Have you ever felt attacked in ministry? Wrongfully accused, misjudged, misunderstood? Has there ever been a time when a decision was made about your heart, your motive without your having a chance to share truth? To discuss with grace?
When an enemy attacks it is easy to see it as a battle and gear up to pray it through, but when it is a friend. One of the family. Then, it hits hard. Floors a person. It is as if a foot is criticizing an eye. Tearing it down for doing what it is created to do. All members of one family. All parts of one body. Yet the body of Christ is human. And we sin. All the time every day. Not one of us is perfect and not one of us will be until we reach heaven and we are made perfect. Ahh, the thought. But for now we are flawed. Some days more than others. And our insecurities, hurts, experiences, selective hearing, personal sin struggles they can get in the way of living simply for God’s glory. They can characterize our speech and instead of lifters up we become tearers down.
More times than I ever want to admit to myself, or you, I have been the insecure, hurt, insensitive tearer down. Reacting out of emotion and not dealing well with my own circumstances. In my own sin I have lashed out and spoken unkind, untrue, bullying words against a member of my Jesus family. I pray that these moments of sinfulness don’t make it back to the ears of the ones that have been on the other end of my tongue lashing, yet I know that because of the times what people have said about me comes back on my ears and pierces my heart that I am sure that my words have wielded death to a brother or sister too many destructible times.
So what do we do when we find by way of the Christian telephone game that someone has taken offense to something you have done or even worse a part of who you are just rubs them wrong?
The times when the daggers against my character, my motives, my heart have come against me I have learned many things. It is in these moments when I am knocked down and the breath is sucked from my lungs that I meet Jesus in the sweet place. It is through the tears and the pain his nail scarred hands cover the wounds and he speaks truth over me.
But he doesn’t stop there, it is also in the wrestling and brokenness of friendly fire that my Jesus chooses to peel another layer of my own humanness away. His sanctifying scalpel cuts at my bend to please people, or work out of my own merit. In feeling the judgements of others he reveals my propensity to judge the slivers in my neighbors eyes while ignoring the deeply rooted plank of comparing, envy, jealousy, insecurity in my own.
So next time you are blindsided by a friend. The hurt and betrayal overwhelming. Sit at Jesus feet and allow him to do his miraculous, redeeming, sanctifying work. Allow him to heal your wounds and speak purpose and worth back into the bones that have been crushed. But don’t be surprised if he uses this opportunity to reveal a piece of you that needs some work and in the process increases your ability to grant grace, live in humility and love selflessly.
Stephanie Page is a wife to one very supportive man and mom to three beautiful girls. With a background in foreign and local missions, youth and women’s ministry her heart is to see people living their lives in the freedom purchased for them on the cross. She spends her time as a speaker, writer, bible study leader, human trafficking advocate and conference planner. She is the author of two books, “It Started with a Blog” & “Preparing for Christmas”. She is also co-founder of Allied Women. Her favorite things are hanging out and serving with husband Chris, speaking on Freedom and snuggling with her girls. You can find her blogging at www.simplyfaith.us and www.storiescafe.org as well as on Facebook & Twitter.