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When God Speaks Through Others
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” - Luke 11:28
Sometimes, we don’t always listen to advice, even when we know we should. Depending upon the source, that advice may come across as criticism, and we get defensive.
I remember a time in my life when I was really angry. I’d lash out at people, especially on social media. This was before I learned how to listen to God’s voice- and know the difference between His and my own.
To give some context: I co-founded a nonprofit animal rescue. I see the best and worst in human beings every day. Some days, are downright heartbreaking. I feel hopeless with all of the abuse and neglect- and people taking advantage of the altruistic endeavors of others for their profit.
On one particular occasion, when I was in a full-on Facebook tirade, lashing out at a particular person I felt wronged both me and our organization, I received a very important message. My dear friend, colleague, and fellow Christian, Bill Machrone reached out to me privately with a note that said: “If you throw poo at one another, you both wind up covered with it. As your good friend, I say: Cut it out. Yes, it sucked, but it’s over. Yes, the dogs got shortchanged, but it can’t be undone.”
I read that over and over. Not only was Bill looking after my emotional well-being; but he also noted how that might come across to prospective clients and donors, and that people want to hear about our plans going forward, not an ugly past. I took note, and it stuck with me to this day - some eight years later.
Even though I wanted to defend my behavior and hang onto how this person harmed me, I knew God was telling me through my friend to forgive, let go, and move on for my sake and not theirs.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” - Ephesians 4:32
Sadly, Bill lost his battle with cancer two years after he gave me his kind, compassionate, yet cautionary advice. I will be forever grateful for his words, which not only taught me to “cut it out” when I get bitter or angry but to also know when God is working through others to tell me what He needs me to hear.
When was a time a believer kindly yet wisely pointed out a change you need to make? How did you respond?