OK, let me say this right up front. I don’t like conflict, and I avoid it when I can. There, I admitted it. As I learned more about what my walk with Jesus is really supposed to look like, I knew I’d have to make some adjustments, but some are easier than others.
It felt right to stop judging people outside the church, non-believers. I did not realize until my rededication that I needed to be more loving and accepting of all. It was cool to find out that it is not my place to call out non-believers on anything! Though sometimes it isn’t easy, it gave me great relief to let that go and just love on people. I’m not saying I don’t get challenged here and there, but as someone who does not like conflict, it was a breath of fresh air to realize that my job is just to love. No more planking and judging non-believers. Got it.
Just when I got comfortable with that, I heard the exact opposite from other believers. I learned that we are supposed to call out brothers and sisters who are believers when they are not following Jesus. Yikes! Confrontation again. Because of recent happenings with a fellow believer, I now realize that I must say something. It is great to read these passages again to realize it should be done in a loving way, not like a tattle tale. We have all made mistakes, and rarely is it effective to yell and point things out in a mean-spirited way.
1 Corinthians 5: 9-13
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”[d]
15 “If your brother or sister[b] sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[d] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
I’m still learning to live this way. Kudos to my brothers and sisters who already are. Thanks for what you are doing. We all need examples of people doing it right to inspire us. If you already are, “Thank you.” If you are not, please think about whom you need to speak to gently. Then say it.
(Reminder, this is just a journal of my mistakes, experiences, and thoughts along my journey to having a closer relationship to God. I do not claim to be an authority on the subject. If you want to know The Way, read The Bible.)
Thank you, God, for Grace, Truth, Love, and Laughter,
P.S. Thank you, especially, for grace.
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