To tell or not to tell? If you know something important that has the potential to cause harm to someone, do you speak up? Do you worry about the consequences?
I’m not sure if it’s because I come from a dysfunctional family (almost every family has some degree of dysfunction), but I have found myself in these situations a few times. It is not a comfortable place.
Most topics for me are right or wrong, black or white, top or bottom, and have little margin in between. But these ‘to tell or not to tell’ situations can be very sticky. They can cause strife among family members and/or friends. Relationships can be greatly affected. So, to tell or not to tell?
As I have pondered and worked on this most recent issue for several months, I did tell.
And it went horribly wrong. Beforehand, I spent much time in prayer, asking God for guidance. I looked to the Word for answers. Galatians 1 says to “restore them gently”; Luke says if someone sins against you, rebuke them, and if they ask for forgiveness, forgive.
In the end, here’s what happened, just as it was written in Proverbs 9:6-8. “Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding. He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
That was my mistake! A scoffer is a negative person, someone who mocks and makes fun. Speaking to a scoffer does no good; there is no willingness to change. A wise man reviews the situation and looks for solutions to change. Because I acted out of fear and worry, my ‘understanding’ was distorted. When I prayed about the situation, I should have left it at the foot of the cross, where it belonged.
This was a good lesson learned for me. Painful, but not one I will soon forget. When God teaches me something, it seems to be in the same way I think: no middle ground, left or right, up or down. There is only one way, His way.