Read: I Corinthians 13: 1-13
Reflect: Yes, I definitely was in the right! I called the doer of the deed out for his very nasty sin. The thing is, I did it in public. It was 1989 and the married head of the Christian organization I worked for was engaged in an emotional affair with another employee. I had heard enough of his hypocrisy when he led us in devotions. I felt like I was choking; hearing him drone on using Scripture. In front of the rest of the employees, I called him out for his sin. So, I was in the right….right???
Wrong!!! I had no love for the man who had lost his way. In my anger, I was the resounding gong, the clanging cymbal, the noise that makes no difference that is referenced in I Corinthians 13. I might as well of been that backfire from a car or the slamming of a door. You hear it, but quickly ignore the distraction. I was not patient. I didn’t believe God could walk us through the situation. I was definitely not kind, but was rude and easily angered.
I had let this man’s mess become my mess. I permitted his wandering in the wilderness to become my own means to wander into darkness. In my obsession with being “right”, I was wrong. I didn’t trust that God could protect His own holiness and believe that God had others who could intervene. I didn’t acknowledge that God was bigger than the situation.
What I learned from this misadventure was that there are times, even if you are in the right, that it is appropriate to be silent, pray and definitely trust God to be the Judge and Jury. It often can be more beneficial and mature to get the duct tape out and put it over one’s mouth, especially if one cannot be patient, kind, mannerly and speak without malice. According to Google “malice” is: extreme enmity of heart, malevolence, a disposition to injure others from a spirit of revenge. I had a great deal of malice and bitterness building up in my heart in 1989. Yes, the man had used his position of power to lash out at his staff. He had become mired in his sin but I was looking for blood. It is well to speak the truth, but if it is not seasoned and controlled by the Holy Spirit as in I Corinthians 13, then that truth is speaking into the wind.
Apply: If I could take back that meltdown, I would. If it is a cautionary tale to you, then please run with it. Trust in the goodness and holiness of a God Who can protect His own and His sheep. There are times to speak and there are also times to be silent. At both times, exhibit the love of I Corinthians 13: 4-6: Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. And remember, please keep the duct tape handy in case of emergency!