In last week’s article we began with the topic the lost pearl. We explored the history and the essence of the pearl. We learned that there are no two pearls a-like and the same is true for women. So what happened to our virtue- that unique something about each of us that used to accurately define who we were? What happened to the good that was encased in the heart of woman for so long? What happened to that caring nature? What happened to our joy, our laughter? The truth is we gave our good away to individuals who were not deserving, and after giving it away, we had no idea how to retrieve it back. What we got back in return was our lack of trust- our inability to love without first making others pay for what others did to us; we retrieved anger, bitterness, insecurities, and self-hatred. With all of these hidden emotions inside locked securely away in our subconscious, the only time we truly come face to face with them is when we finally reach a place of deep sleep; and even then our deepest hidden issues may elude us. Now with all of that “baggage” we decide, cautiously at first, that we are ready to receive new blood into our lives. We even expect other people to come in and rescue us, but unfortunately we are so wounded by past hurts that no matter what gallantry enters our lives we can’t receive it, so we ultimately lose it. When one sees another wounded by nature one’s first instinct is to help, but just like finding a wounded dog, if the dog bites you, you decide it’s best to just leave it alone and let it die it’s slow and painful death. Who wants to be bit for simply trying to help?
What we have effectively done is cast our pearls amongst swine. What is she talking about you ask? Well I have the answer. The scripture reference is found in Matthew 7:6; the principle of that scripture is that we are not to put forth the gospel of Jesus Christ in the direction of someone who has no other purpose other than to trample it and return to their own evil ways. Let’s take a look at the good that we have given away to individuals whose sole purpose was to trample on that goodness. There are people that we may encounter who possess an evilness in character, but many times we tend to ignore the bad signs this person emits or worse, we decide we can fix them. In our attempt to fix this person we get hurt. Instead of internalizing how we first arrived at this place, we tend to focus our anger, hurt, pain and frustration on the very one who is simply acting within the realm of their nature of being who they truly are. What am I saying? Here’s an example: I make a decision that someone is my friend. As a friend I perform certain tasks, obligations and functions based upon my definition of a friend. I lavish my new-found friend with all of my compassion, love, resources, and time, and in return that person doesn’t reciprocate. They tend to only come around when they are in need. I get angry because this person is supposed to be my friend, but are they? I am their friend but in reality they aren’t mine. This is not condemnation; this is an honest observation that this person, this so-called friend in my life may yet indeed be ministry instead of a friend. Once I realize who people really are in my life and I compartmentalize them by placing them in their proper place, then I deal with them within the lens that best represents who we are to one another.
This is not a right or wrong situation, it is simple facts based upon irrefutable evidence. We must stop projecting our expectations onto people based upon how we would handle things, and learn to accept a person for who they are and where they are at in their own life. It’s not our responsibility to fix them, it is our responsibility to protect ourselves and them by fostering a clear understanding of who we are, what our standards are, and what a person needs to possess in order to have access to certain parts of our inner being. By implementing these principles I no longer allow hurt to enter into my equation because I have no expectations beyond who a person is in my life. Is this making sense to you? It is my prayer that it is. You need to make this assessment within every area of your life. We all have people in our lives who fit into one or more, or all of the following categories: friends, acquaintances, ministry opportunities, co-workers, neighbors, and companions. Each category has certain agreed upon outcomes. Be sure to quickly identify/compartmentalize people you meet. Elevate them according to their character. It is quite possible that in time they will evolve and grow into a wonderful place with you, or maybe they will not. It’s also quite possible that someone’s place in your life diminishes over time. Don’t be critical of them just learn to embrace everyone, even you, where you currently are. By doing this exercise and following these principles you quit casting your pearls (the best of you) amongst swine (those who are not deserving of your best and only want to take but never give back).
Tune next week when we will delve further into the pearl by addressing what part we play in the development of the pearl.