I lost a friend this week due to foolishness and sin.
I have talked about this friend before as I have struggled with her relationship with another friend for a while now. She started to have an affair with my friend while they were both married. I took a stance against the sinfulness of the relationship, but I still tried to be “unjudgemental” and keep a relationship with them. It felt unbearable to me at times because I knew that I needed to speak to her about how what she had done and was doing was wrong.
She is a Christian and is vocal about her love of Christ. She feels a burden for those who are exploited sexually and will make frequent comments about it on Facebook along with her stance that abortion is murder. While I agree with her stances, I do not feel the need to call people murders for getting an abortion as there is always a story behind the why. That does not make the action acceptable, but when you lead in with mercy, you often get a better reaction from the person. Now that is not to say that she was wrong in what she was saying, but I did not share her views on how to take a stance on the matter.
She would text me after she made a comment on facebook and friends would drop her. It almost made her proud as she saw it that people were fleeing from the Word of God. I can see that, as the guilt that accompanies sin, especially when called out, will make people recoil at times. There were times that she felt persecuted when people disagreed with her or called her judgmental and out of touch. I wanted to act like a sort of mentor and help her see that the heaviness of her comments might need to be softened a bit as they were hurting people. She would respond that she is just speaking the Word of God and that should not be tempered. One day I asked why she did not speak the Word of God about people having sex before marriage and she was offended that I would attack her like that. She never quite got the hypocrisy that she was giving off by condemning some sins but not the ones that she was committing.
A couple of weeks ago, I finally gave in to this urge that I had to address her adultery. Her now, I think, ex-husband had cheated on her many times, including before they got married, so she has been facing issues of rejection for many years. He was also a frequent user of pornography, which only amplified her body issues. It is easy to see why sex trafficking and abuse issues are so meaningful to her. I got caught up with foolishness and forgot this. I tried to be a supporter of her, but I finally came out and told her that I had issues with trying to bless her relationship with my friend due to the adultery. She was defensive and told me it really depends on how one looks at adultery. I responded that Jesus was really pretty clear on what it should take to leave a marriage and while her husband had cheated on her, she and her lover were both guilty of adultery and that I don’t see how God can or will bless a relationship that is founded on sin without some sort of repentance. Not really accepted very well.
Some of our mutual friends have been taking issue with a perceived hypocrisy in her for a while now. While they are Christian, they do not really hold to all of the ideas and basically keep a foot in each world. They clash with this girl as they do not see anything wrong with pornography as a whole. Well, they have complained about her for a while and I let my issue over her adultery suck me into that talk. Foolishly, I joked about tagging her at a strip club as a mean spirited joke. Even though I knew I shouldn’t, I still joked about it. Well, I had to drive to the airport to pick my parents up from a trip when I got a text from her asking how could I do that to her.
The day that this all went down, was the day she had been inviting several of her friends to go watch a showing of Nefarious, which deals with sex trafficking. I had not tagged her, but somehow she was tagged. My facebook did not show it, but she had an email stating that she was. She refused to talk to me about it that night or for most of the next week. I changed my password as I don’t know what happened and nothing showed up on mine so I could only guess what had transpired. I talked to her boyfriend about it several days ago and that is where the heatedness really took off.
She sent a text a couple of days later and said I should ask her if she is mad instead of telling others that she was mad at me. She refused to talk to me at all, so I could not really ask her anything and get an answer. The fact that she was tagged on this night that meant so much to her was wrong. It hurt her at a time when she felt exposed. What had surprised me was that this was not the only issue. She was mad that I could not be supportive of her attempts to simply love her boyfriend.
My comments about the adultery had been bugging her for a while now and it seemed like they threatened her relationship with this man by pointing out that the sin needed to be addressed. The drama got bad and she accused me of being mean spirited and manipulative. I can see how she might think that, but that was not the intent. Unfortunately, intent is not always perceived the same way by all parties involved.
I took a counseling class this week and during that lesson, I got new insight in to her motivations for her reaction. I had forgotten about her past issues before I decided to address the sin. Now I fully feel like I was urged to address it, but I had not prayed for or asked for the proper words in which to speak. What I did was threaten her need to be with someone and feel loved. By addressing the sin, I threatened her world, even though it was based on a lie.
I know she has issues. We all do, so it is not a shock to me. She had issues before she was married and those were amplified under a bad marriage. She jumped into this new relationship as it gave her courage to leave a “loveless” relationship. She has been using wine for many years to help cope with her pains, but fails to see how it has become an idol in her life. She cheated on her husband and now is in a sexual relationship with someone while trying to put forth this image to her friends as a devoted and dedicated Christian living the holy life.
Now I admit I was wrong in how I addressed the sin in her life and for letting that rejection lead me into gossip and mean spirited conversation. The point of this is not to point how she was wrong and I was right or to show the failings in her life as some way to make myself feel better. I want to show that we all fail and fall short of the Lord. By trying to hide and deny these “natural” feelings though, she has let them rule several areas of her life and compromise her testimony.
She is a good person and I know she is trying hard to do what is right according to God, but she refuses to let go of her desires in areas and denies those areas to God. It happens to us all, but it is these choices that do harm to our testimonies. How much harder is to tell people that God does not approve of sexual immorality when practicing it yourself? How can you rightfully stand up and tell people they need to repent when one is unwilling to do so themselves? Even if she does repent, those past failings will always put a cloud on her testimony for some people.
It is so hard to try and do what is right and be a follower of Christ without having to deal with those areas in which we struggle with. Those who know of our struggles will either see them as a failing on the part of Christ or as blessing, all based on how we deal with them. If you struggle, the best thing you can do is be more public and open about it. Show people that we are human despite being saved. When we hide them, we are telling people that God cannot handle those issues. By limiting God we are inadvertently telling others that God is limited. I know it is embarrassing and often painful to face the issues, but it is crucial that we do.
I truly wish her the best and will still pray for her ministry as well as her personnel life. She is a good person, but I pray most for her to find the freedom she so desperately wants.