“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Fear – Today I struggled with FEAR…. At first I didn’t recognize the feeling for what it was. I was tired. I was feeling sad. I was hurt… These were all “labels” I put on my feelings of gloom and maybe even a sprinkling of anger. I really had a hard time putting an honest name to it. I didn’t think I was fearful as in afraid. I was fearful of being disrespectful to someone even though I knew deep in my heart they were the party in error.
I found myself under attack for something from someone who truly had nothing to say on the matter. OK.. my first reaction was that they were in a position that I respected therefore I should take their advice. Then the more I thought about it, the more it just bothered me. It bothered me because they were using their position rather than scripture to address something they didn’t like that I was posting on this morning.
According to scripture, when we have a problem with another Christian we are directed to go to them in love and in private to address the issue.
Matthew 18:15-17 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Note the beginning to this passage…. If your brother or sister sins…..
This does not mean….
“If they do something you don’t like..”
“If they do something differently than you would have..”
“If they say something you don’t like…”
and the list goes on and on…. If the brother or sister isn’t in sin..folks IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!!
All too often in the name of Christian values have people slammed or shoved their beliefs upon others. Why do we hurt each other so much? Why did I allow this person to push my buttons?
Satan is the author of confusion. He will use anyone, anywhere, anytime to knock you down. When you are challenged, take it to scripture. Are you at fault? If so repent and make amends. If you are not in sin, kindly tell the other person to mind their own business. Easier said than done, and often not really the best way to handle it. Listen to them, and then go make your decision based on all the facts.
I finally realized after talking it over with my husband and spending time in prayer…what hurt me was that they didn’t come to me in Christian love, or in private to address an issue they may have honestly thought I was on a slippery path. Had they come to me and spoke to me about their concerns, in private..I would have listened. In the end I may have listened or I may have gone on my merry way. BUT, they would not have tried to embarrass me in public. I would still have, if not even to a greater extent, respected them and the way they handled a personal concern.
So, back to one of my favorite verses: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~ Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Here at the end of the day, I am rejoicing and giving thanks. Thanks to the wonderful husband who can usually talk me down when I am on a tangent. As I am not one to bite my tongue, this has been a learning experience for me. I can go to bed knowing that I did not make a bigger issue of something that I honestly feel was a matter of choice. Will I go to this person and let them know how I am feeling? Probably not. This is based on the fact that they were no open to discuss where they were coming from, they only wanted to tell me why I was wrong. Could escalating this drive a wedge between two Christians….yes. So I opt for forgiveness and grace.
I found this article while I was searching for scripture. It is on fear and how we need to NOT let it be a force in our lives.