September 21, 2020 · Bob Gass
“If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” Luke 17:3 NKJV
Sometimes you are called upon to confront behaviour that negatively affects you. Jesus said, “If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” Now, that doesn’t give you the right to vent your anger or charge in like a bull in a china shop. Jesus also said, “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him” (v. 4 NKJV). And here’s another thought: respect the other person’s decision not to pursue a relationship with you. They may not belong in your life, and you may not belong in theirs. Think about the last time you went shopping. Did you purchase every single item you examined? Of course not. Did you reject them because they were inferior? Surely not. You simply decided they were not for you. Of course, if you experience a pattern of rejection and you’re baffled about the cause, you may want to consider finding out why. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6). Sometimes it’s wise to ask, “I’d like to get some feedback from you for my personal development. My objective here is not to resume our relationship. I would just like to ask what it was that made you decide to terminate it. I’d really appreciate your honest feedback.” Be sure to project an upbeat attitude, not a negative one. Listen objectively, and don’t be defensive. You are gathering information. And be willing to change if there is merit to what they say.