One evening, a young family who had attended our fellowship for a couple of months showed up at the Lifegroup which my wife, Marcy, and I led. We were surprised and delighted.
The twelve adults and handful of children in attendance enjoyed an excellent time of worship. We then dismissed the younger kids with an adult supervisor and discussed the Sunday message in order to explore how we might apply the message in our lives.
The behavior of the new couple's husband was loud, obnoxious, rude, and rough. Bret (name changed) occasionally interrupted people who were speaking, especially his wife. Rather than getting up and going to speak with his misbehaving children, he yelled at his kids from where he sat. I observed the body language of the rest of the group, especially that of my married daughter. I know her well enough to note that her mercy gift was overwhelmed; she was on the verge of rejecting this out-of-control man.
As I waited for wisdom from God, I realized what the Lord wanted us to do. I addressed it publicly. "OK everybody. Hold up. Listen, we've got a problem here. Bret, do you mind if I point out something that you're doing that is harmful to you and us?" He looked surprised, but, as I suspected, he was very open to this teaching moment (Remember, he was not a stranger to us; this was merely his first time at a Lifegroup).
I asked the group, "How do you feel about Bret's behavior?" People hesitantly began to give Bret some gentle, rather timid feedback. Some of the adjectives used to describe his behaviors were obnoxious, rude, loud, and verbally abusive.
"There are lots of reasons for us to write him off, to reject Bret," I said. "I am convinced that may be Satan's plan for him. I believe that if we reject him, ...