Don’t take this the wrong way, but…
I hate to say this, but…
Not to be insulting, but…
Today someone used that sneaky little phrase with the bait-switch article “but.” They were asking a question about a recent event concerning someone in my life and wanted clarification on a matter that was none of their business. I guess they felt because they met this person they had license to have information. In addition they added their two cents by credentialing themselves with an expertise in the subject matter by saying that they are usually always right about this particular issue. Really? The question and follow up statements were not nice or necessary.
If what we are going to say has to be preceded by a disclaimer that we aren’t trying to be rude, then we may want to check our words before they come out of our mouths to make sure they aren’t actually rude, insulting, or hurtful. In fact, maybe it’s not necessary to say or ask it at all. I don’t know, that seems like common sense. But these days I know common sense isn’t really common. Neither is tact. That disclaimer doesn’t soften the blow, it actually makes the receiver hypersensitive to whatever you are saying because their guard to ward off offense has been activated.
This is just one of many crazy happenings this year. My confrontation time hasn’t yet come. I’m praying that God would first help my heart to forgive before I speak truth. I want to speak truth in love, not truth from my flesh. The things I really want to say to this person right now would ruin my witness. My heart isn’t quite in the right place…but I want it to be.
I know that we are all broken people. We all have our faults, but there is a time and a place to air out differences. Matthew 18 isn’t about just telling someone off who upset you; it’s about reconciliation. It’s about being honest and having a heart that wants to forgive. It’s about closure because once you go down this road you are agreeing to confront and move on. It’s not a license to hold a grudge.
We all make mistakes. We all sin. We all can be jerks. Sometimes with the best of well intentions we still manage to hurt others.
Lord help me to give grace and forgiveness as it has been extended abundantly to me.