…10Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. 11Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. 12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?
It is said here that people don’t like confrontation. This means you are not supposed to sit down and confront them. They won’t tell the truth if their life depends on it anyway – most times. It makes it very difficult to get to the bottom of rumors and finger pointing and only getting half the story, which happens a lot. These are the times when we notice the absence of God the most here. We were told yesterday that one of our workers is a very bad man, doing very bad things. We were told which worker, and it was very surprising because he is very friendly to us, has been a hard worker and actually we have been paying him ourselves to work on the building we are going to move into and he has done excellent work. It was the Chairman of the community that came to Christian yesterday to tell him this, and we respect him, most of the community it seems respects him. But we never really got why this worker is bad, and what it is exactly that he is doing. After Chairman left, we questioned the one that had brought him as to what it is they are accusing him of, but all we got is that he is saying bad things about us, and that he and his family have been very disrespectful to the Chairman in the past. We were shocked to hear that this man (who is probably in his very early 20’s) might have been saying bad things about us. He is more friendly than most of the other guys, was one of the two that came to us asking for a Bible after the Christmas soccer game. He also had just invited us to come to his Church today. The hardest part is, if we confront the young man, we won’t get the truth. How do we take advice to not work this guy, and not have him around if we don’t have proof of wrongdoing? We know that rarely we get the whole story on anything the first (or even the second time!) We respect the Chairman and believe he respects us but that doesn’t mean we do everything he says although it seems he really does have the best interests of the community and he has been the Chairman for many, many years but how do we know this isn’t about his anger toward this guy and his family? That’s part of the Chairman’s job, to hear complaints, to diffuse situations and to keep the peace.
I struggle between thinking this guy comes and just brown-noses us and than slanders us behind our backs or that we may send off someone who is being unfairly slandered himself. It is a hard situation, and it does consider thought because of the Chairman taking the time to come and talk to Christian face to face about it. I ask you to keep us in prayer for all situations concerning our interactions with the people here. That we have patience and wisdom in our dealings and that we are protected against the slander and persecution of us. We never know what opportunity God is putting before us, what teaching moments or chances for someones repentance and reconciliation.
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