Meanwhile…

7 05 2014

Under no circumstances am I proposing that we close a blind eye to those who *claim* to be Christians…and yet their lifestyle indicates anything but!

As Cumberlodge pointed out yesterday from 2 Timothy 3:13-16:

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

What I am challenging us to carry out is not “sloppy agape.” We have a responsibility to one another, to be sure.  James 5:19-20 states:

“Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”

And this from Galatians 6:1-2:

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Love is not mush and blindness! Far from it. 

It will be messy.

It will take  time and effort.

Boundaries will be necessary.

We will probably not do this perfectly!

A working knowledge of Scripture is imperative. His Word never returns to Him void. Use it!

We will have to think about someone other than ourselves.

Sadly, sometimes the most loving thing we will have to do is turn them away.

It will require that we abide in Christ if we are to carry out His call, and be continually filled with the Spirit so we can use the gifts He gave us to their greatest capacity.

How it looks from person to person will vary, depending upon the circumstances and the blindness of the person to whom we’ve been assigned to love.

For instance, Jesus’ approach to the woman at the well was vastly different to His approach to the Pharisees. Peter, James, and John all got their ‘ears pinned back’ at least once.

A gentle but firm rebuke may be called for as well. Proverbs states that “The wounds of a friend are faithful.”

There can be no ‘fear factor’: “If I say that, they may not like me.”

At all times, however, our motives must be pure. The purpose of loving well is to spur the other on to love and good works.

The minute we feel superior to the other, it is time to back away and let someone else take over, for we’ve crossed the line between loving one another and being a Pharisee.

When I have a splinter in my finger, or an infection in my ear, I don’t just “love” my body – and hope it goes away; but, neither do I use a chainsaw to remove the splinter nor a drill to fix the problem in my ear.

We are one body. Let’s treat one another with the same care and respect.

No, I am not proposing “sloppy agape.” This kind of love takes prayer, discernment and wisdom, thought, speaking Biblical truth in love, some boundaries, and effort – for their own growth, and the health of the body of Christ.

Each of us needs to spend time with the Lord to see what this looks like in our own life. It will be different for each person…and between us and each person He entrusts to us.

{As stated previously, this concept is brand new to me. I’m still working out the details…mostly through the last two posts. I obviously don’t have it all figured out. Input that will help round this out would be greatly appreciated!}

I must say that we are walking this out right now, and I am amazed at the results. Transformation is taking place whereas, had I handled things in the old, “beat ’em over the head with the Bible’ method, I’m sure things would be really ugly, and have ended in enmity instead of growth in all concerned.

I pray that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense until the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God – Amen!

*If you’re wondering to what I am referring, see the last two posts:

We Love – We Make Disciples

Against the Grain

 

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15 responses

9 05 2014
Our problem with correction | In My Father's House

[…] was reading Tami’s (Lessons by Heart) post “Meanwhile…” and it made me think about the nature of correction and discipline in the […]

8 05 2014
Mel Wild

Some great points here, especially, about abiding and finding out what we should do in each case. Abiding in the Father’s love in Christ is critical to understanding the heart behind correction. Blessings..

8 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Hopefully, the days of beating folks to submission with my Bible are behind me! 😉

We’re walking this out in current circumstances. After a couple of months of doing so, I would have to concur with Paul – this is indeed a “more excellent way.” Not only that, but it is infinitely more effective as well.

\o/

8 05 2014
cucumberlodge

Jeremiah 23:29 -“Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”

8 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

His Word has come like a hammer that broke me into pieces more times than I care to admit. 🙂 There is tremendous power in the Scriptures, isn’t there?

\o/

8 05 2014
cucumberlodge

Agreed! Psalm 19:7 -“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
Christ, the very Word of God, spoke all of creation into existence, redeems what He wills, and condemns what He wills, all by the power of His Word.

7 05 2014
nopew

This is all good stuff, but your imagery of the drill (etc) really jumped out at me. What does our neighbour “really” need? It might be a coffee. It might be years of therapy. Keep in touch with God to know what resource to apply, and be alert to whether the time comes that we are simply wasting resources and we need to cut and walk away. The hardest part is living like the work truly is the job of Jesus!
Peace

8 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Last month I had to do the hardest thing ever. I had to “cut and walk away.” It would be bad enough if it were a friend, but it was family. Jesus gave me peace to place this one firmly in His hands and trust Him for the outcome. All I was doing was enabling. That doesn’t make it hurt any less. ;(

\o/

8 05 2014
nopew

I have never had to cut and walk from family, but I have met Judas several times!
Peace through it all

8 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks.

\o/

7 05 2014
Susan Irene Fox

I’m so with you on this. I read all three posts and can see the Lord abiding in your heart. We are called to plant seeds so our Great Gardener is able to harvest. It’s not our job to “fix” the soil. And as Francis Chan says, too often we assume ourselves to be the good soil; we in fact, need some old fashioned harvesting from God before we apply our “loving ministry” to anyone else. As He removes the scales from our eyes, we begin to see others through His eyes and understand that they are His creation, too, loved and adored by Him just as we are, flawed humans who have a right to be blessed with His grace and mercy through us, His disciples.

7 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Yeah, this ‘good soil’ has been going through some major plowing for the last couple of months. New growth is beginning to appear, and I’m excited to see what will follow. If we aren’t willing to be plowed, we become severely overgrown with suckers and such.

Great analogy!! Love it. 🙂

\o/

7 05 2014
birdieklh

Amen and amen! Yes! Time is getting shorter and shorter and we need to stop “playing” church and start “being” the church! Walking in His Love, which I might add, is tough love . . . our God is a loving Abba, Daddy, but because of His great love for us, we need to be corrected sometimes. As WE become more and more like Him, stop playing games and start moving forward as He directs . . . we will be more prepared for when He comes for His Bride – us!

7 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

I couldn’t agree more!

\o/

7 05 2014
Meanwhile… | FOGwalkerBirdie

[…] Meanwhile…. […]

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