So I was praying this morning and got the urge to reach out and communicate with a specific person from my past. I shirked at the thought because whenever I seem to deal with him, I seem to walk away damaged and hurting. It is not intentional on his part, but his life and our friendship have all of these landmines that can explode at any time. I just don't want to deal with him. Now is that Christ-like? To avoid him? But does Jesus want me to put myself in a situation that will probably hurt me? Sometimes the WWJD litmus test is unhelpful because, to state the obvious, I'm not Jesus. Jesus could interact with anyone to whom the Father instructed Him because He held all power in his hand and had so firm a foundation that He could not be shaken. In my efforts to grow in grace and be a living epistle, I am not nearly "there" yet. I still stumble, and traumatic experiences can rock me to my core so deeply that it may take time to find my center in God again.
The reality of my flesh does not negate or absolve me from recognizing the victory and responsibility of my spirit. I heard a sermon in preaching class Wednesday that urged us not to lie on the power of God in our lives. By being afraid of interactions with my old friend, I have given that territory to the enemy - in essence saying that this is an area that God can't heal so all I can do is try to avoid it.
However, as the saying goes - fools rush in where angels fear to tread. The solution is not to rush into the situation only to be torn to pieces and suffer in my walk because I have been hurt. The answer, as it so often is, is found in strengthening my relationship of God. The process of sanctification is no joke! It is not enough to accept Christ, the consequent process of letting Him work through me and change me into a new creature that looks acts and thinks more and more like Him is the only way my spirit will be strong enough, loving enough, holy enough to enter into difficult situations bearing the love of Christ, not my fears and weaknesses. Abiding more and more with God will also show me how to enter into potentially difficult situations.
Strength, courage and wisdom. These are virtues whose fullness abide in Christ. So I must enter into the body of Christ (fellowship is an inextricable part of this - there are no private Christians!) to partake earnestly of those attributes.
Will I call him? I just don't know. But I can say that the decision to call him or not, and all that may ensue, will come from God, not my flesh.
Over and out.