Putting yourself out
I was praying with a friend and was struck that she asked God to forgive her for being "lazy" toward her husband. Afterward, she explained that there are a few little areas in his life she feels she should talk to him about, but she has not. It isn't that she is afraid to, exactly. It's more that life is already so busy and wearisome, and it's just easier to let things slide.
We more often repent of the things we have said than the things we have not said. But what about those unspoken words that should be spoken? As I remember my own marriage, I see my neglect in pointing out to my husband some worrisome areas that I, as the person closest to him, would have done him a favor to mention. Who else would?! And I see that it was not love but laziness and a lack of love behind my omission.
We all know that "whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him" (Proverbs 13:24). Paradoxically, both the unpleasantness of parental discipline and of other personal confrontations are greater outlays of love than holding one's peace.
When the Lord warns us not to be "sluggish" (Hebrews 6:12), He is not primarily talking about getting the dishes done. There are all kinds of spiritual sloth, and withholding important insight into your brother's life is one of them. To ask him out to Dunkin' Donuts so you can have a chat is a way of dying to your desires, stepping outside your comfort zone, and trusting God with bread cast on the waters.
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