Through my journey in life, I've been in several struggles in relationships. It has not been until the most recent years that I've learned to control my tongue. I guess I could say that I am learning still, but am less inclined to rant about my troubles. The Lord had me throw away journal pages that reflected certain situations which only stirred up bitterness, but scars from past relationships are still present.
As I'm sure many have experienced, my poor experience with someone caused a severing of that friendship for a time. During the whole struggle, the Lord impressed upon me to not speak of it, especially to others with whom this friend spent a lot of time. During that period, this friend continued to rant openly about me and say hurtful things to me. During that course of time, several of my friends began to shun me and to this day, my attempts to reconcile with these others are futile. I have reconciled with the first friend, but the damage has already been done to my reputation. It has been years since that argument, but when I can't say, "Hello!" to certain friends, it really hurts.
I really wanted to avenge myself and make sure everyone knew my side of the story. While I was not guiltless in the situation, as no one really ever is entirely guiltless, I didn't want to be the bad guy. When I took it to the Lord, He continued to tell me to be silent. I was not to share my distress with anyone who befriended this one.
Today, as I browsed Facebook, I saw posts to this friend from another. These two are still friends with each other while I have been "unfriended" by one. My messages and requests for friendship have been rejected by this one who I cared deeply for. I've seen others experience these same rejections, but in face to face meetings and not just Facebook. Many of the rejected are pastors, servants of the King of Kings. Why?
Jesus was accepted and worshiped and cheered in His triumphal entry to Jerusalem and then in a blink, the same people shouted, "Crucify Him!" His broken heart had to be so much bigger because of the many that had rejected Him. His love is so great for them! So much greater is His love than mine for the ones who reject me. And even still, He did not open His mouth.
Isaiah 53:7 (NIV) He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
He bore all of the rejection, the physical and emotional abuse. He bore the sins of man toward others and toward Himself and he FORGAVE it all. He purchased my salvation with His blood. With just one word, He could have stopped all of this that came against Him, but for my sake and humanity's sake, He chose silence and ultimately the cross.
So the next time I suffer emotionally from the slander against me, I must remember Jesus' sacrifice and the multiplied sorrow that He must have felt. His love is not comprehensible to me, so I cannot comprehend the ache His heart must have felt that day. I don't believe it is wrong to mourn the loss of a friendship. In that, consider His suffering and pain as so many are lost or have turned from Him.
Father, my heart cries out with yours and that of Your Son over those who are lost. Stir their hearts, O God! Help me to do my part to draw them unto You. I know that You don't want any to perish! Give me a heart for the lost!