You Hurt My Feelings
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1
My friend had been given the dirty work. She had been called to wash my feet. I keep my feet relatively clean thanks to bathing and socks, but daily as I learn to walk with the Lord I still find myself getting my feet dirty by walking in places – and ways – I should not walk. Have you ever noticed you can get your feet dirty and not even see because you keep on walking and don’t take the time and care to look and clean them up when they need it before you carry on walking? Or refuse to clean up your feet when you know you should? I have a friend who gets around in a wheelchair, but I suspect even she gets her feet dirty as she, too, learns to walk with the Lord. For all of us in our humanness, even those believing in and following Jesus, take our stumbles and falls by doing stuff we shouldn’t. Such was the case the day my friend noticed my dirty feet and washed them for me by rebuking me – in the love of Christ, mind you.
It wasn’t easy to hear her words, of course, and I could easily have lashed out by telling her she had hurt my feelings – or run the other way and self-pityingly jammed my hurt feelings into my pockets, distanced myself from her, or even stepped away from our friendship. But God’s Spirit used her confrontation about something I had written that was hurtful to several people and that originated from a heart filled with several different sins. Pride, fear, hurt, and sin, to be precise. He showed me why she had confronted me, led me to repentance before Him about my heart and actions, led me to ask the people for forgiveness, and gave me a two-fold message for all of us.
My friend confronted me because SHE LOVES THE LORD and because SHE LOVES ME. She was more interested in being faithful to the Lord in rebuking me and to caring about my walk with the Lord than she was worried about how I would react. The two-fold message for us all? First, when God uses someone to bring us to repentance, we need to humble ourselves, hear Him, seek His forgiveness, seek others’ forgiveness if necessary, and make any necessary changes to come into obedience to Him. Second, when we truly love the Lord and others, we are willing to wash others’ feet by rebuking them – in the love of Christ – regardless of how they might respond to us.
Have you been holding back on hearing a message God has sent you through someone and repenting accordingly? Or, is there someone God has placed on your heart to whom you need to go to wash his or her feet with a loving rebuke no matter his or her response? Or both? Hear Him. And obey.