I’ll be deliberately vague about the details of this story. They don’t matter, and they could cause embarrassment to others.
Yesterday there was a light-hearted conversation in my office, concerning someone who wasn’t there, and I made a contribution. It was a small thing, and it raised a laugh as I’d hoped, and no harm was done.
Then one of my colleagues said “That wasn’t very Christian of you, Gavin!”
I was upset. I got defensive. I claimed that what I’d done wasn’t to put this person down, but to lift my friends up. I was still speaking in a light-hearted tone. The conversation fizzled away, as they usually do, and was soon enough forgotten.
Except that I couldn’t forget it because the “not very Christian” phrase kept niggling at me, convicting me.
Because it was true. I’d been negative when I should have been positive, or at the very least stayed out of the conversation.
My colleagues know about my faith, and what I showed them yesterday was the very opposite of the light of Christ. My salt had lost its savour. I let down myself, and more importantly God.
This morning I prayed about it. I repented, determined not to make such a mistake again. And I asked God’s forgiveness.
There was one thing left to do – thank my friend for pointing out my error, even though she probably had no idea how right she was.
But when I got to the office, I couldn’t do it. I’m ashamed to say it, but I think it’s true for many of us. It’s much easier to confess to almighty God, who already sees and knows all things, than to speak honestly to a friend and reveal my hidden weakness to them.