One Rad7even goal that I had this year that has been lost in the shuffle has been to do everything with the intention of doing it with love. I have to admit this goal out of all the others has been the most challenging and probably why I have not been as focused as I should.
I had an incident a few weeks prior where I was accused of something that just was not exactly how the event happened. First pride rose up and I was so sure that I was going to “defend my honor”, but in certain situations like in business and family this has to be done in such a tactful way. Needless to say I was not feeling very tactful. I just wanted to clear my name and quickly forget about anything else..I was “shamed”, I was “called out” and this had to be rectified immediately. The thing that I love so much about God is the quiet lessons He teaches. Like Jesus in front of a crowd telling parables; God shows me lessons in each conflict or test that arises I just NEED to pay attention.
The day of the set confrontation, I witnessed something absolutely incredible. I saw someone “fall on the sword” so to speak. An individual who really was on the outside of this issue, stepped in, stepped up and used herself as a bridge for peace and reconciliation. Total humility; instead of calling the other individual out she made sure that she just spoke in such a way that each party was at ease and the relationship was mended. I was amazed; simply because this was a confrontation that I expected to go completely different. Now, there are times when we must confront people; conflict sometimes is good, but we have to be careful that our confrontation is not out of ego, but of love,
There are numerous accounts of Jesus where He used love in confrontation and the results were amazing.Jesus had a Spirit of discernment and knew what to say and when to say it. Some of His harshest statements were not said to a prostitute, an adulterer,thief etc, but to religious people. My favorite example of this story is the woman at the well:
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
Jesus could have totally called her out; making her feel unworthy or dirty, because of her sin, but instead He pointed to Himself and stated that HE could change her life. If only this woman would lean on Him; He could make her clean again. The chapter goes on to say that many of the Samaritans came to believe because of her testimony. How awesome is that. Everyone’s goal as a believer should be to win souls for Christ. If you truly believe that people need what you have discovered you wouldn’t want anyone to turn away. There will be those who we can’t reach for whatever reason; maybe their hearts are hardened by years of hurt, abuse and abandonment. Maybe they just are disenchanted with the church. Whatever the other reasons are; let us hope that people are not leaving or not coming to church on the account of the believers inside not showing love. When we are out at work, school and even in our homes we never know the condition of anyone’s heart. We must be careful of what we say and when we say it and make sure that it is God lead and Spirit approved. Again I am not saying that conflict should not happen, but the viciousness and callousness of the World should not be a trademark of those who claim to know Christ.