What do we do, especially in the church, when wrong is among us? Of course, that is always.
Nehemiah’s example always challenges and humbles me. Upon hearing what was happening in Jerusalem, although he didn’t live there and wasn’t directly involved, he prayed and repented not for “them” but for “us.” Praying as a “we” helps posture all of us.
It’s not our knee-jerk response. We want to retaliate and rally the troops. We want the details. We want justice. Even if we were to get all the significant parties together for everybody share their details, their experiences, we wouldn’t have the full picture, because we can’t see the heart. The details themselves might give us a hint of the heart but we deceive others and ourselves, and we don’t have all the pieces we think we do. We not only rationalize to others but we rationalize to ourselves.
Why is it that we want to gather all the facts and stand on one side of the other? What about seeking presence and posture more than details and results? What if it’s more about God’s character and how authentic of a faith we are living for him than it is what we think we are doing for him? And authenticity isn’t being who we want to be. It is being transparent as we handle ourselves so that other people see God in us. We are an imperfect reflection or image of him because we can’t become completely transparent so that they only see him. It’s God that does the work of revealing himself.
As you hear the wrong, seek him first. Trust him. Humble yourself and consider what your response is revealing or contradicting about his character.