Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life Proverbs 4:23, NIV.
What does guard your heart mean? Does it mean you cannot share your heart with anyone? Or does it caution care when you do? Sharing your heart anytime can be risky and scary—such an act can be even more so at work.
I recently shared my tears with a new friend at work, one I had deemed trustworthy of such precious cargo, only to be hurt.
My friend and I shared tears with each other, and then she shared mine with another coworker. This information sharing would have been a hurtful act of betrayal even if the tears had been broadcast with accuracy; however, the tears were grossly misinterpreted and relayed inaccurately. The version shared was misconstrued, based loosely on one unrelated comment to the tearful confessions of my heart.
It hurt to find out what had been said about me. It wasn’t true. The coworker hearing the wrong version was a friend who knew me far better than to put any value in the incorrect words that were repeated to her. I was at least thankful for that.
The comments made were not just hurtful personally, but also had the potential to negatively impact me professionally. Was the act of betrayal done with malicious intent, or was it an innocent mistake? I trusted the latter as I was brought up to always give the benefit of the doubt. But, in the days following, I saw a self-centered, climb-the-ladder-to-success-no-matter-who-you-need-to-step-on side of this person; leading me to question her motive for sharing what I thought was a private moment between us. I also learned that others in the office had conflicts with her due to these character traits. Even so, it was hard not to take it personally.
I may never know the answer to my question. With an act of finality, she closed the curtain of our friendship, not allowing any conversation or a chance to mend the fence. She acted as if her heart was the one betrayed. Try as I might for permission to reenter, even a chance for a conversation was repeatedly denied. Many attempts to reconcile failed, leaving me mystified as to what really happened and how another could be so hard and difficult.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone Romans 12:18, NIV.
My best attempts to reconcile were in vain, and there was nothing else I could do but pray for her. There is something that I don’t know and understand, but God does. He can heal broken hearts.
Stinging from such a hurtful betrayal, it is easy to want to build a fortress around my own heart as a response. My natural inclination is to never trust again. God does not want to see this happen.
The better response to hurt and betrayal is in learning to only let in a trusted few. Guard your heart, but do not seal it off. Just take care with whom you share your heart. High levels of trust should be saved for others who also know Christ, and not friends who do not.
We should give Jesus our broken hearts for healing and then continue on, in the name of Jesus, to trust again. God is relational and desires us to be in relationships with each other.
Shari is currently serving as a Hospice Chaplain at Olive Grove Hospice. Shari is a certified coach who lends a blend of business and ministry experience to her every endeavor. God has given her a passion to encourage people to integrate work and faith. You can learn more about her book, Walking in Faith: Stories of Hope and Encouragement on her website: www.sharjharris.com and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org