In my leadership journey, I’ve come across some strange Christians. These individuals seem to think that, if we pretend something isn’t so, it’s going to go away. For example, they ignore emotional and physical pain, claiming that it doesn’t exist. Some Christians see acknowledging the pain as a lack of faith. They think that, if they simply claim victory over it, it will disappear immediately 100% of the time.
The reality is, ignoring pain is just going to make it worse. Jesus says the following in Luke 17:1-4:
And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
When someone harms you, don’t pretend like it didn’t happen. When someone leads you astray, acknowledge the truth. Leadership isn’t pretending that everything is okay; it’s modeling for others how to deal with issues authentically and effectively.
Now, Jesus isn’t saying to keep a record of every petty little thing done against us; but He is saying to speak the truth in love. After all, forgiveness requires an acknowledgement that there was something to forgive in the first place.
Dr. Derek Grier