Thursday, October 26, 2017

What to Do When You Are Upset With Someone In the Church

(I've had two discussions with friends today about this subject, so I thought I'd re-post it.)

What is a person to do if they don't like something, or someone, in their church family? Here are my thoughts.

1. There is always something, or someone, not to like in any family, including a church family. Depending on the situation, God might lead you to show grace towards them. I probably would lose count if I knew how many people have chosen to show me grace and love when I have not pleased them.

But some situations need to be confronted.

2. There is always everyone to love in a church family. So, if you don't like something someone does, then your job description is to love them. This means...

3. Speak the truth, in love, to them. Here is how you do that.

4. Scripture tells us to go to the person with whom you have an offense. (Matthew 18:15) This is so crucial that you are not even supposed to worship until you go to a brother or sister who has something against you! (Matthew 5:23-24)

This is revolutionary! This means you do not talk to other people about the person. You go to the person.

I remember teaching these verses in a church class. A woman from Malawi, Africa, was there. I remember her saying, "If we really practiced this in my church, all of us would leave the building, find people we are in conflict with, and lovingly share our concerns with them!"

5. If that does not work, then approach church leadership. Share with them that you want help in dealing lovingly and truthfully with someone who has upset you.

What if that doesn't work? You have tried, and God is pleased with that. Keep praying for that person.

(Next - Part 2 is here.)