The other day, I found myself in a very awkward position. I found myself in a group of people who were all angry with one person. And that person was a friend of mine. I was in the middle of a hornets nest that I didn't want to be in. I didn't join in, but I didn't speak up either. I wish, oh how I wish, that I had spoken up. I wish I had been brave enough to stand up for my friend who was not there. Like I said, I didn't contribute, but I didn't do anything to stop it either.
I heard a quote the other day, that has really been on my heart. It had to do with Christians being cannibals. And wow, was this a perfect example. I didn't eat the feast, but I sat at the table. I am angry, and sickened with myself for not standing up for what is right.
Did they have a right to be angry at my friend? Perhaps they did. I don't know the whole story (including both sides). I do know that no one is perfect, and that everyone has lapses in judgment sometimes, and that even includes those who were angry.
I also know my friend. Probably better than any one of the angry people. I know more about what is going on in the big picture than anyone else present. I know some of the frustrations my friend is facing right now. And more importantly, I know my friend's heart.
I walked away with a very heavy heart. They were very passionate, and the last thing I wanted to do was to make them angrier. But I also know that the Bible says that a soft answer turns away wrath. So as I've thought back on this incident, I've decided on what to do if I find myself in the same situation. I don't want to feast, or even sit at the table.
So, I will lovingly:
1. Ask the people that are upset if they have...
A. Prayed about the situation
B. Tried to put themselves in the other person's shoes
C. Calmly (not in anger) gone to the person to discuss the matter
D. If C didn't work, did they try to take a neutral party (not another angry person) to
discuss the matter with the person again
2. Tell the person that if they haven't done all of the above, that perhaps they should go that route. After all, wouldn't that be better than having your Christian brother or sister on a stick?
The angry people looked bad, because of their behavior. And they did nothing to solve their problems. If they had handled things in a Christlike manner, then they would have saved face, AND made steps to solve their problems.
I have been there. I have had Christian on a stick...but thankfully, my eyes and heart were opened, by a friend who spoke the truth in love to me. Lord, please give me the strength to be that friend that speaks the truth in love the next time such an opportunity arises. Please help us to stop being Christian Cannibals, and start handling things the way You would like us to, in love and truth.
Colossians 4:6 "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Edifying...that means building one another up...not tearing them down.
Oh, I want to be a person who edifies others! I don't want to be a person who tears others down!! Don't you want to be the same?
And to my friend that I did not stand up for, I am sorry, and Lord willing, I will not let another chance to stand up for you pass me by again.