Monday, February 26, 2007

Rewritten

Currently, I'm learning to receive. Its evident in my language, the way my heart churns and shifts in order for me to understand confrontation, and the way I attempt to allow the Lord to alter my life that I may love deeper. Why is this so difficult for us? I noticed that I am not the only one suffering from this struggle. As Christians, we are called to receive others in the love of Christ...and most of the time that concept is applied to those who do not believe, hold different perspectives etc. But my most trying challenge has been found in the reception of my brothers and sisters in Christ. It burns me sometimes to receive confrontation, character flaws, painful situations that involve the ones who, with me, claim redemption in Jesus.

For the first time this past week, I was able to receive confrontation in grace. You see, in knowing Christ and knowing my sisters, I must make whatever attempt possible to know their hearts. I must recognize that we are human-plagued by sin and imperfection, thus causing communication problems-but we are also grounded in the Gospel. And a believing, active Christian must have the 1 Timothy 1 perspective of our main charge being love issued from a pure heart. So when the communication is not the best-words are too harsh, points are missed-rather than reacting in defense, we must receive the heart of that individual. But this brings me to my next point...

As I was turning over this week's situation in my head, praying through it and asking God to reveal truth to me, I realized what was not sitting well with me. There is a huge difference between confrontation and confession. Confrontation must be done through praying and pursuing the person you need to confront. Initially, it must not involve other people (gossip). But we must be woman or man enough to approach our brother or sister trusting what the Word says. If the person does not change, approach them again. If still, we must approach them with a brother or sister and if the problem still persists, we're to break ties with the person. Basically, we are to respect each other, call each other out in gentleness. I think the issue that bothered me the most was the lack of communication between the offender and the one offended. Though the situation laid the ground work for further honesty, it compromised a very biblical demand for truth-to bear with one another and forgive whatever grievances you have against one another. It really angered me that confession of sin turned into calling people out. Necessary at the time...but not an acceptable means.

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