I write this short with much sensitivity. It is not aimed at criticizing any individual, as much as it is about being critical over what we say and how we use our judgment. This past week, I struggled with a comment made by a youth leader. Her heart for youth is undeniable and her yearning to help, unquestionable. During an informal youth servants’ phone call, I offered the suggestion that a call for prayer requests be made before the closing prayer–at which all were in agreement. One of the leaders then said “I think that is a great idea. You know, one of the youth, a young man, came for general prayer…but I can tell he wanted to discuss his sexuality…well, I mean it may not be apparent to others…but I can tell that is his issue.”
I paused. And I actually contemplated “pausing” for the entirety of the conversation. What made me speak? I spoke because I feared that on any given Sunday, this well-intentioned leader may actually do more harm if she ever felt compelled to “out” this youth in church. So what I said to her is simply what I want to say to you:
“There is no doubt that the Lord will reveal things to us about others that only a few can see; sometimes He will reveal things about another before that particular person is even aware of an issue or a blessing. But, we must be careful to not have our judgment, which may be correct, be used incorrectly. Our discernment, guided by the Holy Spirit, should be applied within the same spirit of grace which God affords everyday–and must be used towards each other. Each of us struggle with different issues–most are not on our sleeves and others cannot see them. But, it may not be for us to TELL our revelations about another…even to that person; it may be for us to be a resource, to be a guide, to an open conduit–especially for youth. I would just hate to “put on” a youth something that they were not ready or prepared to handle, unless I was sure that the Lord placed it within my capacity to be equipped to handle the situation.”
All revelations are not to be proclamations. Our only job may be to be the eyes; someone else’s role may be to be the mouth; and another the ears. When God reveals something to you, ask Him not only what it means, but what your role is with that revelation. Your “outting” someone, whether it be sexuality, promiscuity, alcoholism, lying, or whatever… may actually be counter to the Master-plan. (and of course…you could be wrong #i’mjustsayin)
Be bold…with grace.