This last week the Lord has put on my heart, how some Christians are either too scared to challenge fellow believers or don’t believe we should challenge people. But I believe that when necessary we are to challenge people when they are living their lives contrary to Scripture and Jesus’ teachings.
In Matthew 18:15-18 Jesus outlines the steps to be taken when we challenge / correct a fellow follower of Christ. You will note to begin with the process starts off by being a private matter, in today’s society people can be very quick to put their grievances into the social media sphere, local house group ‘prayer times’. I remember an old house group leader once said a “private sin should be dealt privately, and public sin should be dealt in public”.
In today’s society people don’t take to kindly when people challenge their behaviour, to the point where the challenger will be accused of hating the person being challenged, being narrow minded etc. And to compound matters there is a phrase which is being misused / interpreted ‘God is love’ with people thinking that they can live their lives how they want without consequence, but for God to be God he has to be ‘just’. For the record I do believe that God is love and just.
I believe the best method to challenge someone is to ask questions, do you think this is how God wants you to live your life or why do you believe this? By asking questions we are not directly accusing, being judgemental and will hopefully be making people think about their actions. In John 8:1-11 we see Jesus challenging and diffusing a situation, by saying “let he who has not sinned cast the first stone”. This in my opinion was an indirect method in challenging the crowds intentions, ideology.
Unfortunately there are many people proclaiming false truths about how we can live our lives, and that we don’t need to worry about judgement, consequences of our sin. There are a number of reasons why so many people are believing these false truths, one of which people don’t read Scripture frequently so they don’t see it when they are being mislead. For some they look for preachers who agree with their ‘understanding’ of Scripture, but in reality they are being decieved.
This coming week take time out to seek the Lord, are there areas, lifestyle practices in your life which deep down you know go against Scripture. Think back to times when you know you should have challenged someone but didn’t, and ask the Lord how you should have dealt with that person(s) in a manner which shows His love while still challenging them.
All Bible vereses and quotes were taken from http://www.biblegateway.com