KEYWORDS: home, shepherdess, problem, home shepherdess, way, visit

Need to Admit Our Weaknesses & Confess Our Faults, The

Karen Zerby

—By Maria Maria #103 DO 2554 6/89

1. Recently, one of our Ambassadors wrote about a Home that we had asked her to visit. After a few days in this Home, it became obvious that the Home Shepherdess wasn't very open to outside opinions & wasn't trying to fully benefit from the visiting Ambassador's experience, suggestions or counsel. Instead of using & seizing the opportunity & making the visit count as a real learning time, the Home Shepherdess kept busy, pretty much carrying on business as usual.

2. Well, our visiting Ambassador finally had a little talk with her, & explained how she'd once had the same problem of resistance to other leaders coming in & counselling with her. When the Home Shepherdess heard this, she caught the hint & admitted, "Oh, that really sounds like me!—That's been my problem too!" And thank the Lord, she then became much more open to the help & counsel that was available.

3. Knowing all this‚ we sent a message to this Shepherdess, telling her that we'd received a good report, that our visiting representative had reported that things were improving in the Home. We also mentioned that we understood how it can be a little difficult sometimes when another leader visits your situation, especially if you're not too sure of your position, but that we felt that any of our folks throughout the whole World would be happy to have this Ambassador come around to personally pay them a visit.

4. When we got the Home Shepherdess' next report, her only reaction to our message was‚ "Oh, we were very happy & thankful to have this visitation." I'm sure she must have known that we were aware that she hadn't exactly been very open to counsel or eager to make any changes. And though we hadn't come right out in our message to her & said that we knew all about the problem she'd been having with not being open to counsel & suggestions etc., we'd said enough to give her a definite opening or opportunity to reply, "Oh yes, I know I wasn't reacting the right way at first, but after our visiting leader talked with me about it, I saw my problem & really got a good victory."

5. But instead, all she said was, "Oh, we were real happy to have this leader here." Well, that was the truth, because by that time she was happy. But in a way it was almost like she was covering up a little bit. And when Shepherds are that way with their flock‚ their sheep usually notice it.—And then they get the idea that maybe it's not necessary to admit it when they've made a mistake or had a problem.

6. So I was a little disappointed in her reaction. Of course, you can't go by just one comment somebody makes, maybe they're different the rest of the time. But in this case I felt it was an indication that she needs to work on being a little more open about her failings or weaknesses. If she was‚ it would help other people in her Home to open up too.

7. I'm glad that she could honestly say that she was happy to have visiting leadership there. But she should have been a little more open or honest & said, "The Lord really helped me to get a victory in that area, & I'm thankful for this visit now. I know that I had the wrong attitude to begin with, but I've learned my lesson." That wasn't something she had to say‚ & she wasn't lying or being deceitful in her response. Actually, she was just telling us the present truth. But when you consider the fact that she probably knew that we already knew all about what had been going on there‚ she could have at least acknowledged, "I'm sorry I was that way at first, but I did get the victory."

8. Thank the Lord, she's doing fine now & is learning & making a lot of progress. But that particular incident serves as a good reminder & holds a good lesson for all of us on the need to admit our weaknesses & to "confess our faults one to another."—Jam.5:16.—Amen? GBY! ILY!