I’ve been noticing this pattern around me lately: someone offends or upsets someone else, either by word or by something they did, then the upset person will start to talk about it with numbers of people around them. They talk about how wrong it was, how it hurt them, how they don’t know what to do. So many people end up finding out that the person that offended them ususally finds out, and the situation is magnfied by a thousand because of all the conversations that have happened about it. What ends up really happening is some slander and gossip, which is usually not the intention of the person that was offended, but that’s what it becomes. I know I have done this in my past, and I think God is just showing me how prevalent it still is. I think it needs to stop!
Yes… it is important to have someone you go to for counsel, guidance, to vent your frustrations. I think that is very healthy. But we need to be very intentional about going to the person we’ve offended or has offended us and lay it out on the table. It is our responsibility, not theirs. I’ve heard lots of people say, “well, if they want to be my friend, they need to apologize to me.” Or “I’m not going to go to them, I didn’t do anything.” That is not right and it’s not biblical. I can see so much more harmony if we would just follow what Jesus modeled and told us.
Matthew 5:23″This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, 24abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.
I feel like I’m preaching a sermon here, but I just want us all to communicate with each other and stop talking to other people about something we should be talking to the specific person about. Yes… pray, seek counsel from 1 or 2 people, but then go to the person in love and kindness and lay it out on the table.
It’s amazing what happens when we do this. It’s amazing how your friendship grows with that person. It’s amazing how your relationship with God grows. My totally giving my life to follow Jesus was built on conflict and the reconciliation from it. It was and is amazing!
That’s not all I have to say, but it’s a good chunk…