The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings.
They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. Psalm 11:2
When I read this my mind went right back to one of the most painful chapters of my life. The poisonous arrows came out of nowhere. Straight through my heart.
Someone pulled me aside and told me that I needed to apologize to someone for what I had done and they shared the story they had been told. That I had wronged someone. Badly. I’ll call her “Her”.
There were bits of truth in the story. It was like a “based on a true story” movie that bares only the smallest resemblance of what really happened.
I was in complete shock. I told this person that this isn’t what happened. But the seeds had already been planted. She didn’t buy it. She just insisted that I talk with Her and apologize.
I wasted no time in talking with Her.
Her said, “Oh no! I never said that. That story didn’t happen that way. I’ll straighten this out.” But not long afterward, it happened again.
More arrows shot from the shadows.
More deep sadness over a friendship lost.
More wondering “Why?”
The pain got worse. New lies were shot out to cover up the other lies. And on and on.
I suspect that you’ve been there too.
Never saw it coming.
It can be devastating. And what do you do about it?
Besides dumping it all on my very patient, excellent-listener husband, I spent a lot of time in prayer and allowed God to direct me to scripture that guided me through this. Here are a few things that I did to get past this.
- Seek God first. Obviously! This is the appropriate good girl answer but seriously, this is one decision that you’ll never regret.
- Keep your mouth shut. Don’t try to build an army of supporters by telling everyone all of the lies and horrible things that were done to you. Shooting flaming arrows back never ends well.
- Forgive and don’t let bitterness to take hold of you. This is sooooo hard. But holding onto your anger will hurt you a whole lot more than it will hurt them. There’s a famous quote that says, “Holding onto anger is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Trust me on this. I’ve tried that method before and it doesn’t work!
- Jesus understands because He has already experienced it all Himself. This one thing helped me the most. Read the gospels. Jesus was betrayed by His close friends. Lies were told. He was victim of others’ agendas. It’s so helpful when you can talk to someone that gets it. He truly understands your pain.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21
And when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the injustice of it all, remember the part of the above scripture about doing good to your enemy is like heaping burning coals on Her head. That might make you smile. Just a little. Or maybe more than a little.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Mandy is a board member and executive director of The Connection. She loves to facilitate women connecting with each other and helping them grow in their faith.
Mandy and her husband have been married for 38 years and have 2 adult children, 2 in-law children and 3 grandchildren.