...preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears form the truth, and will turn aside to myths. ~2 Timothy 4:2-4
(Continuing from my earlier entry, "Why do I speak before thinking?")
Here is what I learned through the hairy situation with my best friend:
1. There is a way to communicate TRUTH!
I have a lot of my mom in me. She was a very spunky Hispanic women that would just say things the way she saw them. She would call a spade a spade and continue to tell you what she thought about it (and with some spanish words thrown in here and there). There wasn't a lot of grace in her delivery but we all [me and my 3 siblings] learned to understand that she was wired a little differently and she meant well.
I don't think that God calls us to "mean well" but He does call us to "love well." And loving is speaking His Word and allowing His Spirit to work in and through us. My prayer is that I would hide God's word in my heart and would be prepared in season and out to handle the curve balls that are thrown my way.
"For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joint and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
2. I forget that their are people who are dealing with big sin issues in their life and need to be gently steered toward/back to the Father. I guess you could say that I live in kind of a "christian bubble." My friends all have pretty much the same values. So when someone shares with me some of the things like my best friend shared with me, I am at a loss for words. Okay, so this is where I begin to sound judgemental. However we are not talking about having different opinions on issues. It is flat out SIN!
3. I am a people-pleaser and don't like it when people don't like me or think I am "judgemental."
But as one dear friend always says, "God didn't call us to be best friends with everyone but He has called us to disciple." God's Word is TRUTH and we are NOT to stand for anything else. Does it mean that we have it all together and we are perfect? No! But when God reveals a truth to us, we are to live our life by it. We are to be transformed. Which leads me to......
4. Not everyone knows the truth!
...a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised ~1Corinthians 2:14
This is why the apostle Paul speaks to the church at Corinth as "men of flesh, as to babes in Christ." He gave them milk to drink and not solid food for they were not ready for it yet. They were not able to receive it.
Here is where I struggle! I talk to people like they should know...in a "duh" kind of way. I seem to forget my own journey with God and what He did for me. I didn't just automatically wake up one day and decide that I was going to follow Jesus and everything was "happy ever after." No. It's a journey, a process! God is still working on me. He is refining me daily!
I want to learn to pray for discernment and wisdom in how to speak to someone. Do I speak to them as a "spiritual man" or a "natural man." It makes a difference in how we speak to each one. With the first we can maybe speak in a "loving duh" kind of way. But with the last we need to break it down and take it back to the basics. This is where my dear best friend is. Oh I pray that I would have discernment to speak.
Oh Lord Jesus forgive me for making _______________ feel like a fool the other day with my duh kind of attitude. I can tend to write people off if they are not "getting it" instead of relying on Your Spirit to guide me. I realize that this is going to be a long road of more conversations with ________________ and it can get hairy. I pray that I would not shrink away from the TRUTH about her sin because of feeling "judgemental" but I pray that I would remember where I have come from and speak in terms that she can understand. Bring scripture to mind that I can gently speak and I pray that through the sharp two-edged sword _________________ would return to you. Lord I also know that speaking TRUTH and standing on it could mean a loss of a 24 year old friendship. And even thought it saddens me, I would go there with You because I know that the motive is LOVE. Thank you for Who You are and all that You do. ~amen
Still learning and processing,