Q. There’s a dear lady in our Fellowship who is forever hurting folks although she believes she’s giving ‘honest, helpful feedback’ but it’s always her own distorted views of people and situations. WHAT can we do?
A. If we could give you a ‘quick fix’ we’d become millionaires in a week. But there is no real ‘quick fix’, and there are many people in many Churches just like her. You could a) snub her, b) get angry and give her an ugly reaction, c) kick her out … etc. These and other equally ‘effective shut-up’ measures are no solutions at all, and could be permanently damaging to all concerned.
Did God place her in the Body? You may not think so, but, if she is saved, then surely He did ‘as is hath pleased Him,’ 1 Cor 12:18. Since God is very wise, first thing to do is to trust His wisdom. Secondly believe He does things deliberately and with purpose. Thirdly, since He does all things well, Mk 7:37, Accept that, current evidence notwithstanding, you and she will all benefit from each other if God has His way with your hearts (and tongues).
If you are a lady, exercise love toward her. Invite her to coffee, or seek an opportunity to gently make her aware that she is actually hurting, and not helping, folk. Lovingly show her she should be ministering God’s love and grace to folk and not correction, criticism or correction. The following Scriptures will guide you: Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. And Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Be sure to pray with her afterwards and comfort her lest your words do the kind of damage she does. Love, love, love!
If this does not solve the problem, it would be wise to get guidance from the Elders of your Assembly. They will definitely know how to handle her lovingly and wisely.
If you’re a man facing the problem, avoid counselling the lady yourself. This is dangerous. Speak to her husband, gently too, and in a spirit of humility and love. If she has no husband or will not take guidance from him, it is time to call on the Elders for their intervention and help.
Of course, these steps only relate to a hurtful situation that is getting out of control.