You can’t defend yourself all the time. Well, you can. But really, you shouldn’t.
Think of it.
Someone wrongs you, says something bad about you to another friend, whatever it may be. What’s inside you? Is it anger, defensiveness?
Maybe it’s total denial, unbelief that THEY would do that to YOU.
Of all people?!
What did you do to them?!
I thought you were friends..
And everything inside you is saying “That’s –
Now stop it right there.
Right here, you’re being what they call an actual killjoy. No, not to them. They don’t even know your angry. That is, is until you pick up your phone to either text or post something humorous, with a small dash of petty, and a fistful of passive aggressive.
You become a lot like this guy.
But before you become like the famous Kermit meme.. the only joy your stealing is yours. And while you may have experienced, your joy tank is a whole lot less throughout the whole day, maybe weeks, maybe your lifetime. Your hope in humanity in people, friends, your world, has been quickly evaporating throughout the years.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been able to realize there’s a short circuit in my own life. And it starts in my mind, starts in me.
That exact situation, I’ve been there, several times. And recently, as much as it’s embarrassing to say, it’s been more and more often recently.
Defense can be my best friend. My best friend that puts me against all my other friends. She’s that friend that tells you all what she said about you, when you didn’t ask to hear in the first place. She’s that friend that points out the wrongdoings of others and says “Wouldn’t you look at that..” When someone does you wrong, this best friend says, “Don’t just sit there and do nothing! Be angry! She did this to YOU! She was supposed to be your friend, and a good one too. She says she loves you… PF. Cut her off. You deserve better than this.”
And often times, we listen to her.
A lot more than we should.
We start to hang out with her a bit more than we should, let her puff up our egos, and bash the ones around us, the ones we should be caring for and loving on.
Because after all, whether you realized it or not, people are flawed. Sometimes people do things that are downright awful, but doesn’t that mean we describe who they are as awful. 1 Corinthians 13:7 says “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”. In “How’s Your Soul”, Judah Smith brings up the option to choose to believe better in that person, and why we should. We should believe better of society, of this world, of the people in your life. To have hope in them, and love them- even and especially when they do wrong.
Choose to do what’s considered weak, pathetic. Choose to not only say it, but think and believe
“Maybe they didn’t mean it.
Maybe they had a bad day.
Maybe they don’t know better.”
In my experience of friendships, I’ve been treated wonderfully.. and I’ve been treated completely not so wonderfully. I’ve had my secrets told and held against me, I’ve been the friend that is embarrassing to show in public, I’ve been the friend to steal from, I’ve been lied to, and I’ve been the friend that’s the butt of many jokes.
And while I type this, I am not spewing in anger, thinking how dare they.
Because while there may be a voice trying to peek through saying, “Be angry. They did you so wrong. How could they?! Cut. em. off.” There’s another voice remaining, a very, very small voice, that gets made fun of and isn’t encouraged, that says “Maybe they stole your things, maybe they needed it more than you did. Maybe they made fun of you, maybe they made fun of themselves all too often – and needed a new victim. Maybe they’re hurt.”
Keep that “maybe” in your mind. Choose that voice. Give up the position of being your own lawyer and judge. It only hurts you in the end. It darkens your mind & heart, and separates you from others.
I know it’s hard, I know it sounds ridiculous at first. But – try to defend others who maybe are downright guilty, but give them the benefit of the doubt. You don’t even have to be oblivious of that they’ve done, you don’t even have to keep hanging around them, being in positions where you can keep getting hurt, but for the sake of you, for the sake of your heart, and the light of hope for humanity that is slowly dimming within you, choose to believe that maybe it’s not their fault.
They’re not the horrible, murderous, villain that chose to hurt you.
Maybe they’ve been hurt too.
Eventually, we have to choose our place in the world. We have to choose who we are. How we view life, view people.
Are we here to be served or to serve?
Is love really love if you only love those who love you back?
And really, even the ones who love you will hurt you. So – do you throw in the towel, or do you forgive them, give them the benefit of the doubt?
If you keep this mindset and habit of constantly defending yourself, desperately proving those who hurt you wrong.. eventually you’ll be crossing all your friends off the list. You might start to think, or maybe you’re already thinking that being close to others is just too much work, too much pain, that it’s not worth it. But you need to understand, you need people. We all need human connection, friendship, fellowship. And before you understand that need, you need to know that these people that are required for you to live a happy life full of love, laughter, and contentment – you need to know that these people aren’t perfect. They’ll hurt you, they’ll say hurtful things, they’ll talk behind your back, they’ll do things you don’t approve of or support. But don’t hold that against them. They’re not perfect. But hey, neither are you. Let it go. Have hope in them. Believe the maybes.
Next time someone hurts you, which might be very soon, maybe moments after reading this post. Or next time you remember someone that hurt you a week ago, or 13 years ago even – Choose to say:
Whatever that maybe may be, let that be your anthem, let that be the voice you listen to. Repeat it till you believe it. Don’t defend yourself, defend others. Have hope in them. And be free.