Today I am deliberating over how to proceed in a sticky situation. I am pondering over whether or not to make a move or stay in my safe corner.
I work in an unofficial counselling role at a Christian school. I have good relationships with most of the high school girls and spend the breaks from my part-time art teaching job listening to, encouraging and advising these young women. I love them all dearly and enjoy sowing into their lives. Today, I was simply poking my nose around an issue with one of the girls, trying to bring about resolution as I usually do, when a different issue came to the front. I was NOT prepared for this one. I did NOT want to deal with this. This one involves family. I was supposed to be doing something simple.
I’ve found myself in a similar situation before and was so filled with righteous indignation that I went around shooting my mouth off. I paid no heed to warnings from my husband. I threw tact and caution to the wind. I went in like a bull in a china shop and nearly destroyed my relationship with my best friend.
I’d like to say that I’ve grown since then. I want to tell you that I learnt my lesson then and now I know how to deal with things like this. The truth is, I did learn a lesson and I have grown, but I’m not so sure I trust myself yet. I’ve done so much study of Scriptures dealing with speech and grace, and I desperately want to be the one who is “quick to listen and slow to speak.” I want to build up, not tear down.
So here is my dilemma: Building up sometimes means dealing with problems that are bringing a person down. So surely then, it is important for us to speak in love so that Christ might be more glorified in a person’s life and ministry. But when do you speak? When is it right for you to step forward and confront the gossip that is breaking a person down? When do you just let things be? I don’t want to rush in prematurely or even without probable cause. I’ve done that before and I’m not doing it again. But it is also my responsibility, as a fellow sister in Christ, to help my brother grow by speaking into the darkness.
Oh, that God would give us wisdom to know when to speak and when to leave things in His hands. May we never be cowards, sweeping sin under the rug, but rather warriors in the war for our hearts. May we speak in love and in turn as we fight for the hearts of our brothers and sisters in Christ