Sometimes it’s just not about you. We can get so enveloped that we reduce the whole equation down to the cause and effect of a given situation to how it impacts us. There is family, friends and community all around us that we interact with not only for our own benefit but for theirs, also. It’s about us, but not in the singular sense.
There was a time a few years ago that I was serving at a men’s ministry event and things were going well. We were at the end of a powerful week of encountering the love and power of God and I was winding down. I had served and ministered and poured out and it was a time of refreshing and filling up. There was an opportunity for me to be selfish as I sought Him for me.
As that was unfolding, He moved me to share something with one of the other leaders of the group. The prompting was to share about an argument that Julie and I had been in several weeks prior. I had said ugly things and acted like a jerk. Following that time of my exposed depravity, I had turned away from that behavior and repaired the relationship with Julie. I had confessed it to others and was not living in solitude, putting on a mask of apparent perfection. It was over and behind me, so why was God prompting me to share it now?
After some back and forth of hesitation and reservation, I finally went outside and found this man by himself. He had just gotten off of the phone and I began to share the thing that I felt I was to confess to him, embarrassed and put out that this was even happening. As I finished, he took a couple of backwards steps and sat on a nearby ledge with a look of amazement.
“I was just on the phone with my wife,” he said. “That’s exactly what just happened between us.”
Wow. I wasn’t sharing for my own healing or transparency or accountability or growth. It was about him. It was about us. We talked and prayed and he called his wife and made things right. It was iron sharpening iron even with the first iron didn’t want to tell the second iron that there had been any dullness. It was radical obedience and miraculous redemption. It was real and raw and sweet and hard. It was church.