Does that sound mean?
I can think of several times in my life that I’ve been around someone long enough to feel the Holy Spirit of God move in my soul issuing a warning. Most of us refer to this as a “red flag” experience.
I vividly remember the first time I felt this way. I befriended a troubled young girl in 6th grade. Looking back, she was everything that I never wanted my kids to hang around. What’s amazing is that even at 12 years old, the Spirit of God revealed to me that this friend needed help; the kind of help that another 12-year-old could not provide. I witnessed the young girl’s self-destructive patterns and reported it to a trusted adult. Tattling felt mean. I knew I could still pray for her but I also knew that I couldn’t be her hang-around-kind-of friend. She put my life at risk.
There was a time I felt this destructive spirit in a church setting. The Spirit of God revealed the problem to others besides me. When we tried to relay our concerns to the Deacon body, we were met with the words, “You’re just being mean.” The church lost 75% of its membership, including the majority of mature bible teachers. I finally walked away from the church completely despite my deep love for its people. I knew I could pray for them, but I also knew that they could not be my see-you-every-Sunday friends. The failure to act jeopardized the church’s witness in their neighborhood.
I ran across a professional relationship that wasn’t a good situation from the start. I tried to forewarn others in authority only to be accused of being mean. Within a few years, reality came busting out and many others were affected. The situation was emotionally unhealthy for many.
The bible says to know the truth and the truth will set us free. We have to accept there are people who will cross our path that choose to remain chained up to lies. Sometimes the lies are simply easier to live with and, besides, walking away just feels mean. In truth, there are times walking away is the most spiritual move we can make.
“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:57-62
*The artwork entitled, “Never Look Back,” is copyrighted along with this blogsite.