I’m not clairvoyant.  In fact I’m sometimes rather obtuse.  Not to mention that clairvoyance would probably fall under the category of things the Bible calls sorcery.  On a scale of 1-10 that is bad, really bad.  So it is good that I’m not clairvoyant.  I also do not work in the Hall of the Justice League.  Do you remember the Super Friends cartoons?  They had a place to meet that was full of monitors so you could see everything that was going on in the world and respond to impending disasters.  Alas, we don’t have the budget for that kind of thing and it is rather creepy to think that you are constantly being monitored.  Fortunately we live in the real world where we are only constantly monitored by the government, which is also creepy.  So what is the point of all of this?  My point is if you don’t let me know what is happening, I don’t know what is happening.  I don’t say that as an excuse, I’m just saying that to state a fact.  I’m a sinful human being, again not an excuse, just a fact. 

 I recently became aware that I said something that was very offensive to someone.  I didn’t mean to hurt their feelings, but I did.  Sometimes I try to banter with people and they don’t understand and go away hurt.  That is a problem, but the real problem that leads to long-term trouble is when I’m allowed to think there is no problem.  If I don’t know you are hurt, I don’t know you are hurt until sometime later when I notice that our relationship has changed.  There is a coolness there that wasn’t there before.  So once I notice there is a problem then I can deal with it by seeking to make right what I did wrong.  So what if I don’t notice?  Our relationship continues in a place that is damaged and prone to more damage.  If you love me, you will not let me continue in my ignorance.  If you don’t love me, you can walk away from relationship with me and let it go.  In church relationships I see a lot more of the unloving response than the loving response.  People don’t want to cause problems, they don’t want to make waves and when they don’t, they do it at the expense of our fellowship.  In that case the church is damaged and it is ultimately an affront to Jesus Himself.  This thing gets pretty serious very quickly.   This also applies equally well to the marriage relationship (I know some of you already picked up on that). 

 If I haven’t offended you, then we haven’t spent enough time together.  Relationship is about interacting and it brings about change.  I change through interaction.  Usually the most lasting change comes from painful interactions that get worked through and there is confession, repentance and forgiveness.  In the church, I’ve noticed there are those times when people are offended and they choose to let it go and not hold a grudge, this is a great example of

Proverbs 10:12           Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.  Peter picks up on this verse in 1Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

  I’ve been loved earnestly by those who have overlooked my faults; those who have shown me grace in spite of myself.  On the other hand I’m reminded of a woman in the church who loved me “earnestly” by storming into my office when I had said something casually that should not have been said and she, in no uncertain terms, let me know it.  She was very angry and she was right to be and when I thanked her for loving me enough to confront me with my sin, you could have knocked her over with a feather.  She was ready for a fight, but little did she know that she was the Holy Spirit’s messenger to convict me of sin.  I changed that day and I need to keep changing.  Thank you for loving me enough to confront me when I’ve need to be confronted and thank you for showing me grace when I’ve not been gracious.