Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. -Galatians 6:1
Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. -Proverbs 25:28
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. -Proverbs 27:6
This subject is so painful, but so important to address.
Let’s say you’ve been in a downward spiral with another person. The relationship could be with your coworker, spouse, a friend, a family member, etc. At some point, you’ve both contributed to this tailspin. And now, God has woken you up and tasked you with righting the course. Will you let Him work through you?
You’re called to love one another as Christ loves you. With Love & Respect, my mind was blown wide open with the concept that the other person is irrelevant, because it’s all about your walk with Christ, and not the other person at all.
And that’s great, but what if the other person isn’t on board with the plan? The idea is that the heart of the other person could potentially be convicted over time. It’s also entirely possible that it won’t, either.
Without working on underlying issues, one person will be a doormat, constantly forgiving the other person for unkindnesses…and growth in Christ plateaus.
It’s tough and very uncomfortable, but dragging these underlying issues into the light can lead to growth and better relationships ahead. And it’s this kind of love that cares enough to address matters that honors God, instead of turning one’s back on the other and writing them off, masquerading as forgiveness from afar.
If a child is getting caught in the crossfire, being quiet is not an option. This is their very development and foundation being shaken. An agent once told me what Jesus said in Matthew 18:6 (NIV) about harming His children:
If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Confronting the other person can help them in their walk, so do it out of love.
God is with you through it all. He goes before you, with His angels on all sides. Do Him glory and do not fear the outcome.
Here’s an excerpt from Pocket Fuel on how forgiveness is about seeing people as God sees them:
Forgiveness is not sweeping bad behaviour under the rug or allowing yourself to be continually abused or disrespected. It’s about seeing past the behaviour and to the intrinsic value of a person.