I Should Have...But I Didn't

Just an observation ...

It is not uncommon for me to cross paths via e-mail or in person or through social media with people I would have considered good friends when I was in full-time ministry.  When these interactions occur, I never quite know how a former friend will respond to me or how they "feel" about me. 

One thing I've noticed that I hear often is something like: "I should have reached out to you but I didn't" or "I read your blog all the time but I've never tried to contact you."

Honestly I get why most people don't reach out to friends during seasons of sin or difficulty. It is just awkward.  After all, what do you say to someone who is making decisions with which you disagree? Do they even want to hear from you? How do you communicate your concern for them without pushing them away?  Frankly, it is just seems easier to lose contact.

I can list lots of people that I would have considered a friend or mentor who have never attempted to reach out to me. Some tried once or twice but most did not. And I don't blame them. Nor do I expect them to make any effort to contact me. Like I said, I get it.

But here's what I want to encourage you to do: the next time you think of that person who has made some bad life decisions or who has gone through a tough time of their own making, reach out to them. Let them know you are thinking about or praying for them. Let them know you are there if they need you. Let them know God loves them regardless of their life decisions. Let them know there is healing, grace, forgiveness, and redemption. Let them know you care.

You may or may not ever hear back from them. They may or may not want to hear from you. You may or may not ever see them again.  But here's what I know: people need to know that there is someone who cares about them even on their worst days. People need to know that there is someone who is there for them regardless.

I love how Jesus stood by Peter in his worst moments. He loved him through some tough decisions. And I believe how Jesus dealt with Peter in his darkest hour shaped Peter's future ministry. How Jesus responded to Peter forever marked his life.

Ask yourself: who do I need to reach out to today? Who has made some poor choices but just needs to hear from a friend? Who needs to be pursued? 

Take that step. It could make all the difference. I speak from experience.

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