“Warn … those who are out of line” 1 THESSALONIANS 5:14
We tend to shy away from confronting others with truth. Thing is, it’s important to keep a caring eye out for other Christians. But why can’t we just sit back and let people get on with whatever they want?
Answer: we’re all part of the same Church body. And the healthier/less distracted we (the parts) are, the more effective we’re likely to be, as a whole Church (Check back to our series on Church a few days ago for that). See, if we’re saturating ourselves in God-time, getting closer to Him and His will, things that don’t match His will start to stand out. Look up at today’s verse: it’s up to us to call others out when it seems they’re straying. BUT. Hold on there. How do you do that kind of mentoring-thing without:
a) Getting proud of ourselves for not falling into the same trap and/or
b) Going in all-guns-blazing and causing more harm than good? Well, in the same breath, Paul says: “...be patient with everyone.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14, NIV).
For starters, we need others to be patient with us too (“We ALL stumble in many ways”- James 3:2, NIV). As well as that, recognising sin isn’t a public affair.
In Matthew 18, Jesus tells us to always begin the ‘you’re-a-bit-wrong-there’ process with a private conversation (Matthew 18:15-17) Here it is then: confronting someone, if they seem to be straying from God-ideals isn’t a bad shout. But “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15, NIV) needs care and attention. Not willing to do more than just tell someone off, and not help them through a rough patch? Might be worth praying about whether you should be the one to approach them. What Now? Has God placed people in your life recently to guide your actions? If so, grab them. Thank them for it.
Source: Culled from SALM’s article in the Chronicle newspaper.