I’m one of those people. You know the ones.
I like to believe the best about people…to believe that others will do what they say they will do. And that they will be the people they profess to be. You can imagine the disappointment experienced on a daily basis from this assumption.
It is a difficult thing, and placing expectations on another soul is never a good idea. Not unless you enjoy disappointment. In that case, by all means. Still…shouldn’t we strive to keep our word, to be the who we say we are? If we can, on most occasions…shouldn’t we?
Something lately, I’ve been wrestling with, is not only the disappointment that occurs when others take an unexpected path, or fail to keep their word. Even as I type those words, I am convicted, myself, about the times when I let someone else down. I wonder if others feel the same conviction. I would like to think so…you know, believing the best, and all. I suppose we can’t do a lot about the motives in the heart of another. Ours is only to wonder. We cannot fully know. Only God can.
It is something I’ve watched often, even in circles of ministry and serving. Motives that start pure, or seem to…and then go awry or grow weary, or get distracted…or plans that sometimes get snatched away completely. It causes me to consider how important it is to abide closely to the Lord, listening intently, waiting on His timing…and not grasping something that isn’t yet ours to hold…before it’s time.
We human beings do that from time to time. I’ve been surprised by that…the grasping. It never fits quite as well, as when we wait on the Lord. His plans are always better, anyway.
As far as the motives of people’s hearts…I like what The Voice has to say in I Corinthians 4:5:
“So resist the temptation to act as judges before all the evidence is in. When the Lord comes, He will draw our buried motives, thoughts, and deeds (even things we don’t know or admit to ourselves) out of the dark shadows of our hearts into His light. When this happens, the voice of God will speak to each of us the only praise that will ever matter.”
It can be a painful thing, when someone else has displayed wrong motives, taken something that wasn’t theirs to hold yet, wounded you with false promises, unmet expectations, leaving you disappointed.
But God knows. God sees.
The thing is, some people’s ways are all messed up. And, some choices leave a path of broken trailing behind them.
Psalm 37 is great one for reflecting on how to work through that broken trail.
The Voice ~ Psalm 37:1-2
Don’t be worried with evil workers
or envy the gains of people with all-wrong-upside-down ways.
Soon enough they will wither like grass,
like green herbs fading in summer’s heat.
And, Psalm 37 NKJ
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
The narrow path is a lonely one to walk. Opportunities to gain resources, popularity, finances…there are so many ways to gain such advances through compromise dangled in front of us like a carrot on a string. We could choose that path and prosper in our way much quicker as well. But, it is much better to wait on the Lord, to resist the temptation to grasp what He has not yet given. Watching others prosper as they make such choices can lead to discouragement. Best to remember, instead, the One who gives completely and securely when He gives it…the One with an unshakeable foundation. To dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Trust Him…do not fret.
Remember His ways are not our ways…but they are much better.
Lydia Brownback says it well:
“We can get a lot of things by sidestepping God’s ways, but whatever we get in wrong ways will bring only more misery.”
Instead of comparing, or allowing wounds to fester….though it may genuinely grieve our spirit to watch…better to wait on the Lord. Better always to rest in His ways.