This is some what in connection with my last post-"I'm NOT so Smart".
As a friend, father and husband I have many opportunities to either make peoples lives better or worse. Often it is what is said, more than done, that is the thing that changes the outcome. If we perfectly control our tongues we are then perfect people, which means we will never be perfect, but our goal is to be perfect even as Christ is perfect. How can we always say the right things, at the right time and in the right tone, with the right motive and attitude? I can't because I don't continually walk in the Spirit. That makes me difficult to live with.
Recently I had a discussion with a friend of mine; I think we are still friends, but I may have changed the relationship because of something I said. It really is hard to be a good friend- I mean that. There are times I think I should just not say anything, from here on out, because look what me saying something caused. But then I know that as a good friend I need to say something if I know something that they may not know. I have been in more trouble with T for NOT saying something than for saying something.
So as I think about both of my friends- T being my longest friendship- I try to analyze what I should say, how I should say it and in what way to say it. Often I don't have time to answer the question being asked right at the time and I should give some sort of answer or then I will be viewed as being rude.
Here's the question on the most recent relationship challenge. I voiced some concern that I thought might come up in my friends life. I have no proof of what did previously happen, or even if this is something that has a good chance of happening to to them in the future- I just really don't want to see them get hurt. In my saying something it caused my friend to be really anxious- to the point of almost being sick- and that is NOT what I wanted to happen.
There are a couple of obvious things for me to learn from this, but still others I am not sure what to do.
1. I must be walking in the Spirit all the time and if I am not then my words can easily be hurtful.
2. My motive must be not only pure but I must be able to communicate that to the person with whom I am talking.
3. I must know the person well enough- have a good enough relationship- to say hard things to them. "They will not care how much you know until they know that you care".
Are there times when I should just not say anything and just let God take care of it, or are we always to say something if we see something that might be an issue? I have had this happen to me so many times it is not funny. As unobservant as I am, something would be happening and it would hit me as a bit "off" yet I would not say anything and then a month or two or even a year later the issue would come to the surface and I would think, "I totally saw that coming, so why didn't I say anything?"
It is so hard to know the right thing to do, all the time. I want to be a good friend and husband, but I am weak and lazy and often want to take the easy way out and not say anything, because I know that this may cause someone else pain- but it may cause pain if I don't say anything. Catch 22.
I think that my conscience has to be my guide and that the Holy Spirit directs our conscience to say what needs to be said. Not that I think I am a prophet, but they had to say some pretty hard things to some pretty elevated people and they knew what they were supposed to do and if they didn't do it the sin was on their heads.
I want to be an encouragement to others by what I do and say. I think God has placed each one of us here for a unique purpose and maybe that unique purpose is to say hard things to people. Telling a parent that they are not being a good parent is a hard thing to say, but if it changes the family's life because the hard thing was said then it is worth the heart ache.
I am lacking so much in so many areas and only God can give the strength and wisdom for me to do all these things well. May I walk in the Spirit so others may see the good deeds, and words, in my life and glorify the Father who is in Heaven, knowing that there is no way this could come from inside me. I want to be a man after God's own heart and I have a long way to go.
"A man who loves you the most is the man who tells you the most truth about yourself." Robert Murray M'Cheyne