How we are called to confront our friends about issues
Yesterday we covered the slimy truth, we are all staring at friends with egg on their faces and doing nothing about it. We identified that we are too afraid to talk to them about their big, ugly, slimy issue because of the many lies that Satan is filling in our heads to keep us from helping our friends out. Today we address Lie #1:
It’s not loving and it’s too judgmental to confront someone about their issues
If you were sitting there with actual egg on your face, that everyone around you could see but you, you would want to know, right? Of course you would want to know! Some of you may have just answered, “nah, I like this egg on my face”. You either have a sarcasm problem or you too are a liar, liar pants on fire. No one really wants to walk around with food on their faces. Unless you are a child. Or a teen. That ignores your mother when she tells you to wipe off your face and then you look at her with a shrug and tell her with your eyes to “stop talking”. Then maybe.
But when it comes to this concept of egg on your face figuratively, I think we all might answer that question differently. Truth is, it is much harder for us to hear honest communication about our issues from the people we love when it’s something we are not expecting to hear. We do feel judged when people bring our faults to our attention. I personally get sick to my stomach when I’m confronted with things I wasn’t expecting to hear about myself. Sometimes I might start blubbering in disbelief, other times I might kick that person in the shins. Not really. But, maybe.
What we really need to do is ask ourselves how this has worked out in situations in the past. Wasn’t that truth what I really needed to hear? Didn’t it really help change the course of my life? Wasn’t I eventually grateful to my friend who took such an honest leap in our friendship and greatly impacted my life?
The truth is that when we get the courage to bring attention to concerning issues with a friend, we are showing them love. If our intentions are to help a friend and we approach it biblically, then we can be assured that regardless of the immediate reaction, some sort of good will come out of it. The fact is there is more love in honesty than there is in denial. Proverbs 27:5-6 says:
“An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”
But there is still some risk if we don’t approach these situations the right way. If we come off the wrong way, we will come off judgmental. We have all experienced that type of conversation. That is not our goal here! In fact, there are far too many judgmental Christians in the world today, let’s not join that movement! Our goal is to be LOVING communicators, not JUDGING communicators. The bible is very clear about this! In fact, Jesus taught us specifically that we should not judge others.
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” Matthew 7:1-2 (NLT)
In these situations, we simply cannot judge! In fact, Jesus' words continued in that scripture to communicate to us that we shouldn’t even be having these conversations with our friends if we are struggling with the same issue ourselves. That’s a no duh! We certainly don’t want our friends telling us to, “look in the mirror”. If we are struggling with a similar issues, we need to deal with our own issues first.
If we aren't struggling with a similar issues, then that shouldn’t stop us from lovingly addressing something that is a big, ugly, slimy issue with our friend. In fact, James addressed this:
“My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.” James 5:19-20 (NLT)
Confronting egg on a face sure takes on a different meaning when we are talking about saving someone’s life, doesn’t it? It sure makes it worth it, doesn’t it? The challenge remains, however, how do we go about having these loving conversations with our friends without appearing judgmental? We will cover that in Part 3 as we begin to tackle:
Lie #2: I just don’t know how to approach it or counsel her about it.
Commentary: I realize that some of you may be offended by the comment about judgmental Christians. If you believe that you may fall into that category, please consider this my loving communication to you that you may have egg on your face. I encourage you to read again tomorrow to get some tips on how to have loving conversations with those that you love that have issues. Just like you.