FACE to FACE

FacetoFace_v24“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,” Acts 17:28.

I did it again. Without thinking, I spoke. It was just one more unnecessary, passing comment. Sadly, I didn’t have a thought about how my words would affect someone. Unaware, I simply went on my way.

I didn’t mean any harm. However, to the listener, it was a wounding cut. The fact that I didn’t intend it to be harmful hardly absolved me of my guilt. Even though I wasn’t aware of what my words had done, it didn’t make me innocent.

For the good of all, God enabled the wounded listener to become a powerful speaker. Rather than sharing their hurt with somebody else, they confronted me. Face-to-face, they spoke words of painful truth in a spirit of love. Words painful for them to share and necessary for me to hear.

My heart was pierced, not by hurtful words, but by the Spirit’s conviction. Using the voice of a wounded friend, God brought me face-to-face with my sin. It was a moment of truth that required a response. It wasn’t that they were too sensitive; it was my lack of sensitivity. It was my thoughtlessness, not my intent, which I needed to face.

An admission, not an excuse, was what God required. God was looking for more than regret. He was calling for genuine sorrow, repentance marked by a sincere desire to change. A movement of the Spirit was needed; a moving that would cause me to ask for God’s and their forgiveness. A moving that would enable them to forgive, resulting in the healing of their wounds and the removal of my shame.

A time of pain and shame was transformed by God into a time of refreshing. And due to my weaknesses, it will be a process I need until the day I see Jesus face-to-face.

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