Delight not on others’ failure.
When someone has already been knocked down, their defences become low. We must never use the opportunity to get even, especially when we do not like the person. We should never be delighted or relish in someone else’s fall. It is not the kind of Christian response that God would want from us. We seriously need to examine our hearts very deeply if we have taken secret delight when shocking news about a person comes to us. We must ask ourselves, why am I not weeping about it and why am I not able to empathize with the person concerned?
Be conscious of those around them.
In situations of shocking news, it is easy to ask the question; why no one noticed it earlier. Although it is a fair question, it is possible to think that the person concerned has actually been successful in hiding it from others. It is also possible that those who have been working with the person involved have not been alerted to it. We must remember that colleagues, family and friends are equally shocked and hurt when such things surface. More than condemning, it will be useful to learn from the matter to ensure that it is not allowed to be repeated again under any circumstances.
Everyone deserves God’s grace.
Even though a person has committed a grave sin, we must always remember that God offers His hand of forgiveness to all who come to Him. God’s love is a pursuing love. He loves us even when we have not learnt to love him. Paul’s writings that emerge from his own journey with God show us how the depth of God’s grace. Through his own life, Paul discovered that God’s grace was greater than his sin. No one is beyond redemption, scriptures remind us of the words of Jesus, ‘I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners’. Matthew 9: 13.
Treat others as how we would want to be treated.
The Bible teaches us, ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you’ Luke 6:31. It means that we should always put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. Though we may not be able to understand fully, we must try to understand what the person may be going through at this difficult hour. What we ourselves do not want, must never be forced upon others. What we would expect from others during our difficult times, we must be willing to render.
We need to pray much.
When we talk to others about the matter, it means that we are approaching humans to help us understand and respond to the situation. However, it is only when we talk to God that we can really unburden ourselves of our pain that has come from the shock. Moreover, it only in His presence that we would be able to listen to His guidance and advice on the matter. Too often, to our detriment, we only go to Him last.
It is very difficult for any church to go through times of crisis. Only God will be able to help us find healing and restoration, especially when trust is undermined and relationships are broken. Much prayer covering will be needed so that the enemy doesn’t capitalize the situation. How we choose to respond will reveal which side we are actually on.
Rev Dennis Raj
Tamil Annual Conference