Everyone who has gone through a divorce has wrestled with this question at one point or another, “What will they think?”
This is that moment where you realize that people are about to think about you differently, they will talk about you differently and they’ll look at you a bit differently than before…this is that moment where you become like everyone else.
I remember filing for my divorce and for the most part, the people around me were supportive. However, I could tell that there were quite a few worries about it from a business perspective. I guess you could say it messed with my image a bit. I ended up having to have very open and highly embarrassing conversations with some of my business partners at that time. They were trying to figure out if this would make me look bad, while I was simply trying to figure out how to survive.
I had to let God get me to the place where I let go of my image.
I got an e-mail awhile back from an individual telling me that they knew the TRUTH about my situation (this person capitalized the word TRUTH throughout the e-mail). That was very interesting to me. I read the e-mail over and over again and realized not one time had that person ever spoken to me about the situation at all. Not once. In fact, much of the e-mail was completely inaccurate all together which indicated that whomever this person was talking to likely didn’t know what they were talking about either. Yet that was supposed to be the TRUTH? Interesting.
That’s how rumors, false accusations and just random gossip begins. It starts from people who never speak to you at all yet go around claiming to know the TRUTH about your situation.
I know many of you have dealt with this as well. This is what happens when there become two sides of a story or sometimes three sides or more. This is when you realize how many times you have been guilty of this very thing yourself.
Yesterday, my sister and I had a conversation about judgments. She said that when she used to see people who were divorced she always thought “oh, they weren’t good enough Christians.” I’ll admit, I thought the same thing. We don’t think that anymore.
It took going through it before I realized how little we all really know about each other and our situations and how little compassion I had for other people going through divorce. Believe me, this was an eye opening experience for all of us.
I’m not telling you that because I want you to think I was a mean person, I’m telling you that I had never experienced such a thing and due to my own lack of experience, I made judgments towards others that were flat out wrong.
It is important to see that and accept it because other people will do the same thing to you. Many times, people aren’t trying to be judgmental or hateful, they just have no clue what you’re going through and have no understanding. We make judgments based on ignorance then we wonder why people get hurt.
Maybe there is a reason why we were commanded not to judge others?
We all know the following scripture:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
We are messy, we carry the scars of our life battles and we are far from perfect and that’s just fine. Christ died for our imperfect selves. We have to let go of what people will say and what they will think and we have to cling to God. No matter what.
Here is a confession from Joyce Meyer, I wrote this on a 3×5 card and say it every morning:
“God, I give you my reputation. I’m not going to spend my life worrying about what people think about me. I am going to be free to be who I am and be led by you and do what I believe you want me to do, and whatever people think, it’s up to them.”
Say that every morning and let God set you free. I’m no longer enslaved by what I feel like my image should be or what I want people to see, I am who God created me to be and I am free.
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Sarah Ann is an author, speaker and media personality committed to honesty, vulnerability and authenticity. She has a passion for empowering people who are willing to be honest and walk out life in Christ together. Sarah holds a Bachelors in Biblical Studies and a Masters in Theology and Apologetics, she also owns a clothing company, Ascent516.com and is the creator of SarahAnnSpeaks.com and the Sarah Ann Speaks Podcast. Sarah is featured daily on GEB TV.
MarlaPosted at 22:06h, 26 August
I have been going through a divorce for the past 2 years & it was just finally done last week. I’ve said the exact same thing these past 2 years…if nothing else, this experience has taught me how to not be quite so judgmental. Thanks for writino this series. I’m very excited to read what you have to say. So many Christians stay away from the topic of divorce.
Lisa T.Posted at 10:59h, 27 August
When I decided to finally stand up for myself and my children I was ridiculed by many who thought I was such a heartless person for leaving someone who “needed” me to help him and take care of him. They didn’t know of the affairs he had. They didn’t know of the abuse the children and I suffered through. I didn’t go out and smear his name. I didn’t give the reasons to “the multitudes”. Only family and close friends knew. 4 years later, people still want to tell “their” side of the story….Amazing that they don’t know the “TRUTH”. As my wise, Godly-mother tells me, “One day he will stand before God and the “TRUTH” will be known.” I know that is so hard to grasp here on earth. As a human, we want “revenge”, but as a Christian, I MUST leave it to God! He has taken care of my children and I. He provides in ways I probably never would have had the blessing of learning. I have met and married the most precious man who loves not only me, but my children! He is showing us all how a true loving, Christian man is with his family. I thank the Lord for this! My son and daughters are seeing and living this now too! I pray they all learn from his example and not from the example they were given for so many years! Thank you for sharing this series! I know you will be a blessing to so many hearts! I know I could have used this a few years ago. Praying!!
Ansley WestPosted at 12:09h, 01 September
Thank you for handling this sensitive topic. People do not know the whole story and should never pass judgment. You know what the right decision is and why you made it. That is enough.