For it is not an enemy who taunts me— then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me— then I could hide from him. Psalm 55:12
Someone who has been wronged often keeps his heart safely concealed until the nature of the offender’s heart is revealed. He waits for signs of true remorse. Trust must be earned so there can be emotional safety.
What is my response to a sincere apology? If I’ve been in a relationship that turned treacherous, one that required that I prudently step back for time, it might appear to the other person that my heart is cold. But, in fact, I am praying for us both. I’m praying that their hardened heart will eventually soften because of the conviction of the Spirit, and I’m also praying that mine will not become hardened because of unforgiveness. The only reason Joseph could handle his brothers in Egypt with such wisdom is because he had many thousands of hours alone with God. He, a Hebrew, had lived as an outsider in Egyptian territory. Loneliness was God’s gift and the perfect training ground for impartial leadership.
Who has offered, what appears to be, a sincere apology? If God speaks to me and tells me that true remorse is present, what will my heart do? Will I keep it imprisoned in my tower of self-protection? Or, like Joseph, will I be willing to pour out the tears that have been hidden? Letting another see my heart is only possible when pride is put aside. How many times have I said, “I’ll never let them see my cry!” Jesus, had vast emotional capacities. He had many faces as he related to others. There were moments when he would have been called stoic but underneath was a current of tears that gave away the heart of a brokenhearted Savior.
There’s a time and a season for everything. There’s a time to conceal and a time to reveal. I have to be careful that I don’t live a life of concealment; ever protecting a heart that has been hurt one too many times. I also have to be careful that I don’t live a life of complete openness; allowing anyone and everyone access to my thoughts and emotions. Real maturity is knowing what Jesus would do in the midst of complicated and ever shifting relationships.
Without instruction of whispers from You, I’m easily bent in wrong directions. I need Your wisdom. Amen