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Quiet Time

    by Kasia Kedzia

Who You Say They Are: Beneficial Information
Date Posted: November 27, 2012

What’s the worst quality a person can possess? This was the topic of dinner conversation between a colleague and I. What we came up with: backbiting. We both agreed that one of the nastiest qualities exhibited was a person who slandered, gossiped or just plain talked down about someone else in their absence. Then we got real, we admitted to doing it too.

It didn’t take long for me to pull an example from the previous week, by seeing someone I previously worked with. I did not have fond memories of this individual or how they treated me. Although I thought I had forgiven and moved on, when I found out I would see this person and interact with them professionally again, my heart sank and old insecurities rushed in. They made me feel so small in the past; what if they made me feel that way again?

I found myself not only recalling the past but also talking about it to people who did not know this person well. I just needed to vent, or talk through it. Meanwhile, I was influencing their view of an individual who I had not seen in years. On some level it made me feel better temporarily, when they nodded in sympathy or replied, “Yes, I heard that about so-and-so from someone else too.” But the feeling did not last for long. After I realized what I had done I felt terrible. Not only because it was wrong but because I knew what it felt like to be on the other side of it.

“She’s just….”

“Can you believe s/he said …. to me?”

“Oh, her/him?! They have always been …”

“She once….”

Whether it’s just sharing your view of someone or venting, we have all done it. This is not a woman thing either. I have heard plenty of men do it too. So why do we do it? Why did I do it? For me it was out of hurt. This person had hurt me and in my eyes there had not been any acknowledgment of the pain they caused or consequences for their actions. I wanted someone to acknowledge the pain they caused. On some level I wanted vindication; I wanted others to know “what kind of person” they were. I wanted others to side with me so I would feel some sort of justice.

Genesis 15:1 “I am your shield, your very great reward.”

God desires me to leave justice up to him. He tells me that he is my ultimate protector and he does and will continue to protect and provide for me. I don’t need to long for vindication or justice because he is my reward. He protects and heals me from hurts that others may inflict. God loves me with an everlasting love (Jer31:3), he wants to be my shield. He is the only one who can truly provide the comfort I seek.

He also teaches me the importance of forgiveness. People change, they deserve as many opportunities as I would want for myself to change and be different.

Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all …”

Jesus died for my sins and that of others. I do not deserve the gift received through the cross any more than anyone else does. The power of God’s grace and the gift of his Spirit are mercy and grace. Through it we are ever changing. I am called to extend the same grace to others as Jesus extends to me because although he would have died just for me, he died for that person that hurt me as well. He gives everyone an opportunity to change. It is not up to me to judge or take that opportunity away by coloring the perception of someone in the eyes of others, whether I think it’s for my benefit or their protection.

James 3:4-5 (NIV) …take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

It comes down to watching what I say, how I say it and who I say it to. Most of the time I will not see justice done, people will hurt me and I may never see them realize it but I do not need to. These same people may even hurt others. As a daughter of God I am called to forgive and remember how God extends grace to me. I must allow others to form their own opinions and have their own experiences. I am called to trust in a great creator and to allow him to comfort me and define me.

Psalm 16:6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

We have all been there, maybe for you the reason is similar to mine. For some the root is jealousy and/or envy that creates distrust and in turn slander in order to somehow knock the other person down a peg. It may just be a case of sharing your view of someone without pausing to check if what you will share would lift that person up, please God and benefit those who listen. Would you say that about them if they were standing right there? Are you highlighting their best qualities or their not so good ones, their quirks, their oddities, or their absolute worst?

Whatever the reason, here are the three things that I try to implement to help me to stay on track: 1) if the person is not in the same room as me there is absolutely no reason to talk about them; 2) if I would not say it to their face I should not say it behind their back; and 3) if I feel a need to vent, I probably need to pray first instead and check my heart.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

By trusting and leaning into God more, I was able to overcome the past and even become friends with my x-colleague. In the process, God allowed me to see a very different side of this individual. A side I hope many others will see as well.

Proverbs 11:24-25 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. The generous prosper and are satisfied; whoever refreshes others will themselves be refreshed.

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Biography Information:
Gods brought me a long way from the New York City Housing Projects. I studied the Bible, repented, and was baptized for the forgiveness of my sins when I was 17 and have been repenting and striving towards heaven ever since. The hardest thing about becoming a Christian at 17 was trusting that God would take care of me, meet my emotional teen needs, and help me overcome my enormous insecurity...what else would a teen girl have trouble with?

Since those first days, I have made it out of the Projects, finished my Masters degree in International Development, and moved  to DC  to work in my field. As a young single Christian woman my struggles today are a little different than they were when I first came to know God, but who am I kidding, not much. It's the every day battle for my heart to be pure before God, to strive to please him, and help others to seek and know Him.

Over my years of a faithful walk with God I have received much grace and compassion and have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Through out it all one thing has stayed consistent: God's word. Through His word I have been inspired and it has kept me faithful even when faith seemed like a foreign concept and God seemed deaf to my prayers. I started emailing my Quiet Times which helped me stay accountable as I shared my struggles and fought for understanding. Some wrote back and said they too were inspired and could relate. I hope some of my times can help inspire others who are seeking and fighting just like I am, to get to heaven and take as many as possible with me along the way.

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