Three Vital Tests

Three Vital Tests

It was Mother’s Day. Ruthie opened an email from a cherished friend whom she chose not to name.

It began with an account of very stressful events brought on by the Covid19 demands. Then her friend moved into an unprovoked, unjustified, surprise personal attack upon Ruthie. Like a nest of hornets, sting after sting was rendered, including withdrawal of any profession of affection. At the end Ruthie sat stunned, tearful, and immobilized. She felt humiliated, devalued and disrespected, reduced to a zero in her own eyes because of her friend’s comments. All on Mother’s Day when she would have expected warm fuzzies from someone she considered a trusted friend! Ruthie wished she could erase those words, not only from the e-mail, but from her memory. They hurt deeply! Her heart was heavy.

Ruthie struggled with her emotions, trying to make sense of it all. When she had partially recovered from the shock she made the choice not to focus on those comments any more, or remain devastated. She applied the three important, vital tests of any communication: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? The comments in the e-mail failed the test of being valid. She recalled that this friend had been undergoing prolonged deep stress that had depleted her emotional resources. Her love cup was apparently empty. So she concluded that her friend spoke out of stress, exploding and unloading her emotional garbage in the e-mail. Ruthie knew that in unguarded moments, hurting people hurt other people. Because of these considerations she vowed not to allow one emotional outburst to permanently damage a longstanding relationship. She said, “I would like to settle this at once, but I’m powerless. I can’t change the thinking of another person. I’ll just have to be silent, pray, and be patient, and allow time to bring perspective.”

Dear friend reading this, you may relate to the experience of being crushed by someone close to you, who spoke or acted hastily without considering the impact, and it has wounded and separated you from them. It happens often as we travel through life. It’s a safe test to ask three important questions in regard to any communication--Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? Remember that we are not defined by the finite opinion of other people. God says that we are of infinite worth. If you need healing from unkind, untrue, unnecessary denunciations that you did not provoke, absorb these divinely inspired words that reveal your significance in the sight of heaven. You can apply them to yourself as well as to the person who has upset you. Let these comforting words console you and bring peace—even in the midst of a storm:

  • The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
    And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
    Psalm 34:18
  • Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
    Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
    Luke 12:7
  • The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying,
    Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
    therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
    Jeremiah 31:3
  • Let not your heart be troubled:
    you believe in God, believe also in me….
    I go to prepare a place for you….
    I will come again, and receive you unto myself;
    that where I am, there you may be also.
    John 14:1-3
  • I will make a man more precious than fine gold.
    Isaiah 13:12
  • Speaking of His love for us as one of His sheep,
    Yeshua as the Good Shepherd said,
    “I lay down my life for the sheep.”
    John 10:15

Picture originally found here

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