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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Judged and Misconstrued

Acts 21:20 – 21, 29 describe Paul’s experience with the Jewish believers in Jerusalem after his third missionary journey.  It was not positive.  He was judged and his actions were misconstrued.  He was accused of things that the Jewish believers had heard he had done, he had not done them.  They did not ask questions, they just reacted based on what they “knew”.
Judged and Misconstrued
It is a good thing that never happens to believers today (tongue firmly in cheek).

If it has not happened to you or if you have not misconstrued something that another believer has done, wait for it…

There are some fairly simple things we can do as believers to stop or significantly diminish these types of issues.  First, if someone comes to you with a bad report on another believer stop them.  Say something like…

“Excuse me, have you talked to [name] about this?”  If they say no, reply something like, “You should talk to them about this first.”

If they say yes, “Are you telling me this because you would like for me to go to them with you to talk about this?”  You are asking them if they are in the process of following Matthew 18:15 – 18.  If they say yes, great.  If not, then, “Thank you but I would rather not talk about this.”

Second, if you have concerns about something another believer is doing or you suspect them of doing, ask them.  Do not ask about them, ask them.  Something like, “[Name] I am a bit confused, it seem like you may be [insert whatever you think is going on here].  Is that the case or have I got my wires crossed?”  By asking you are starting the process of following Galatians 6:1 – 2 in a gentle way.  If you have misunderstood great.  If not, you may have helped a fellow believer get back on the path.

In either case these are better ways to deal with these kind of issues than what we usually do…