Sometimes, I used to wonder how people felt whenever I jumped to conclusions on matters. Usually, in my zeal to show how badly they were doing as opposed to how much more they could be doing especially in their work and walk of faith, I wouldn’t even get to know what was the matter with them let alone try to understand. I would just begin to “preach at” them and in the end, they would just feel even worse. In fact, I’m certain they were always so condemned by the sound of my voice, preaching away, and they would just withdraw further. I didn’t even care about what they were going through; I just wanted things better and better they should be. I never could really understand how they felt deep down though but recently, I got a taste of it.
Recently, someone just accused me of neglecting the brethren. That’s one of the gravest accusations a man can receive because the Bible equates it with the manner of heathens. Essentially, to neglect the brethren isn’t just merely to stop attending meetings or what-have-you; rather it means even a turning away from the faith! I was just dumb, receiving exhortation upon exhortation on this matter. My brother had no background what had happened to me or what I was going through. My explanations bore no effect at all……I was numb. I have heard talk in this manner, but none had ever been on this scale. When a friend of mine saw the chat, she concluded that it must have been reported that I was seriously backsliding! It was that bad. In fact, I felt like God must be really unhappy with me or something. I automatically began to ask for forgiveness from my “fall”.
With proper understanding though, I began to ask God for mercy. I had done things like that too, hurt so many people while doing what I thought was the best. I was just thankful for knowing the right way now.
Often times, a better understanding will really help us administer healing to people, not break them into pieces, worse than they were before. If only we could have a clearer picture of the things causing our brethren in manners we do not deem proper, we could properly administer the Word to build them up. Most times, we end up making people feel so bad about issues and then they become resentful because they KNOW you don’t understand their situation and you made no attempt to do so!
Wisdom is available to us, but some of us sometimes are just surging with all our knowledge we want to “really show them” how bad they’ve been or how wrong they are that we forget that we are dealing with humans as ourselves, who love God too and are not necessarily happy with their situations either. They’re just waiting for that person who will understand and administer healing to the hurt within their soul, so they can be better.
I regret many things, and most of it is a lack of patience and understanding of my brethren. I want to be better. I want to put them ahead of me and listen to their hurt and their circumstances; not to bully them with the little of the Word I know, but to bring healing and growth to their souls.
I do not want to be a condemning voice reminding them of their failings, but an encouraging one, a voice seasoned with grace.