Fight Their Battles…

Posted by Brandi Wilson

There’s been a post bouncing around in my head for a few months.  Sometimes I like to live with an idea so I can figure out how to say it… however, I still don’t feel that I’ve found the best way to say this one.  So, here it goes.

You really don’t need to repeat every bad thing that’s said about someone to them.

Let me explain a little better.  I truly believe that part of friendship, part of serving on a church staff together is choosing to speak up for one another.  But the lines are easily blurred between what you choose to repeat and what you choose not to repeat. Sometimes people need to be aware of what’s said for their own protection.  There is a high value in protection.

But I also feel strongly that as a friend when I’m in a situation when I hear someone talking negatively about a fellow staff member I’m called to take up for them.  I’m also called to challenge the person doing the negative talking to go to the person they have the issue with and talk through the dissension.

Part of being a friend, a sister in Christ, is fighting a battle for you (even a battle you might not know exists).  I don’t have to repeat everything to you… but I do have to protect you.

Hearing everything negative that is said about you is tough… surround yourself with people you know are in it with you, through the good and the bad.  Look out for your fellow staff and staff wives.  If it’s not uplifting think twice before you repeat it to them.

It’s one of those ideas that sounds super simple, but in the moment doubt can creep in, Satan can play with your head and make you double guess what’s being said.  Focus on the Holy Spirit nudging your heart.

Loyal is a term that is thrown around a lot these days… being loyal doesn’t mean relaying all conversations that can destroy.  To me it means being a friend who’s safe… whether I’m around or not.

And here’s a side note, a kinda “freebie.” For me personally when people describe themselves to me as “safe” I’m always a bit leery.  “Safe” is based on experience… not verbal proclamation.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts. And remember, this is a safe place! 😉

21 thoughts on “Fight Their Battles…

  1. Lori Wilhite

    I totally agree. We do need to speak up for each other in those situations … and then not pass on that negativity. Not only does this apply to friends and fellow staff, but also husbands, I think.

    I recently protected Jud from something like this. It wasn’t too terrible or anything. Just a little hurtful. It would have done no good whatsoever to tell him, so instead I vented it to Brandi and then let it go. Thanks Brandi. 🙂

  2. Sherry M.

    I totally agree. It’s not good for us to have to hear it about ourselves and it’s not good for us to hear it about our friends either, but if we can speak up for our friend, then we should.

  3. Tab Lewis

    I’ve found this is something you deal with on a regular basis in a new church plant or when someone new comes into an already existing ministry… I’ve done A LOT of protecting staff being attacked by the new people on the scene because they didn’t like how they were “doing ministry” 🙁

    Thanks Brandi for the reminder of, “Safe is based on experience, not verbal proclamation!”

    May my actions speak safe and not my words!

  4. Stephanie Shouse

    This is so true! When we were going through a tough time of being criticized in our church, one of our supporters felt the need to repeat everything the complainers were saying about us. We knew they were unhappy and we also knew that every single complaint was superficial and not coming from a desire to reconcile. In other words…no one actually wanted to fix the situation, they just wanted to tear us down. In hind site I wish he had not been so eager to tell us every nit-picky thing spoken against us because now I find myself still wondering where those words came from and questioning why someone would say such things about me & my husband. I doubt myself because of those complaints and I wish I never heard them…
    Jon Acuff said recently “Share compliments; squash complaints.” Good thoughts today. Thanks, Brandi!

  5. Crystal Johnson

    Loyal. “being a friend who is safe…..whether I’m around or not”. Love this definition! That’s the kind of friend I not only want around my husband and I, but the kind of friend I want to be! Thanks Brandi!
    You said it well!

  6. Michele

    we’ve been burned by people we “thought” were safe and then they ended up blasting hubby for 20 minutes straight then telling him they had chosen to go to another church. My sweet hubby asked if he could pray for them and their ministry at their new church and they haven’t spoken to us since. I always wondered why they didn’t just leave rather than blasting then announcing they’re leaving. That’s the tough part of ministry…and now planting a church where there aren’t any other ministers right now. Luckily, things have gone pretty smoothly so far and I think the core group we have would stick up for us at this point…ask me again in 6 months! LOL

  7. Carolyn Webb

    Thx, Brandi, for bringing this up. Def needed. Can relate BIG TIME with Michelle! Not sure why people think they need to tell us that stuff. But they do anyway. So I have toughened up a little and learned to be more protective of not only my hubby SR Pastor, but also our staff. So much of that is TOTALLY UNNECESSARY! but the enemy delights in causing division & discouragement.
    This was a priority topic of our Convo 3 wks ago at L&LI party. We encouraged each other to be bold in love, and cling to ur hubby and the Lord.
    I admit crying to sleep more than once with people we thought were our friends. But it makes us SO APPRECIATIVE of the faithful supporters and prayer warriors.
    Bottom line, after being fired yrs ago and going thru it, we realized our only guarantee is each other (PTL for that!) and the Lord. That’s it. And that’s enough.

  8. Brandi Wilson Post author

    I’ve heard great things about that book, Toni. I’ll have to add it to my “to read” list.

  9. Brandi Wilson Post author

    Me too… I want to be the friend who loves you when you’re around and loves you even when you’re not!

  10. Brandi Wilson Post author

    sorry you guys had to go through that Michele. it is such a painful situation… good thing is there are lots of gals around here who can relate! 😉

  11. Suzanne

    I’m glad I finally got around to reading this today. My husband is part-time on our church staff. When he started receiving criticism, I asked if he was upset, and he said he was just glad to be on someone’s radar. 🙂 A few weeks ago, I repeated something to someone on staff, and I knew the minute it was out of my mouth, I should have kept it to myself. I thought it was funny, but it was not received that way. It was hurtful and received as criticism (toward their ministry). I’ll know better next time. Sometimes the “safe” people slip up, too.
    Something I’ve preached to myself for years is that Christ is my reputation and my defense. That is my identity. But, for the first time last week, God impressed something new on my heart. Christ is also the reputation and defense of the Body and the local church, even my church specifically. I don’t have to defend her. He’s got her reputation covered. What a relief! Let them criticize if they must.

  12. Courtney

    One of the hardest things I think I have done recently was not only sticking up for a pastors wife friend, but having to tell the friend someone she trusted wasn’t keeping her confidence. I hated doing it but for the health of our church we couldn’t allow gossip to go by unchecked. Thank you for this post, it’s hard but good stuff.

  13. Natalie

    I have been hurt and disappointed by well meaning people…people who told me they were a friend when I felt like I was going under…and then later betrayed my confidences. It has taken a long time to heal and in some ways I feel I am still recovering… learning to recognize I am not what others judge me to be and learning to discern better who I belong to (Christ)… has felt like a long journey… but am grateful to have come this far.

  14. Rachel Hines

    Thanks for the encouragement Brandi! Loved what Lori shared about not telling Hubby. Glad I’ve found good friends to vent to.:)

  15. Kim Trethewey

    I think actions speak louder than words when it comes to being safe and loyal. To me being loyal means you stand behind the mission/vision, you stand up FOR and WITH your team/spouses at all God honoring cost. Being safe means you are there for each other when things are nice and smooth and also when things are dirty and messy. When you stick by someone through the worst of times and not just the best of times, or when you have everything to gain and at the times you have nothing to gain, and allow your actions to speak louder than any of your words…then in my opinion…one would be loyal and safe.

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