What you have seen with your eyes do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame? Proverbs 25, verse 8.
My youngest daughter has moved out. We moved her to Colorado this past weekend, where she will work and go to school now. I got home Monday after a whirlwind drive up and back, and this morning is only the second back in Texas without her in it. Of course there were many tears in parting on Saturday night, some happy tears and some sad. She made this choice, and I respect her for it; she has wanted to move back to Colorado since we left there for Texas six years ago. It’s true that I wish she hadn’t, that I wish she had wanted to stay closer to North Texas, where we could spend more time together now that she’s an adult on her own. But if she had chosen to live life based on what I want instead of what she wants, well, that wouldn’t have been right. It would have been a half-life and a compulsion instead of independence.
She’s one of the more fiercely independent people I know, and I’m thankful for that because it’s a trait that will serve her well now that she’s on her own. She’s smart, resourceful, resilient, and very attractive; she can succeed anywhere she goes. At this point in her new life ‘back home’ I hope she remembers this verse. I hope she remembers it because this is a trying time for her, what with struggling to make ends meet, remaking old relationships and forging new ones, and learning her way around an old but newly strange place before the snow flies.
I hope she remembers the verse so that she is prudent with her words and doesn’t jump to conclusions. People will do you wrong, and people will wrong her there, especially if she is alone and vulnerable. When we are genuinely wronged, or when someone genuinely hurts us, we should seek redress, even if it is in the courts. When we aren’t wronged, when there is only perception and innuendo, it becomes more difficult. The verse cautions us to not do so in haste. When things happen, it is wise to let the effect and meaning of them sink in instead of rushing to judgment or rushing for judgment. All too often, we don’t see the big picture and that causes more trouble when we make hasty judgments.
Take a couple of my friends from online. I got de-friended again, but also blocked this time and I still don’t know why. Several of my acquaintances were having an online discussion on someone’s page and brought my name into the mix. I didn’t even know about it until I went to the friend’s page. When I saw my name I posted “please leave me out of it.” I didn’t think it was inappropriate; maybe I should have just let it slide instead. Anyway, it started a series of other discussions (which I did stay out of) and a bunch of drama that ended in my being blocked. The callous part of me says “no big deal and no big loss” but they were my friends and I don’t know why it happened. I can honestly say I didn’t instigate or give them cause to do so, but it bothers me to not know. It would be very easy to speculate as to why it happened, and to pass judgment and move on in anger.
It would also be wrong, un-Christian, and inappropriate. The better approach, I see, is to sit back and watch, and to not rush to judgment. God doesn’t rush to judgment; why should I? I’m sure my friends had good reason for what they did. I’ll trust that God leads them as He does and that things generally work out for the best anyway.
I’ll trust that for Youngest Daughter as well. I hope she heeds the words of the verse, just as I hope she carves out some private time for her and God in His Word at this time. When times get tough – and they will – I know she’ll find strength and comfort in that. Absorbing His Word builds patience and wisdom. It helps us to be shrewd and discerning instead of reactionary and emotional. She’s moved out and is moving on. Moving in His direction will never lead her wrong.