I wasn’t planning on writing on this topic, but a situation came up recently that threw the subject right into my lap.
This week I received two apology notes in the mail from the same person. The notes didn’t say exactly what she was apologizing for, just that they she was really sorry (repeated over and over), that she wasn’t thinking when she said it, that she was also sorry for the way she acted, that it was wrong of her, that she hoped we could go on without fighting each other all the time, that she didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, that she wishes she could take it back, and that she hoped we could get past this. There were many exclamation points and underlined words.
Well, I was utterly befuddled. I couldn’t for the life of me think of what it was that I was supposed to be upset about. Our interaction had been completely amicable as far as I could recall. Even after wracking my brain to try and figure it out, I still couldn’t remember the offensive act or even guess at what it was. I also asked my husband, to see if he could remember anything. He was mystified, too.
When I got the first note I thought it best to just shake it off and forget about it. Whatever it was, it was water under the bridge. When the second note arrived, I thought that I had better call her up and figure out what was going on. It turns out that she had made a comment about children and she thought that I would take it as her saying that we shouldn’t have any more children. (We have five.) I assured her that I was not offended by her comment and that when I got the note I couldn’t even figure out what she had done that was supposed to have offended me. She was reassured by this and felt much better, I could tell. We were back on sound footing, at least in her eyes. From my perspective we had been all along. She also told me that there was a third apology note that should be coming in the mail within the next couple of days.
This whole situation made me feel really sad. Not only because some imagined offense was causing her grief, but also because I know that she was listening to some very condemning messages that were not coming from God. This is a person who has a very secure relationship with me, and she should not doubt it. What is going on in her mind that she would think that I wouldn’t even want to talk to her anymore because of one comment? What messages is she receiving to make her think that way? I have a guess about where they’re coming from. It makes me wonder what other destructive thoughts and messages her mind has fallen prey to.
I feel the need more than ever to pray for her because I see what havoc is being wreaked in her life by false messages. God does not make up lies about you offending someone and then make you believe that that person will never speak to you again. That’s the work of Satan. I hope with all my heart that she will be delivered from those destructive messages and that she will come to see that she doesn’t need to give them a place in her mind. I pray that she will look to God for a true picture of herself–a beloved child whom He wants to help grow to her utmost potential.
God can and does convict us of sin, but He doesn’t play mind games with us. Be vigilant about whose messages you are listening to and allowing to infiltrate your mind.