When your complaint is legitimate, first talk to the person with whom you have the issue. When you're upset, your temptation will be to tell everybody. It feels right, justified, and even therapeutic. Well-meaning friends will encourage it, and even help you publicise it. 'You'll feel better when you've got it off your chest,' they'll say.OK OK ...I will endeavour to not mock Fred, or point out what a lunatic she is, ever again. I get the message well and good. x
But God's Word condemns handling complaints that way! Do it, and you add insult to your own injury by disobeying God - and you can't expect Him to cooperate with you while you violate His Word. 'If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over' (Matthew 18:15 NIV).
Courage, humility and wisdom are required to face your offender privately, but it's God's way. It contains the conflict, minimises embarrassment and increases the likelihood of resolution and restoration, which is God's real concern. Then, speak in love, not in words meant to hurt. Let your words be gracious, conciliatory and aimed at solution, not 'one-upmanship'.
The Bible counsels, 'Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will... grow up...' (Ephesians 4:15 NIV). Your growth in Christ is the end; speaking truth in love is the means. Tell the offender your goal is not to humiliate them or to get revenge, but rather to resolve your differences, strengthen your relationship, and honour God. Instead of making an adversary who'll oppose you, you'll be inviting an ally to join you in a mutually beneficial, God-glorifying mission!
Good morning! I am going back to sleep. zzzzzzzzzzzzz