My Thoughts. . .
Do not be obnoxious. Do not be pushy. Do not make yourself a nuisance. Do not get in someone’s face. Do not become someone’s favorite person to avoid. Do not be wordy. Do not be aggravating. Do not show up unannounced. Do not wear out your welcome. Do not attend when uninvited. Do not be a busybody. Do not hog the conversation. Keep it short. Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t. Ah, but do be loving. Do be kind. Do be considerate. Do be helpful.
Most of us will find ourselves in that grouping, either as the person who should “do not,” or the one who needs to learn the “Do be.” We are the one who is usually or always on the wrong side of the fence! The preacher must have been thinking of us when he was working on his sermon to correct the guilty! When his accusing finger stops, it seems to always be pointing in our direction. If perfection is the goal, we seem to be the ones who exercise its absence.
No one wants to be wrong. No one enjoys being corrected, especially when acquaintances observe your embarrassment. How do you pick yourself up, brush yourself off, smile and pretend it never happened? Jesus told a woman, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48). If Jesus had said that to us, there would have been a loud gasp followed by the question, “What did he DO to need Jesus to say THAT?” Would questions flood our thinking and questions begin, such as, “What will people think of me?” or “Will they stop talking with me?” or “Will I be an outcast?” or “Will I lose my job?” or “Will I ever live this down?” or “Will this hurt my family?”
Did Peter blush and suffer embarrassment when Paul got in his face to corrected him for hypocrisy (Galatians 2:11)? Did the church apologize to the slave girl when she reported that Peter was at the door and they accused her of being “mad” or “our of her mind” (Acts 12:15)? Were the apostles embarrassed when Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11)? Jesus had asked the apostles how many swords they had. They answered “Two” (Luke 22:38). His response was, “It is enough.” However, when Peter used one of the two to defend Jesus against the arresting soldiers, Jesus admonished him with, “those who lived by the sword, would die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). Were his actions right or wrong? Was that embarrassing to Peter? You try to do the right thing and your wrong?
James admonished, “Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results” (James 5:16).
Do we really believe that?