Saturday, January 17, 2009

James 5:19-20 "Loving Confrontation"

"My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins." NIV
This is a tough one because it means the risk of losing a friendship. Today we face so many accusations of "you're judgmental," when in actuality, we are simply living the straight and narrow and can see when someone else wanders off the path. Imagine walking along the edge of a cliff with a small child. You see the child start to make a bee-line toward the edge. What will you do? Say nothing and watch them fall to their death? No, you will scream, lunge, and yank them back to safety. Why? Not because you are so proud to know where the path is and that you are still on it, but because you do not want to lose the one you love.

Now none of us do this walk perfectly, but there are very clear indications that a brother or sister is spitting in the face of God's laws and ways. Certain behaviors and patterns show a lack of surrender to the Lord. How can we idly sit by and watch the enemy get a hold on those we love? How do we balance being a tool of God to help our brother/sister see their sin with a loving heart and attitude?

I suppose we must just do what needs to be done and commit the outcome to the Lord. If our heart's purpose is to truly show love to the body, then out of love we will confront.

Father, give me the love and courage to confront my fellow believer when needed, and help me to graciously and humbly receive rebuke when I have done wrong.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Find examples in the Old Testament when one person confronted another? What did they do wrong and/or what did they do right? (Most of the time, God is the confronter. How does He do it?)
  2. Is there someone you need to confront about their sin? Pray earnestly for God's Words to flow through you in love and for the other person's heart to be receptive. Tough love is a difficult road, but it is still love.

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