should have done.

What this person did was not loving. It was kindly meant, but it definitely was not loving. Intentions mean nothing when you are hurting someone! All that people remember is what you said and what you did, rather than what you intended to say or do. At least that’s been my experience, anyway.

Of course, I forgive her, as I sensed that – soon after we parted ways – she realized that her comment was way off-base. And perhaps these events needed to unfold in this way because we are approaching a significant turning point in our budding friendship. Only time will tell.

God continues to teach me how important it is to have integrity with our words and our actions. Otherwise, a new-ish friendship that has been so carefully constructed can begin to fall apart just as easily as it came together – a very sad thing, indeed.

My apologies that today’s entry is not my usual upbeat and optimistic fare, but one of my goals with Daily Hopeful is to be honest (otherwise, I’d lack integrity, too). Perhaps you’re wondering what hope I could possibly extract from today’s situation; admittedly, it’s a little hard to come by, but I did stumble upon the following realization:

True friends are a gift from God, and are loving, compassionate, and have integrity in their thoughts, speech, and actions. Additionally, true friends are wise, discerning, and discreet, and take the time to confirm that what they are speaking “in love” is actually biblical “truth,” rather than their own opinions or preferences.

I’m so grateful for my true friends! 💛

That’s all I’ve got, folks – hopefully I’ll be back on the hope-filled track tomorrow.

20 thoughts on “Right Behavior

  1. Good mornin dailyhopeful, good mornin to you.

    First of all, you don’t need to be upbeat all the time. Life isn’t upbeat all the time, and neither is scripture, so you don’t have to carry that burden anymore my friend.

    And what you expressed in this article is both wise and helpful…so you projected something very useful to the reader.

    I appreciate the efforts that you express here on your blog dailyhopeful, what you do is beneficial to me and others out here.

    God bless you dailyhopeful.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Lee! You are right – sometimes, life just needs to break through in the blog, whether it’s upbeat or not. I’ll continue to write about whatever the Lord puts on my heart, so thank you for this important reminder. 🙂

      God bless you too! Grateful for you.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I heard recently, “you need to have a thick skin but a soft heart”. Now that may not be in Scripture but I think it’s good advice! People throw around all kinds of insensitive stuff – try not to let it get to you and just respond in love 🙂

    And I agree with Lee’s kind comment, too.

    God bless!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hear you, Steven. There are insensitive remarks, and then there are things that are (unintentiinally, in this case) quite harsh. The friend’s comment fell into the latter category.
      To me, wisdom and discernment are as much about what you say and do as they are about what you do not say and do. Sometimes, the wisest thing that we can say or do is nothing.
      I am extremely careful about the people I allow in my circle of influence. I’m not banishing this woman or anything, but am also not rushing in to make her feel better about her words and actions. This is where time and God’s providence enter in – He has a plan and purpose even in this, so I must wait and see where things go from here.
      In my mind, this is wisdom. If I simply let myself be “thick-skinned” then some of the God-given sensitivity, discernment, and thoughtfulness would also diminish, too. I don’t want that!
      And so I wait. Not with anger, but seeking God’s wisdom on the matter. Remember that Jesus Himself was not in the habit of hanging around people who treated Him poorly (think of the Pharisees – they’d make a snappy comment, He would address their concern briefly (parable, giving an absolutely confounding answer to one of their questions, or posing a question of His own that they could rarely answer) and then He would leave the scene. He cared about them, of course, but was not long in their company.
      I seek, as the Lord leads, to do likewise. 🙂 With this friend, we’ll see.
      Thanks for your support!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s going okay. He still plays very loud music quite often during the day. He’s a really tricky character.

        Someone wrote a quite unpleasant blog post about me yesterday so I’m having to put my thick skin / soft heart advice to good use, haha 🙂

        Have a super weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m sorry to hear that your neighbor is still giving you a tough time! That must be so fruatrating. 😦

        And how terrible about the negative blog post, Steven! That is a real shame. While we may not always agree on matters of theology, I have long admired your thoughtfulness, sincereity, and integrity. Hold on to these things, as one negative blog post can never take these important character traits away from you!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I see much hope in this post, as you are letting God teach you through a situation that wasn’t so nice but you are willing to let God use it to help you grow and learn, that my friend is the epitome of hope :):) Sorry you went through this but as a good child of God, you are letting Him lead, and you are willing to learn. :):)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Margaret! My “hope quotient” (when I penned Wednesday’s post) wasn’t terribly high, but I’m feeling better and am back on track today.

      It helps me to remember that I’ve probably said many a careless word to someone that inadvertently hurt him/her quite deeply. I suppose that I have a different perspective. Well I reconnect with the friend? That is still very much up in the air. However, I feel like I have moved on from it, emotionally speaking. I don’t want it to have a grip on my heart anymore.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Had a little hope “stumble” today – I was plagued by doubt earlier in the day – but I am better now.

        Wisdom is something to which I cling. To my knowledge, Is the only thing in the Bible that God absolutely and 100% promises to anyone who seeks it in faith, and goodness knows that I need God’s strength and wisdom every day!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amen. Yes, things were much better yesterday (today, too). I’ve come to realize that when we move in the direction of greater growth and wisdom, we WILL encounter opposition – it’s simply a matter of time. Thankfully, we do not war against this foe in our own strength – otherwise we’d be defeated every time.

        Thank goodness for the Holy Spirit! He keeps us going, even when we feel like we lack the strength to persevere. And He’s always available to us! God is good.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful post. I love it. I understand totally what you mean wanting to be cheerful. But I find this honesty so wonderful because its real & it is hopeful at the same time. Something super similar happened to someone close to me & Im still processing the situation & this actually helps so much. So thank you 💖💖💖💖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. God is good! Thank you for sharing your story with me, as it’s helpful to know that someone can empathize with the situation! Whoever said “time heals all wounds” didn’t get it quite right; in my view, time helps to distill out thinking, so we can wrap our minds around what happened, and prayerfully discern what may God want us to do next. This is the great value of time.

      Most of the time with the blog, I feel like the Lord is leading me to focus on Bible-based hope. However, sometimes my personal life breaks through, and so I use this platform (the blog) as an opportunity to share what’s going on in my mind and heart. I’m grateful to all of you to read and follow Daily Hopeful, and are so supportive. It means a lot! 💛

      Liked by 2 people

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