“You wearied yourself by such going about, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint.”
Isaiah 57:10 NIV
Years ago, a dear friend of mine sat across the table and shared this verse with me. It wasn’t an encouragement; it was a rebuke.
At that point in my life, certain qualities I had always considered a strength were working against me. I was and am, a fighter. I am not a quitter. I was and do see the gold in the people. I was and still to this day will be fiercely committed to something I truly believe in. Loyalty runs deep in my veins.
All good qualities, right? But during that season, and in that place where I was, and with some of those relationships I had and guarded – those same strengths were working against me. My sense of loyalty was misplaced. And that tenacious commitment I had was keeping me from accepting what was right in front of me. 🚩🚩🚩
Because I had caught glimpses of what could be and because I could see the gold in the people I was surrounded by, I was overlooking the truth and the red flags that were right in front of me. I elevated words and intentions over actions. I was actually participating in and fueling false hope, not godly hope.
Like Isaiah told the people, it was their own desire that was energizing their constant commitment to the very thing that was eroding their lives. In my scenario, it wasn’t God keeping me there. It was me. Even though it was starting to erode areas of my life and my heart.
I wouldn’t give up. I wouldn’t walk away. I wouldn’t remove my emotional attachment because I wanted so badly to believe in what I was a part of. Because I had seen the glimpses of the good, I excused the ongoing patterns of the not so great. I believed in what could be, at the expense of what actually was.
And at that time, in that season, I was wrong for it.
That meeting with my friend was a turning point for me. That rebuke stung. But I knew they were right. I repented for it. And it wasn’t until I severed those unhealthy cords that I began to truly discover what I was made for.
As I was thumbing through social media tonight, I saw a post by Dr Caroline Leaf. She said, “Be careful of avoiding red flags because you want to see the good in someone…” That took me back to that meeting with my friend several years ago. So thankful for friends that will tell you the truth.
Whatever area this may apply to in your life, be careful. Be careful of avoiding the red flags because you can see the green ones every now and then. Whether it’s a relationship, an organization, a group, whatever or wherever. The same wisdom applies.
Is it true hope or false hope?