They weren’t happy with me. I’d told them they had to confront someone they cared about deeply, and they believed it wouldn’t go well. To be fair, they were probably right. It probably wouldn’t go well. But that wasn’t the point.
You see, we have a responsibility to gently and kindly speak correction into the lives of those around us. Timing is crucial and relationship essential, but it is a responsibility that cannot be neglected. It cannot be neglected if we claim to actually love.
They were worried. They understood what God calls us to do, but what would the consequences be? How would they respond? The chances were good that they’d leave the church and who would love them then?
We went back and forth for a bit, and all the while I wondered why I didn’t share their hesitation. I used to, what’s changed? Then I realized something about myself.
“You’re worried about the wrong conversation.” I told them.
I realized that my greatest concern, wasn’t the conversation with the individual, it was my future conversation with Jesus. One day, He is going to ask me about how I loved this individual and whether I’d trusted Him about how to love them. Was I going to sit there and explain that His way just wouldn’t have worked? How arrogant to believe I could navigate a situation as complex as this. No, I wanted to say I did what He asked which also means entering the conversation with humility, gentleness, kindness, and most importantly, love. But that was the conversation I worried about.
You’re worried about the wrong conversation.
How much better would we love if we entered each conversation with that perspective? If we entered each conversation with our primary concern being how we would answer for how we engaged this one God had created, it would change so much of how we interact with one another.
We’re all too often worried about the wrong conversation!