Drinking Deeply

Saturday, November 08, 2008 at 7:38 PM

Easy for you to say

Say that I have a friend with whom I have a bit of interaction. We're not super close, but members of the same community and church. Now, say that my brother wrongs me in a serious and deep way, such that I believe our relationship is irrevocably broken. I can't even look this person in the eye without getting spitting angry. I make plans to leave the church and move away, because I'm embittered and angry, disappointed that someone would treat me like this.

Another friend stops me, "wait a moment, the Bible commands you to forgive. You're sinning against him by not even seeking reconciliation."

Is it appropriate for me to say, "that's easy for you to say, you don't have to deal with the consequences of his sin"? Of course not, that would be evading the issue. Isn't it actually more the case that it's the fact that he isn't emotionally and personally committed to the situation (apart from being a friend) actually lends clarity to his words?

It is true that it's easy for him to say, but the fact that it's easy to say does not make it false.

As an aside, it's certainly true that we have to be careful and compassionate when we bring up difficult topics like personal sin. Job's friends sat with him for 7 days before giving him counsel in a remarkable show of compassion (Job 2:13).

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