5
Dec
2013
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Show Gentleness…but Spur One Another On. (Part II)

Judgmental, happy, issues, support, fightSometime Christians furiously condemn non-believers for the sin in their lives, but conversely approach other Christians with extreme caution.  They overlook their brother’s sin issues in the hopes that the sin taking up residence in their own lives will go unnoticed.  Do you really think Christians don’t still have sin in their lives?

Christians gleefully urge their pew-mates to gossip.  They indulge their venomous jealousy of other church members, while praising themselves for being loyal Christ-followers.  Selfish opportunists drain everything they can from their church family, complaining all the while of the church’s neglect during their time of hardship.  At Bible study, we express our sorrow over those who are lost, but during the week, we leap judgmentally at nonbelievers instead of gently sharing the hope of Christ.

Why do we ignore the Bible’s command to correct other believers in their sin (Matthew 18:15-17)?  We’re to be recognized by the world as Christians because of our love (John 13:35), and to treat unbelievers with gentleness and respect (I Peter 3:15-16). We’re certainly not called to handle our brothers and sisters with kid gloves.  Instead, we’re taught that believers are to “spur one another on.”

…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  (Hebrews 10:22-25)

Spurs poke, prod and even irritate, evoking immediate, instinctual responses in the one being spurred. They don’t coddle, or ignore a tender spot that needs urgent motivation or correction.

We’re a little backwards, folks. We brutally put the spurs to the ones we should treat with gentleness and respect, yet we intentionally ignore wrong behaviors in our fellow believers instead of spurring them on, holding them accountable and expecting the same correction from them in return.

Print out these two passages:  I Peter 3:15-16 and Hebrews 10:22-25, labeling the first “Seekers” and the second “Believers.”  Study them as a daily reminder to approach each group biblically.

~Deb

Passages: Hebrews 10:22-25 John 13:35, Matthew 18:15-17, I Peter 3:15-16

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image:  Kris Kesiak

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