When you are in ministry you are going to upset people. It's usually unintentional but it happens. Usually it's a result of a difference in vision or execution of ministry. A lot of those times revolve around the fact that people think things should be run different ways. It's one of those things that comes with the territory.
But there are times that you have legitimately wronged someone. That's where I found myself last week. I had someone come to me and ask for a meeting. Let's go ahead and set something straight. If someone asks for a meeting, it's bad news. If it were happy news they would just tell you. Instead they want to set up a meeting.
This person set up a meeting with me to discuss some things that had come up. When we meet the person lays it out straight. They told me that they cared for me and because of that they needed to call me out on some things.
Early on in my time at my current church I told people that I wanted ideas from everyone. I wanted it to be a community of ideas, not just me. This person let me know that lately it had become more my way or the highway. Parents had mentioned it. Students had mentioned it.
This person went on to say that a couple of parents had also mentioned that when I'm talking to them I tend to zone out. My wife can confirm this often! My interaction with these parents (or lack of interaction) had caused them to feel unimportant.
It was incredibly tough to hear those things. It still kind of stings when I think about it.
But it's something that I desperately needed to hear
The meeting was great. Painful but great. How can that be?
In Psalm 25:5-6, the psalmist says:
5 Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Essentially, if someone truly loves you, they'll call you out when you are being an idiot. They'll do it out of love and not just to get you in trouble. They'll come to you instead of talking about you behind your back. They'll confront you in your sin instead of sucking up to you only to stab you later.
I'm truly grateful for the people who contributed to help call me out. Hopefully they won't have reason to do it again anytime soon.
I want to encourage you in this post. If you need to call someone out. Take a few minutes to think and pray about it. Go to that person in love. Remember, wounds from a friend can be trusted.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below!