Gentleness Through Hard Conversations
One thing I really appreciate is all the people in my life who love me enough to say the things that I need to hear. Those friends who love me enough to say the words I do not want to hear, but truly need to hear. Those friends are blessings! They are the people who have wooed me back onto the right path and in the right direction. They are the voice of reason, wisdom, and love.
Being that friend is difficult. I, recently, was listening to a friend of mine talk about how she was so stressed about having two jobs and how those jobs were affecting her family. The whole time she shared, I had this unmistakable feeling that I needed to speak the words that God had laid on my heart. I had to be bold in a moment where I felt like I had no real right to speak.
Obediently, I spoke up and my words turned out to be confirming to her. My words were exactly what God had been speaking to her and ended up being such a relief to hear. I was equally as blessed and I was so thankful that God used me in that moment!
Reading: 1 Samuel 11-12:15
This is a pretty famous story. The story of David and Bathsheba. Bathsheba was a married woman, David was king. David should have been off to war, but for a reason not mentioned in the Bible, he stayed behind. Staying behind made way for temptation. Temptation made way to sin. Sin made way to more sin. Eventually, David was married to Bathsheba and God was angry with him for what he had done to get there.
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David’s sin had angered God, but I also believe it had grieved God. They were friends. David would be known as the man after God’s own heart. They had an amazingly close relationship and David’s sin had become like a wedge between them. David had chosen selfishness, he had chosen to cover up his sin, and this sin would affect so many people.
God sent a loving friend to say the words that David did not want to but needed to hear. God’s message to David, “If everything I have given you had been too little, I would have given you more!”
Let’s examine Three lessons we learn from Nathan about having Gentleness in the Hard Conversations.
Gentleness looks like love. It could not have been easy for Nathan to speak to the king about the king's sin. David had the authority to kill Nathan for speaking about subjects that David found offensive. Yet, in love, Nathan set aside his own fear, his own self, and walked boldly into David’s presence with the message from the Lord. God’s message, while one of anger, was also one of love. God had the authority and power to kill David for what He had done, but instead, He uses Nathan to speak to David and bring David to the place of repentance. Through Nathan’s act of love, David saw the error of his ways and he repented. God wanted a right relationship with David and David’s sin had not allowed for that.
Gentleness requires wisdom. Do you notice that Nathan did not just walk into the room and start ranting and raving about how rotten of a king and a person David was? Did you notice that Nathan did not speak to David in a way that made David defensive? Gentleness requires wisdom. Having hard conversations requires that we seek God for that wisdom. Nathan, instead, spoke to David through a powerful story that opened David’s eyes to the truth. The way that Nathan spoke allowed David to see his wrongs and to choose repentance. Nathan’s wisdom restored David’s relationship with God.
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We can speak with gentleness and love, even when we’re pointing out serious wrongs. We can disagree. We can be angry. We can have every right to our emotions, but gentleness requires setting ourselves aside to speak what God lays on our heart. Gentleness requires that we pray without ceasing as we have those hard conversations. We pray that God’s words are heard clearly. We pray for wisdom to say those words with the right heart and tone. We pray that God is in our midst as we have that difficult conversation.