This is a post that I’ve been meaning to write for a while now. I’ve opened a new draft and started typing several times, but have consistently closed out the window with hopes that I’d try again later. (So please know that I’m writing this to myself as well)
I’m afraid that as our culture has become a culture of acceptance, we’ve also become Christians who are accepting of sin. Why? Because we don’t want to offend anyone. How often have you read or heard about the many issues that people are offended by? Just scroll through Facebook for about thirty seconds… Almost everyone today is easily offended OR scared to speak up because of being offensive about something.
Our generation of acceptance is also a generation that is scared to offend. It’s driving me crazy, to be honest.
By continuing to watch fellow believers walk in sin, not only are we letting them walk through it alone, we’re condoning it. We are acting like that sin is okay by choosing not to acknowledge it. Y’all, that is not loving our brother or sister. We have to fight for each other.
When Christians are dealing with a particular sin issue (pornography, homosexuality, adultery, alcohol, sex outside of marriage – whatever it may be) the most loving thing that we can do for them is to call them out.
“Don’t ‘lovingly’ watch them walk into a den of snakes. Do what is good, noble, lovely. Talk about sin. This is love. This is the gospel.” – Melissa Edgington
Here are a few verses that I’ve found to be helpful when diving deeper into this topic:
- Matthew 18:15 – “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.”
- James 5:19 – “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
- 2 Thessalonians 3:15 – “Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.”
- Galatians 6:2 – “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
- Ephesians 4:15 – “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
“You want to create a bubble of grace in which they feel some hope that even though this is sin, that they are loved and accepted.” – Melissa Edgington
A few precautions, friends:
- Move your log. We can be so quick to point out the flaws of others, yet neglect the sin in our own lives. We must be careful here! It’s crucial that we examine our own lives first before calling out the sin of someone else. Matthew calls these people hypocrites! Deal with your sin before the Lord, first and foremost.
Matthew 7:3-5 —> 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
- Watch your tone. It would be completely counterproductive to confront someone about their sin and use an aggressive/demeaning/”judgey” tone. We don’t want to seem as if we’re making a personal attack on anyone. God is gentle and kind, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. This is our example. Be quick to speak truth with love and grace.
Proverbs 15:1 —> “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Ephesians 4:29 —> “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
- Tend to the Body. Scripture clearly tells us that we are not to judge those outside of the Church. Sin coming from non-believers should not surprise us. We have no right to judge them. God is the Judge. But, it is our fellow believers that we should be concerned with. We should be burdened over the things of the world that our brothers and sisters are struggling with! This is what the body of Christ should look like. As members of the same body, we should fight for one another and run the race together, holding each other accountable.
1 Corinthians 12: 26 —> “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
Calling someone out is not a comfortable thing to do. Being called out in your sin is not a comfortable thing either. And our culture definitely does not promote this topic of being offensive. But, more often than not – our Christian lives look a lot like going against the “norm”, and that’s okay. We are called to be set apart.
I mean after all, the gospel itself is offensive. Think about it: It is offensive to tell someone that they are dead in their sins, living a life that is separated from God, that they are unable to do anything about it on their own, and without the saving grace and blood of Jesus Christ they will spend an eternity apart from Him in Hell. That doesn’t give anybody a warm-cushy feeling.
We’ve got to use the word sin – and be okay with it. Sin is real and it’s destroying someone you know, and maybe even you, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. Don’t be afraid to call sin what it is. Sin kills, steals, and destroys. Worst of all, it separates us from God. Knowing this, and knowing who our God is … we should be running towards the ones we love, anxious to protect them and lovingly point them back to the feet of Jesus. We have to talk about sin. It’s the most loving thing we could do for someone.
We are going to struggle with sin as long as we are on this earth. But this sin does not have to defeat us and we don’t have to deal with it alone. We are in this together. We HAVE to be in this together.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
In this with you,