Daily Devotion, 12/13/17, “Talk To Me, Not About Me!”
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.” Matthew 18:15 NLT
Why is this principle so hard for so many? A co-worker hurts our feelings but instead of talking to them about it and trying to heal the relationship, we tell three other co-workers about it and cause division. A fellow church member does something that offends us but instead of airing it out with them face to face, we tell our church friends or our small group. Sometimes we even “rant” about it on social media for the whole world to see but never have a real conversation with the person we’re so worked up about. We talk to everyone except the one person Jesus says we should talk to. When someone does this to us, they’re being unfair. When we do it to them, we’re just being honest.
It’s time for us all to grow up. Avoiding talking to the person who offended you and telling others instead is cowardly and ungodly. It’s gossip. It draws others into situations they shouldn’t be in and causes divisions, cliques and broken relationships. When we talk about them rather than to them, we become pawns of Satan. He uses our gossip to divide and conquer. Unresolved hurt that we spread divides teams, destroys friendships and splits churches. It is exactly the kind of chaos in which Satan thrives.
The next time you’re offended, I encourage you to refuse to gossip. Summons the courage and spiritual maturity to go to God with it first and to them second. Don’t sweep it under the rug and hope it goes away either. Deal with it sooner rather than later, face to face if possible. When you do that, you’re applying the redeeming grace and reconciling love of God to the broken relationship. You are loved!