If you have ever been faced with a personal problem in your life say “aye!? if everyone who read this didn’t say “aye!? than say it, because I am pretty sure you have. How did you deal with that problem? Did you ignore it? If it was with a person did you stop talking to them, tell them off, talk to everyone but that person about the problem or did you confront the issue head on?
I myself and a very non confrontational person, I don’t like having to deal with hard issues. Sometimes it just seems easier to ignore the issue, tell myself I am being dumb and move on. There is a huge problem with that, it generally leads to one of two things pent up bitterness or depression. Granted there are some issues that it is better to just forgive and forget, but that is not what im talking about. I used to be a master at the art of avoiding the issue. I don’t like rocking the boat, I don’t like hurting peoples feelings, I would rather be suffering than cause others to suffer. Unfortunatley, I can only handle the suffering so long, eventually you get to the breaking point, most of you have been there where you can’t take it anymore and you BLOW! By this time an issue that could have been resolved by a short conversation is now an event that won’t soon be forgotten. I personally don’t enjoy being depressed or bitter, seeing a person and thinking “uh, why do they have to be here!? but that’s what happens when you avoid the issue, you let anger fester and it takes over.
I hope most of you can see the trouble of telling some off. The main issue with this is you rarely do it in love. We generally react with our emotions, and that is often a very bad thing. When we just tell someone off, how much they screwed up, what they did wrong, how bad of a person they are etc we do a few things. (1) we take any blame that may be ours and put it on them (2) we will often make them feel attacked and get on the defensive making solving the issue much more difficult and (3) as I said before, don’t show them love. How quick are we to forget the areas we screw up and focus on the different “levels? of sin in other peoples lives. “Well they have sex with their boyfriend, I only lied to my parents of course I have more of a right to correct them.” Show me a place in the bible that talks about different sins are worse then others. The bible does say sins our different, but I have not found one that is worse (besides blaspheme the Holy Spirit but that is another discussion.) Telling someone off, though it seems so right at times, rarely is. Don’t react with your emotion, be ‘slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
Talking to everyone but the person is also trouble with a capital “T? * makes T with fingers *. This is another one of those things that turns a tiny situation into a massive televised event. Genn told Susan something about Mike, Susan told Steve, Steve told Carrie, Carrie told her sister Faith, Faith told me because me and Mike are good friends and she thought I should know. Though the intentions weren’t wrong in themselves, perhaps they even wanted to help Mike, if that’s they case why tell everyone else and never talk to him. I have been in situations where I hear something, and I pass the word onto a best friend of the guy involved. His friend tells his granfather, the grandfather knows the family and tells them and a bunch of badness ensues. I caused some of that crap, the worst thing is what I was told wasn’t even fully true, I found out later. So it caused a lot of junk over a rumor. I felt so stupid and ashamed. This is often what happens with gossip. You know the game telephone, so it is with gossip. I have found a good way to guard yourselves from getting involved. If someone is coming to you with something about someone else ask them one of two questions. (1) do you plan on talking to this person about this (2) can I let this person know your saying this? If they say yes then let them tell you. If they say no maybe you should think twice about listening. Sometimes people need to vent, get out their feelings, get advice and then act. That is fine, that is not gossip, God gave us Christian friends for that purpose. As long as action is to follow, then in my eyes I believe its ok.
If you haven’t figured out by now, confronting a person is the best option out of all these. If for no other reason, it’s biblical (Matthew 18:15 ” 17). Biblical or not, it is often the quickest way to solve a problem. If you have a problem with someone tell them, it may not solve the situation right away but at least the lines of communication are open. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know it is broken, once it is out in the open than you can both start working on fixing it. Just realize one thing, you cannot make someone accept your correction. If they do not accept it, that doesn’t mean you did anything wrong, or could have done it better. Sometimes we are to blind, stubborn, immature to see what others see about us. As Christians we are called to love others, so make sure “whatever you do in word or deed to do it in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” When we solve a problem we don’t want to get our two cents, beat someone up, and walk away proud that we let em have it. Where is the love in that. Hold your tongue, get out what you need to say, but let the spirit lead you on what to say, pray before you go into the situation. But please, go into the situation. A problem not resolved outwardly is rarely resolved inwardly.