None of us has cornered the market on hardship or pain. We each have our own walk, and our own battles. It is useless to compare your battles with another’s, and think that theirs is harder (or easier) than yours. They are neither. They are simply another’s battle, and not yours. That is the only difference.
Yes, perspective can be healthy, and focusing on what you can be grateful for helps, but never minimize your own pain because you think you shouldn’t hurt as much as the next person.
Also, never assume the worst of someone until you understand fully the road they are traveling. If you have been hurt, look back. Do you know their character well enough to know that something must be going on in their own heart that you just might not understand at the moment? Something that has nothing to do with you?
Take the time to look outside yourself, and really mean it when you ask someone how they’re doing. You might find kinship and understanding, though their battle is different from your own.
It takes conscious effort to do this, and I know that I am struggling with this very thing as I walk the road that I am on. It’s so easy to turn inward and simply not see anyone else, but I don’t want to live like that.
None of us lives a charmed life, no matter what it looks like from the outside. There is none righteous, no, not one. There is not one of us who has it all together. Only those who can act really well, and those who cannot.
Everyone hurts. Everyone struggles. Everyone really does need everyone else. We are in one another’s lives for a reason, though we may not know what that is. There is nothing God does in our lives that is only for ourselves. Everything is for someone else, even if our own growth and joy take root in it too.
That is just the icing on the cake.
Love really does cover a multitude of sins, and it is only by the grace of a loving God that we can walk together.
I am so grateful that I have friends who are willing to look outside themselves for my sake. Instead of assuming the worst of me, and walking in misunderstanding, they speak up and ask me what’s going on. Do you know how valuable that quality is? When people just talk to each other, instead of making assumptions, friendship can really blossom and grow.
Work on that quality in yourself. For the sake of your friendships, your marriage, and your relationships with your children.
Grace & Peace,