Imagining the Worst…
Ever watch a friendship or marriage disintegrate right before your eyes? Maybe you’re in the middle of a relational crisis, or maybe it’s your tween or teen who’s pulling so far away?
It’s brutal to see up close.
Disrespect and broken trust erode what once was inseparable. Like emotional acid, the burn never seems to stop. Perceptions shift as mountains of past hurts, regret, and shame, dissolve through what remained of our commitment.
Intimacy turns inside out and ugly in a moment. Lost and emotionally afraid, we can start to hate the silence.
Conversations change. Sour stirrings of bitterness creep into our words as our wounded hearts seek to hide the truth and carry on without ever resolving the pain.
In time…our emotional reserves run out. Cold, flat, facts replace the warmth once felt, as we drift and float further apart. Apathy is all it takes to lose our relationship. Love and respect replaced by our deep and wary suspicion of ill intent.
HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?
Subtly we can lose our grip on reality, as the voices of twisted truths win the war of trust in our heart. We start to entertain the darkest possible scenarios in our mind, in short…we imagine the worst, believing internal ‘whispers of warning’ about events that have never even occurred yet.
Over time we can become so ‘convinced’ that we’re in the right to doubt others, we forget to even ask ourselves if they actually did anything to hurt us. Sometimes we can imagine offense by projecting past offenses or hurts into our present. Internal ‘perceptions become reality and our cynical imagination builds an elaborate dungeon of distrust. Once we surrender to those thoughts and fears, we can lose sight of what once was compassion and optimistic hope for one another.
Over time we can even start to predict that all kinds of people will eventually hurt or betray us, and in a paranoid attempt to protect ourselves, we withdraw from relationships before any of that happens.
The community of faith that Christ calls us to live in can’t survive long with our imaginations working on overdrive. We have to push back our fears and anxiety as we learn to ‘trust’ the hearts of others are actually ‘good.
The bible describes these internal fear thoughts and ‘imaginations’ as legitimate spiritual ‘warfare’! A real life reality for the believer to accept and anticipate if we are going to make our relationships work.
We need to consciously prepare to defend our friendships, marriages, and sanity, by choosing to remember God’s truth in those moments when we ‘feel’ the darkness of doubt, fear, and suspicion begin creeping into our thoughts.
If we don’t regularly choose to believe the best in our relationships, we can easily be deceived into thinking our friends, family, and spouses are the ‘enemy’.
"(for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." -The Apostle Paul – 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (AKJV)
Parents, believe for the best.
Spouses, trust that nothing is ever impossible with Christ.