So, I’ve used the following story before, but it illustrates my point so I’m gonna use it again. Maybe you forgot it or never had the chance to hear it.
I had just stepped through the door of my home when I heard the soft voice of the Lord (it was actually a little more stern this time) ring through my heart. “You’re a gong,” he told me.
I halted as if the slack in my leash had run out. A gong, I wondered. I was about to ask him to explain when an image of the last email I wrote popped into my head. That’s all it took for me to understand why he said what he did. I considered the accusations and harsh approach of the email, and realized it was just noise. Noise that wasn’t going to be heard, just switched off.
There was no thought on my part to understand the feelings or positions of the recipient. It was just me pushing my own thoughts and beliefs without regard to their value or worth. It’s the classic, “I’m gonna give you the truth and I don’t care what you think about it.”Caring about someone’s feelings is not the same thing as seeking popularity with men. Click To Tweet
I think this mentality gets justified a lot. It certainly used to by me. After all, if God gives us a word for someone, we’ve got to make sure it gets delivered in a way that brings repentance and correction right then and there. If they don’t receive it it’s their problem, right? Whatever. Many times when a word isn’t received it’s because of us, not them. It’s because we’re just being gongs blasting noise all over the place.
Transformation for me in this area came when I began to understand what love looks like reflected in the life and ministry of Jesus. People are valued and held to a high importance. They aren’t belittled or made to feel insignificant. Love is kind. It gives an ear to the feelings of others and cares about them.
Let’s say God appears in front of you and tells you that he doesn’t care what you think about what he’s about to say. How does that make you feel? Even if the message brings something great in your life, how does that make you feel about God? I would feel small and unimportant. I wouldn’t feel valued and loved. That’s a problem.
But God is love. There’s nothing he would do to give us legitimate reason to feel unloved and not valued. So, when we represent him we must NOT make the recipient feel unloved or not valued. If we do, we’re not representing God, but rather the darkness in our own hearts.
There is absolutely no excuse for making someone feel unloved and insignificant. I don’t care what the message is, if it comes out in a way that accomplishes a tearing down instead of building up, it’s just a horrific noise.
Now, considering the feelings of others doesn’t mean that we have to keep from speaking. It just means that we should ask God to give us the approach he wants. And yes, sometimes the person won’t receive it regardless of how loving we are. However, when a word is given wrapped in perfect love, a negative response is a rarity.
Caring about someone’s feelings is not the same thing as seeking popularity with men. Removing anything that might be hard to hear would be, but taking the time to wrap a hard word in love is reflecting the heart of God. It’s what we should be doing.
Jesse and Kara
Times running out to get our new book, Finding Home signed with FREE shipping! Get yours now!