My friend and I had known each other for decades.
But when my friend began making decisions that
were in direct opposition to what I knew to be right and true,
I had to distance myself.
Making decisions about our own lives can be challenging.
Often we must weigh what spirit and heart tell us against
fear of being judged by others who don't have all the facts.
Making decisions about how to react to
the decisions of those we know can
set us up for harsh criticism.
So it was in the case of my friend.
Though my friend's decisions were morally, ethically,
and legally incorrect when I distanced myself I was condemned.
I didn't feel it was my place to broadcast my friend's errors and shortcomings.
Those who had the authority to help were already aware of the situation.
I didn't want to feed the gossip mill.
Because of my refusal to tell all to everyone who was curious,
my removing myself from my friend's life and the
situations my friend's decisions had created
was judged as an act of coldness.
But I kept my integrity.
And my relationship with God.
Both which were of far more value than
the opinion of those who judged me.
In addition to the judgments of others, this life brings comparison of
physical appearances, material possessions, and skills.
We can feel ostracized and alone.
We can fall into the habit of masking pain with pursuits and possessions,
hiding what we fear is our inferiority.
But God knows our hearts.
When we act in accordance with what we know for ourselves is right and true,
rather than in accordance with fear of being judged or compared,
He will help us refine the talents, abilities, and
strengths that are unique to us as individuals