This week, I read a challenging article from Christianity Today. The article was about caring enough to confront those that we love. Basically, the article focused on the fact that as Christians, it is much easier to be cheerleaders than correction officers. However, the article stressed that, “if we truly love people, we want what’s best for them – and sometimes that best requires confrontation and discipline.” (Caring Enough to Confront, www.christiantiytoday.com).
Matthew 18:15-17 states:
“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
The Bible is clear that when another believer is in a pattern of sinful behavior, we as believers, are to lovingly confront the believer in private. I want to emphasize that this does not mean that we need to be the sin police and point out every single sin that we observe in our fellow believers. However, when we witness a fellow believer in a pattern of sin, it is our obligation to hold them accountable.
This is a very difficult thing to do. For this reason, we should consider the following. First, are we motivated by the right reasons? We should only confront another believer that we feel is in a pattern of sinful behavior if we are doing it out of love for the believer (we should not do it out because we are hurt, or angry, or because we want to make ourselves feel better). Second, we need to pray! We need to ask God for guidance and wisdom. Third, we need to look to the Bible. (see Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness …”). As the article states, “Christians have different opinions on matters ranging from drinking to managing money; it’s not our place to impose our viewpoints on others. When it comes to scriptural principles, however, we have grounds for confrontation.” (Caring Enough to Confront, www.christiantiytoday.com)
As I shared this Sunday, one of the most important gifts that we can give believers and unbelievers alike is a glimpse of unconditional love. Unconditional love, however, does not mean that we turn our head to every bad and self destructive behavior. Sometimes unconditional love means loving someone enough to risk making them angry in order to point out God’s truth for their lives.
Remember, you can also read the prayer email update at http://bethleann.blogspot.com/
Also, as an outreach, the Refinery will be collecting eyeglasses to donate to the Lion’s Club. Please bring your glasses to church and we will deliver them!