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About or With?

What do you do when someone in the congregation, whether a minister or a leader or another person, does something you don’t like?
Our inclination is to bitch and com-plain to whomever will listen. Too infrequently do we actually tell the person with whom we have an issue what it is: be it that we disagree with something they’ve said or done or that they’ve hurt us.
Why is that? We are afraid of conflict or of hurting feelings. But in the long run, our reluctance to speak up causes more harm than good. We make presuppositions about another’s motives or intent without checking them out or knowing their side of the story.
What’s more, we miss the opportunity such difficult conversations offer to strengthen our relationships with one another. So here is an invitation: Be Direct. If you are bothered by something someone else has said or done, and it matters enough to complain about it, then don’t talk about it with some-one else: Tell the person with whom you have the issue. If you are afraid, then ask for some help to facilitate the conversation.
Don’t speak about someone. Speak with them. Face to face. Help build trust and truth.
“If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him – work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend.” (Matthew 18: 15, The Message)