It’s a case of mistaken identity, surely. And I thought you knew me better than that? Why does it always catch me off guard when someone whom I know so well disappoints me by showing me who they really are – who they have been all along, and I didn’t want to see? When confronted with the truth, I ask myself, Are you really surprised? And if I am honest with myself, I have to answer, No. Why do we place so much stock in the opinions of others?
“Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.” ~Thomas Paine
Why worry about what others think of us, when God’s opinion is the only opinion that matters? When others’ actions and feelings towards us shift from day to day, never knowing which version of them we will see. I was once told, “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.” It can be difficult at times to accept who someone turns out to be, when we expected – or hoped that they would have been different.
But, how do we reconcile our expectations and reality when actions speak louder than words? When the words say, I love you, I want the best for you, but the actions say anything but… What do we do? Do we hang in there, wait for the actions to match the words, slowly draining our souls? Do we confront the disparity? Do we say/do nothing? Do we leave, do we stay and try to work things out?
Once my eyes have been opened and I realize there is no going back to the way things used to be, I have can only wonder how long did I allow myself to be deceived? For surely, your actions spoke louder than your words long before this day? Was it my ignorance, was it my hopefulness that didn’t allow me to see your actions, that spoke louder than your words?
Reflecting on the days, weeks, months leading up to this day, I have but to wonder, What were my actions compared to my words? I do my best to be the same person whether at home, church, work, or play.
It is important to be consistent as the Bible tells us in James 1:8 KJV, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” A double minded person is unstable, not only in their actions, but also in their behavior and their thoughts. Never knowing how they feel, always restless in their minds, their actions are erratic towards others, and even themselves, not to be taken personally.
Therefore, when actions speak louder than words, it’s nothing to be taken personally. I for one have to remember that not all are consistent and stable in all of their ways. Rather than being disappointed, rather than being hurt, “… love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…” Matthew 5:44 KJV.