Struggling (more) with hesitation

When I think about the things I feel that the LORD has called me to take a stand on, I’m thinking I may need to struggle a bit more with hesitation. Hesitation can be good since, personally, I’ve been known to say things without thinking. But at other times I know exactly what I want to say and I need to hesitate because I have to be careful about not offending. Our culture can seem to be so easily offended, that anything can set someone else off. But the thing about that is we may have no idea why. The ticked-offedness factor can be provoked by something very legitimate or very small, but since the position of God is taken (and I’m not Him), I know that I can’t figure out which grouping the person falls into, assuming it’s one of those two extremes.

We all have baggage that we have been known to walk around with that can be at the root of a fiery response. Sometimes we are able to set down that baggage on our own and be on our way in life. But more often than not, that baggage is somehow tied to our being, and there is no way we can let go of it on our own. The baggage does more than just bog us down, but it can cloud our judgment and cause us to struggle in various areas of our life. It can manifest itself in a million different ways, but it’s especially harmful when it can make us feel shame and/or defensiveness.

Maybe that’s why we/I need to be really sensitive when we talk to others about difficult, explosive topics. Especially those who are not Believers, and therefore can’t be held to the same standards. I’m thinking specifically about the topic of abortion right now. I recently had a conversation with a couple of people about the Let Life Win socks. I was amazed over one of their responses, but after speaking with a good friend about it, I realized that I really shouldn’t have been. One person had said that these socks would be great in a healthcare context, like Labor and Delivery nurses. However, the other person was quick to point out how some women could be deeply offended by socks with that messaging on it, since they may not agree. They may have had a selective termination of a baby to help the chances of one of a set of twins to live. Or maybe they have baggage from the past from a previous abortion, and therefore there should be an avoidance of any kind of guilt-ing the socks may do.

A very large part of me wanted to say, “Those women NEED to feel guilty so that they will turn in repentance to Jesus!” Not super compassionate, even if ultimately my intention was to point others to Truth. I wasn’t really considering baggage, whether or not that baggage was recognized as such. Life has a crazy way of putting us into situations we’d never choose to be in. We make choices, some we want to completely forget about, some will haunt us, while some we’ll be proud of. A few of our choices have the capability of turning into a big ‘ole load of baggage, and when we put ourselves in the position of throwing “Truth” in anyone’s face, we can potentially be perceived as judgmental beasts because we’re not considering their possible baggage. And who wants that?

I know there are many decisions that I’ve made in my life that I’m not proud of. That I’d like to forget about and never think on again. Ever. Or decisions that I’ve made that I can feel very defensive about because they were controversial. And just like I’d like to be treated with sensitivity to my struggles and decisions, we need to extend that same gracious hand of compassion to others who we are trying to share God’s Truth with. Of course, I’m not advocating for watering down anything that is in the Word of God. But giving people the benefit of the doubt is a great position to start in when approaching them with sharing any kind of biblical truths. We need to avoid allowing our assumptions about others to become a stumbling block.

Of course, as many of us know, the gospel itself, Jesus crucified for our sins, may be a stumbling block for people (1 Cor. 1:23). Many feel as if they don’t need a Savior. Why do they need a Savior? They’re fine the way they are, are we trying to imply that there’s something wrong with the choices they’re making? So should we never share Truth? Should we just stay quiet and never risk offending others? Of course not! But being careful with what we are saying and prayfully moving forward in conversations with people is essential. If they respond in a posture of repentance, praise the LORD! And if they respond in a posture of rejection, we can walk away having peace that we have done what the LORD has called us to do.

I pray that as we share God’s truth, we are sensitive and open to others and that the LORD will provide clarity into those areas where we need to walk boldly, together, standing firm with love in His Truth. Can I hear an Amen?

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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