Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Shades of Grey

Today I got to thinking about what we, as Believers, are to do when we see another Believer doing something that we don't think they should be doing.

And so I spent an little time digging around in The Word to see what it had to say.

Please know that my humble blog post is simply that. My humble findings as I sought to find some answers.

Please, do not take this as all there is in Scripture on this subject.

Just know that I wanted to share what I found, because I think this is something we all may wonder about and need to know.

OK, back to the subject at hand....

Now, sometimes that "thing" is black and white sin.

And Scripture tells us what to do.

"Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, 
correct him. If he responds, forgive him.
Even if it's personal against you
and repeated seven times through the day,
and seven times he says, 'I'm sorry,
I won't do it again,' forgive him."
Luke 17:3-4

If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—
work it out between the two of you.
If he listens, you've made a friend.
If he won't listen, take one or two others along
so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest,
and try again. If he still won't listen, tell the church.
If he won't listen to the church,
you'll have to start over from scratch,
confront him with the need for repentance,
and offer again God's forgiving love. 
Mathew 18:15-17


Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith.
Go after those who take the wrong way.
Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin.
The sin itself stinks to high heaven. 
Jude 22-23

And sometimes it's not necessarily black and white.

Sometimes it's just something that we feel is wrong for us.

And so, we start to think it is wrong for everyone else, too.

Forget about deciding what's right for each other. 
Here's what you need to be concerned about:
that you don't get in the way of someone else,
making life more difficult than it already is.
Romans 14:13

Cultivate your own relationship with God, 
but don't impose it on others.
Romans 14:22

Don't pick on people, jump on their failures,
criticize their faults— unless, of course,
you want the same treatment.
That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging.
It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face
and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.
Do you have the nerve to say,
'Let me wash your face for you,'
when your own face is distorted by contempt?
It's this whole traveling road-show mentality
all over again, playing a holier-than-thou
part instead of just living your part.
Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face,
and you might be fit to offer
a washcloth to your neighbor. 
Matthew 7:1-5

So, do I just sit back and stew if I am concerned about my brother or sister and what they are doing?

Do I just go along and "live and let live"?

Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior:
Ask yourself what you want people to do for you,
then grab the initiative and do it for them.
Add up God's Law and Prophets and this is what you get. 
Matthew 7:12

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers,
letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness,
everything coming together for good,
will come and settle you down.
It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces
worry at the center of your life. 
Philippians 4:6

I think that first of all we should pray for them. We should lay our concern before the Lord. 

Make your worry a prayer request.

And ask the Lord for the opportunity and the words to share your concern.

Watch the way you talk... Say only what helps, each word a gift.
Ephesians 4:29

Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting,
profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive.
Ephesians 4:31

As I looked through The Word this afternoon, what really jumped out at me is that I need to make sure that I am living a life wholly devoted to my Lord. 

I have enough on my own plate to be worrying about what is on yours!

I want to live in a way that points others to Jesus, instead of pushing them away because of my judgmental criticisms. 

Oh Lord, help me to love You and others with all that I do and say!


Linda Worden said...

Christa, thanks for sharing this truth from God's word along with your insightful thoughts and advice. Digging into scripture accurately informs our mind and heart and gives us strength to follow His commands even when it may be difficult. I recently became aware of someone headed toward an unrighteous action and the way opened for me to "throw a life-line" with scriptural truth and the friend turned away from the edge. This time that friend thanked me for the intervention. It was God's truth not mine. You're a thoughtful, godly woman and God is using you in and outside your family. Carry on with His hope and courage.

Christa said...

Wow, Linda. I cannot tell you how much your encouraging words mean to me. I am so thankful that what I shared came across as I intended, humbly and without condemnation. I truly just wanted to share what I found as I dug into the Word.

It is so true that we need to wait on the Lord to open up the way before us to share His truth. Too often, I just want to barge in as soon as I see something, and that can only do damage. His way, His timing, always following Him is best.

In Him Alone,