I remember now, what I was thinking about at this very moment. I told you last week how I was looking through my notes, and upon coming across one of them which I had no idea what was going through my mind.
Thank God for Kim who is there for me to bounce ideas, and remind me of things I forget. This particular note came during one of our small group discussions, as I looked over at one of the guys in our group he had some cheese hanging off his mouth, so I immediately told him “dude, you got something dangling off your mouth.”
He wiped it off, and all was good.
This immediately sparked a thought in my mind, of how some of us are so quick to point out the little things, but many of us are very slow to point out the huge, damaging things. Especially when it comes to those closest to us.
Why is that?
Here’s an example of a conversation that may happen:
“Oh that Ben guy pretends like everything is so perfect in his life, but we know he neglects his family at times.”
How do you combat this? How would you approach this differently? Or how about this one:
“You know, Ben really needs to talk to his wife with more respect and stop taking underhanded jabs at her, you can totally tell she hates it.”
In these examples lets assume neither of these conversations include this “Ben” guy (he really sounds like a jerk!), but rather a couple of people who really, are just starting the gossip chain instead of doing the right thing and helping him out.
Why is it easier to add fuel to the flame, rather than help put it out?
When somebody’s putting on a show that’s obviously a disguise for what’s really happening at home, or when we see somebody berate their spouse, we turn the other cheek or quietly think to ourselves “man, that sucked but it’s their business and we shouldn’t get involved.”
Why is this our default, and how is this the right attitude?
Both of these are extremely harmful to ones well-being, and besides the fact they are not biblical, we as humans should be doing exactly the opposite but society and our culture teaches us to do what was done in the examples. It starts a cycle of mishandled situations that can lead to more gossip and more hurt.
So what am I doing to break this cycle?
The 2 examples are absolutely real life situations I’ve come across. They are real conversations I’ve participated in, and it makes me throw up a little in my mouth just thinking about who I used to be. One of the reasons for writing here at Ben Sayin’, was to really just speak my mind about situations I see in my every day dealings with my friends and family. This is more of a place to put my thoughts down in words, so as to bounce the idea(s) off the community. More times often than not, the community helps provide clarity, and that’s what I appreciate about y’all.
So if you are friend or family of mine, in “real life” or even in the twitterverse / bloggersphere, you can rest assured knowing I’m not going to participate in such conversations as mentioned above, nor will I stand idly by watching you tear yourself, your family, or our Kingdom down.
I once heard a saying that broke my heart: “The christian army are the only army that shoot their wounded”. Ouch!
We cannot, should not, be part of this any longer. We are to hold each other accountable, persevere and love one another. Will there be “beefs” in our relationships. Of course there will be. But overcoming them and persevering are where it’s at.
The “beefs” are there on purpose, we learn from them not only how we can overcome and persevere, but also who HE is through the process.
I’ve have to work hard over the last few years to let go of gossip and start confronting people. It’s not some battle where I scream at them for being a sinner, but where I call or (better yet) sit down with the person and ask them about their personal life.
Most of the time, the struggles I see are on the forefront of their mind. Many of these believers will come to repentance if I ask the right questions.
God is good in these situations and it’s never a one time deal. Big things need to be talked about regularly. If someone was sinned against, forgiveness needs to be asked for (like when that Ben jerk took jabs at his wife! 😉 ). But in the end, I find that when I talk behind someone’s back the situation gets worse, when I talk to them about it face to face, it usually gets better.
It’s awkward to point out something wrong, but it’s so much better in the end.
(side note: I have some very good friends who are not afraid to confront me when I’ve “got something on my face”. Praise God for them!)
Asking the right questions is difficult at times, but very important, and the awkwardness tends to lessen if/when you are clear with communicating your expectations as a friend, and clear on your intentions WITH that friend.
As always, Alex, thanks for commenting 🙂
I have found the best way to break the cycle is have trusted friends who have permission to speak into your life. With that said, I give you permission. So tell me when I have something on my face.
The same to you, my friend.
Holy cow man, 3 more days!!! 🙂
Wow! Good stuff, Ben. Many times the dangling debris from our mouth, indicates a similar DANGLING in our own lives. Like Pharisees and Sadducees, the “Christian Army,” “Church”, “fellow believers,” neglect to see the Log in their own eye.
Which leads to the Big Thing going on in my life. Character, Integrity, and Humility are things CONSISTENTLY MY BIG THING. How do I bring my personal growth to a level that is evident?…especially with the ones I love?….to be showing what I say is what I do?
That’s the Big thing…to leave a Legacy my kids and grandkids will remember….their Poppa is seeking to be more like HIM.
No fair in consolidating your comments pops :-p
Remember the song Log eyyyeeeeeeee?
Yeah, me neither 😉
So glad to have just found your blog.
It’s true that iron sharpens iron, so I think we need to be willing to share our observations with others in love. I think another aspect of this is deliberately inviting comments like these from others that we trust, so that they can tell us when we have something on our face.
Loren! Inviting people to be transparent with you in your relationship with them actually helps the trust, add that with confronting “in love” and you’re definitely helping to break the cycle.
Thanks for stopping by 🙂
You’re pretty serious about this encouragement speak. 🙂
I appreciate your words here, Ben. I have seen both sides of the coin and have experienced (both personally and have witnessed it) sitting idly on the sidelines….
Yeah, it eats away being on one side, and hurts being on the other. Not a good spot to be no matter who you are or where you are.
btw, 2.5 weeks 🙂
Agreed! It is a lose-lose situation.
2.5 weeks? That’s right around the corner! Very excited for you guys!
I agree with pops, give your friends permission to let you know when you are out on a limb – its how we grow. I’m still growing even with all the gray hair.
Psht, what grey hair?!
I agree with you Ben – but it does happen even in the best of circumstances. I’ve found myself in a debate about something that I’ve said – when it totally was taken WAY out of context – so I know what you mean. If people know us as encourager and peacemakers then it should be no issue if we’re joking around – but to some it’s been incredible that I could actually have a sense of humor and they take me ALL WRONG. Can be an issue on comments as well – but I try not to take it seriously.
By not participating and kidnly confronting those who do. But be prepared to face push back from it. It will happen.