Thursday, December 6, 2018

Knowing How To Confront Sin Without Judgement

Have you ever had someone say to you or you say to someone else “Don’t judge me?” Sometimes it is because you are being critical of someone – other times it is because that someone is feeling guilty or ashamed, or both, for what they have done.

So what is our responsibility as Christians with respect to other Christians and other people, for that matter, when it comes to addressing sinful behavior? Well, as my second Dad would say, “Let’s see what the Bible has to say about it.”

With respect to other Christians (Matthew 18:15-17) "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

Sin is not a trivial thing.  Today, you might well be told “It is none of your business!” But … as members of the Body of Christ – that is not what the Word says – it is very much our spiritual business.  Is this practiced much in local churches – I suspect not so much – I have never seen it - ever. Instead even blatant sin is tolerated so as not to offend.  If a Christian refuses to repent then they are living after their flesh and not the Spirit – you cannot relate to them spiritually less they repent – it is like being with a lost person. But …. Take care … 

(Luke 6:42) “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

In Matthew 18 the assumption is that you, yourself, are clean before the Lord  - no sin from which you have not repented before you approach another Christian.  Jesus addressed those who might consider their transgressions is superfluous when compared to the egregious sins of another Christian. Don’t deceive yourself … 

The Apostle James wrote (James 2:10) “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” That is not to say that the consequences of some sins are not greater than those of another. But we need to be careful that we don’t minimize sins – rank order them to find that some are above and some are below the line of acceptability.  (Luke 18:9-14) “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.””

The Pharisee was just like the tax collector – born into sin.  He was convinced that clean living and good works made him right before God – but it is faith that does that – a broken and contrite heart – just like the tax collector.

Ok so here is where discernment and judgement come in.  Recognizing sin and calling it out as sin is not judging.  We are not the judge – we do not condemn – Only the Lord can and will do that.  But at the same time we are not to ignore sin.  By confronting Christians who are sinning – we are encouraging them to repent and trun their hearts back to the Father.  If you are rebuked well that will ultimately lead to your not treating them as Christians – that does not mean you don’t love them.  It means you don’t enable their sin by ignoring it or worse condoning it.  Remember – this is about Christians – not someone who is lost.  That is for another devotion … 

As I write this, I know that you have people in your life that are struggling .. who have turned away .. I know that some people – people we care about avoid us because they have wandered from the faith and living like the rest of the world.  We can pray for them.  Love them.  But we will never say “it is ok” whatever that might be.  And it may mean that we are separated from them, hopefully for only a season, but we cannot compromise our faith to make someone feel better about their sin.  It is very difficult at times – especially when it is family.  It is a struggle between the Spirit and the Flesh.  You need Jesus to not fall yourself. CHARLEY 

No comments: