Thursday, August 4, 2016

"Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin" (part 2)

In part 1, I discussed the fact that we are not loving people well when we accept the sin...  (The TRUTH part of speaking the truth in love.)

Now I want to discuss the LOVING part of speaking the truth in love.  Otherwise, we're just Westboro "Baptist Church".  (I put those last two in quotes on purpose.  They are not a real church.)

We must be careful when we confront someone, or let someone know that something is a sin.

I find this a pretty simple procedure for me (even though I don't always follow it!)  The question is -- "How do I react when someone disagrees with me on this?"  If I am loving them, a decision to continue in sin will break my heart and drive me to prayer.  If I am simply being driven out of a desire to "be right," I will get angry.  All too often, I am speaking out of a desire to be right.

Am I gloating over how "wrong" the person is, how "holy" I am?  Am I behaving like the Pharisee in Luke 18:10-14?  If so, I need to work this out FIRST, through prayer and repentance. 

Will I rejoice at their repentance because it restores (or brings them into) a relationship with God?  If so, then I can go ahead.

Also, I need to ask why the person should listen to me?  Have they seen my fruit?  Do I actually know them well enough?  Have I disqualified myself from speaking because of an unresolved wrong I have done to them?  All too often, we leave a comment on a FB post or a website that actually causes more harm than good.  Because our tone cannot be read, all too often, our comment is taken in the worst way imaginable.  We live in a world, in a society, that wants to see Christians in the worst light possible.  We must be careful not to malign the name of Christ.  Does this mean that we don't speak up, to stand for Christ?  NOT AT ALL!  I'm just saying to pray, check with God before you type, or speak.  Check your motivation.  Pray.  Pray before, pray during, and pray after.  And leave the results to God.

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