You can never really know where someone is, spiritually, when their sin is found out. It’s all new to you. And it’s shocking. Anger is married to confusion and a sense of wanting to show where you stand is shoved in there, too. Taking action out of ignorance to everything but the sin is not a good move.
The risk of returning sin for sin (revenge, anger, condemnation) is too high when you’re acting in response to sin. Their sin motivates you. What good can come from a sin motivated response?
Breathe. Breath deeply for a while and stay silent so you can hear from God. If you go to Him like a tattle tale, a kid who wants to show your loyalty to the Father, you’ll be talking too much. You’ll tell Him how He feels about the situation and it will most definitely be tainted with how you feel about it.
People make the mistake of thinking, since they’re angry, God is angry. When they are hurt, they say God is hurt. When they don’t know how a situation can be redeemed, they put those same limits on God. You walk away having heard only yourself.
God has it covered.
When a person’s failure is found out, they’re closer to ‘right’ than they have ever been. They’re free to begin healing, rather than remain a slave to hiding.
You don’t know a person’s inner prayers or motivation. You don’t know why God thought it was time for them to be exposed. Exposure is evidence of God’s choice to end their slavery. Instead of being angry, be hopeful. The hiding is over. Instead of dealing with a person who has their junk hidden, you’re dealing with reality. Reality is so much better than fantasy. You can do nothing with fantasy.
I like knowing someone’s junk, not because it makes me feel better. They’d have to be pretty bad for them to match my own sins. I like knowing a person’s junk because it makes me feel like I can trust them more. It makes me feel like I can be honest and open with them.
When they’re exposed, you can’t expect them to behave any certain way. They’re in a different place than you are. What you are hearing for the first time is something they’ve already been dealing with. They’ve processed further.
When my own sin was found out, it was almost exactly 24 hours after I prayed that God would help me get out of it. I didn’t want to be where I had knowingly travelled. God answered my prayer by exposing me. It was so cruel, but exactly what I needed. He didn’t change who I was and let me put my secret behind me. He wanted me to be exactly who I was so that He could set the real, flawed, me free.
Nobody knew why I was found out, but I do. People thought I just got caught and expected me to be defiant. I was nowhere near defiant. I asked God for this and I was completely open. Instead of seeing me as someone who hated what I did, I was seen as someone they never knew.
Sometimes God lets people keep their reputation and He deals with them privately. But, sometimes God pulls back the curtain and lets them get caught. Exposure is a good thing. When God chooses to bring it out, it’s for a good reason. It’s more of an opportunity to be thankful than it is to be scared. Understanding this can make you embrace the person and encourage them in the ‘flourishing of truth.’
1 Corinthians 13 has a layout of what Love (the only way to respond to anything) looks like. In this verse:
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. -verse 6 NIV
It’s a statement, not a command. Apply that verse to someone who refuses to give up on another who sinned. People are afraid of looking like they’re supporting the sin, but they’re not. They’re supporting the fact that truth is winning. The truth is much larger than its individual parts, but one of its parts is: we all have junk and we all want it to stay hidden. The junk is there, it’s just under layers of lies. When the junk is out, so is the truth and that’s a good thing. ‘Rejoice’ in that. There is hope to be found, you just have to get out of your own way so that you can see it and give it.
This isn’t a message to start telling all of your secrets or exposing the secrets of others. God works as much in the quiet as He does in the chaos. This is simply a message written in hope that you would consider the upside to finding out another’s sin. If you feel compelled to speak out, or to take a stand, speak out in hope, forgiveness, and love. Take a stand for what Jesus died to accomplish. Grace.
Remember, you have no idea what God is whispering to them when you’re too busy being outraged to hear Him.