That was awkward…

3

October 10, 2013 by Cameron Stevens

How do you respond to situations that, no matter what is said or done, will cause an immediate sense of awkwardness, alienation, frustration, sadness, or hostility?  What are you to do when you are stuck in that proverbial position?  It can be one of the hardest things to do.  To make a statement or decision you know is going to cause unpleasantness.  However, the fact of life remains, we are not going to please everyone.  So stop trying.  If you are bent on pleasing every person you come across, you’re destined to fail.  Or, even worse, you’re destined to compromise your faith, values, and/or morals in a skewed attempt at happily ever after.

This is, in my humble opinion, why so many Christians provide a warped sense of Christianity to the rest of the world.  They are under the impression that they are to win over the world in one try.  Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, allow me to remind you that Christians are followers of Jesus Christ.  The one and only person whose sole purpose was to alienate people from the “norm”.  Jesus lived his life presenting truth.  And let us not forget that the truth hurts.  It’s uncomfortable and will always cause people to squirm.  The truth of the matter is that Jesus should not be viewed as a free-loving hippie.  He ruffled feathers, alienated the “religious” leaders of the day, and caused dissension among the rank and file.

Consider when Jesus called out the Samaritan woman for her adulterous lifestyle (John 4).  In a simple act of drawing water from a well and a short conversation, this woman’s sins were laid out before her.  As the text reads, she asks if Jesus is a prophet for knowing what she had been doing in “secret”.  However, I can only imagine the awkward state she must have been in prior to gaining her wits and responding to Jesus’ message.  Jesus could have simply presented salvation to her, drank his water, and left.  He didn’t.  Regardless of potentially hurting this lady’s feelings, or causing her to be mad, He carries on out of love for her soul.  In so doing, a town is brought to faith.

Consider also the story of when the Pharisees caught a woman in adultery and presented her to Jesus (John 8:1-11).  Regardless of what was said, or not said in Jesus writing on the ground, people’s sins were brought to light.  This woman’s sins were exposed before the entire crowd.  And, what I believe to be the reason for Jesus writing on the ground, the Pharisee’s sins were exposed, albeit in their hears and minds.  Jesus caused each of them to see themselves for who they truly were.  This caused them to walk away, tail between their legs.

The resounding aspect in both of these examples is not the awkwardness of people’s sins being exposed.  To me, it’s the limitless love that Jesus presented to all.  He loved the Samaritan woman so much, he called her out on her sin.  He loved the Pharisees so much, in a way that only He could do, exposed their shortcomings without humiliation.

So here’s the challenge.  What are we going to do when we know people are sinning.  Do we ignore it to save ourselves from an awkward encounter?  Quite the contrary.  We show the love of Christ and speak up.  It may be uncomfortable.  It may cause an awkward silence.  It may cause dissension, anger, or hostility.  But it could also bring someone to faith in Christ and eternal salvation.

“For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’  But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:13-14, NLT; italics mine)

Are you willing to forsake the awkwardness for the sake of eternity?

Rak Chazak!  God bless you!!

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3 thoughts on “That was awkward…

  1. Stacy says:

    I just went through this a couple weeks ago. Someone had messaged me asking if Mike would be willing to officiate their wedding. I had a feeling she and her fiance we living together and I felt a stirring in my soul that I should ask her about it. Both she and her fiance claim to know the Lord. I told her that Mike would need to talk to them about their living situation as well as do some premarital counseling. I told her I loved her and that I needed to say something since they both claim to be Christians and they were living in sin….I know the conversation was over text, but you could cut the tension with a knife and there was an awkward silence and then a short reply of “yeah, that’s fine.” I knew this would not be a one time thing since I’m related to this person and I will have to face the awkwardness at the holiday time. I almost didn’t say anything, but I felt like I needed to. I’m glad I obeyed the Lord even if it means a strained relationship.

  2. Holly says:

    Hi Sweetie,

    This was very convicting!! It is so much easier to just walk the other way & hope someone else might do the dirty work. Thanks for the challenge to ‘face the music’ & do what God wants me to do!!!

    Luv you so…looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow night!

  3. Great stuff, Cam! As always, we have to go to the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He was such a revolutionary! Everything He did flew in the face of the culture He lived in. I don’t want to get all preachy and everything; but, if you are a Christian and want to be real – take a look at what Jesus said to the “spiritual leaders” of His day. Read Matt. 23. He was teaching a crowd against hypocrisy. First of all, a hypocrite is the opposite of being real. The term carries with it the meaning of the practice of acting with masks on. (Think of the song , Masquerade in Phantom of the Opera). It was sort of a compliment to be called a hypocrite back in the Greek culture because they had great acting skills. They could portray something on the stage, but could be a train wreck in real life. Can you say Hollywood. Anyway, Jesus didn’t hold anything back. He lambasted them with “seven woes!” This was a word that was a strong word for judgement. He is pointing to the suffering they will endure because of their sin. Do you think He cared about their feeling “awkward?” I don’t think so. It is a call for us to be sincere or real or authentic in our faith. Put on that new nature we have been given in Christ. The original meaning of the word “sincere” is “sin= without and cere = wax. Sincere is pure. Sculptures use to sell their projects “without wax”. No cracks, no flaws, no holes, no wax to fill in the defects! We, as Christians, should stand ready to tell the truth (in love) to our Christian brothers and sisters. You have recognized a blemish…now, it is up to them to make it pure by what our Savior did on the cross, by the way, He died on the Cross to make us pure. He takes away all the defects and cracks. I sure love Him for that because “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24). Thanks for your thought-provoking post. I love you. and Happy Birthday. Mom and I are blessed to have you as our son.

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