By Jennifer Moreno
As brothers and sisters in Christ it is important that we keep each other accountable. Many times we are so quick to forget that in order to keep a community strong, it requires commitment. James 5:19 talks about this, it says – “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back.”
We can’t turn a blind eye when one of our brothers or sisters is on the path to destruction. It doesn’t mean you have to get into their business, but it does mean you have to be a friend and somehow reach out to them in the best way possible.
The Bible tells us to “speak the truth in love,” which means caring enough to lovingly confront one who is sinning or is being tempted to sin. Paul says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently help make him right again.” Paul highlights a few key words here: spiritual and gentle.
Without the Holy Spirit guiding you, you can’t really help that person. Only the Holy Spirit can create real fellowship between believers, but he cultivates through the choices and commitments we make. And it is extremely important to do it in a gentle way that isn’t offensive and reach that person in a loving way.
Sure, it’s way easier to gloss over an issue someone is dealing with and say, “that’s their problem, not mine.” But that’s not the attitude God wants us to have for anyone really, especially among believers. Most people have no one in their lives who loves them enough to tell them the truth (even when it is painful).
Fear sometimes prevents us from speaking to that person and because of that people’s lives fall apart. Though each person is accountable for their own actions, we still have to have the courage to speak up with candor. Never use harsh words, be rude or let alone gossip about that person. If you are truly genuinely concerned and you’re speaking about it to another fellow Christian, it is important that you speak about solutions and not add to the problem.
Too often people at church just have fellowship on the surface, only on Sundays and throughout the week I forget about you. Everyone knows about the problem, but no one wants to rock the boat for the sake of keeping fake peace. That my friends, will get us nowhere.
So the next time you see a brother or a sister doing something out of character, sinning, or just straying away…remember 1 Corinthians 12:27 says ” Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” So if one of us strays, a piece of that body is fading away. Have the courage to confront them and do it with humility and love. And remember that being honest doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want, give it thought, be a friend and make sure there is a right time to address the issue.
Proverbs 28:23 says “In the end, people appreciate frankness more than flattery.”
Good luck my friends and God bless!