Thursday, July 31, 2008

There you go raising the bar

So here's a little quip out of my other current bathroom book. Sometimes I can make an entire page before someone starts yelling..."mom! Where are you at?!"
"What does it mean to be Christlike? Christlikeness expresses itself in a tenderness and mercy that forgive sin and in a strength and boldness that pursues the offender regardless of the cost or the risk. It means being willing to submit ourselves to suffering, even death, for our spouses. It means remaining committed in spite of conflict within the marriage."
---Intimate Allies, Dan Allender and Tremper Longman

This was a friends question/response to the quote:
I've always had trouble understanding what God wants us to do in the case of "love the sinner, hate the sin". (Maybe a little of the subject, but slightly on, ok? :P) That part is obvious, but then what do we do? Do we overlook the sin until God opens a window for us to express our views? Do we love the sinner from afar? as not to be tempted or to be confused w/ compromising? (I cannot think of the word I'm thinking of here...what's it called when you actually make it easier for someone to continue in their sin b/c you go along with it? The opposite of tough love, kinda...??...grrr, hate it when I do that...)

I know this is talking about marriages, but 'to be Christlike' goes beyond that, so I'm just broadening it a bit...ok, a lot. I battle from w/in telling myself that it's not my place to convict. My mom feels it IS her place. So that's where I get it, but it comes off judgemental...and you see it all the time around here. Anyway, just thinking outloud.....

This was my response to her:
Family Life had a great program on just this thing the other night. I have tried to follow the "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." If you don't have a relationship and try to convict or set them straight, it rarely comes across as caring and further separates. If you have a relationship with someone and can come in a caring way we are suppose to confront our brothers in Christ, after prayerful consideration as to what it is Christ wants us to say. We all make rash decisions at times, but when we are at His feet, He'll lead us and sometimes that requires an apology on our part. But we are not to be their Holy Spirit trying to convict them as it will only come from Christ, we are not to be always judging. It's kind of like our kids, we can find empathy with their faults by coming along side and saying, here is an area I see you are struggling with...I too am a fallen creature with plenty of my own faults...iron sharpens iron. We can give answers when asked for counsel. Once again after prayer. Am I rambling?
Jesus loved people and ate among the sinners but they weren't in His inner circle of fellowship. His 12 disciplines.

I saw something last week that I felt was out of line for a christian to have done and expressed why I felt a gentler approach would have been better. Then the group owner of the Christian group called my thinking lunacy. I checked out her previous posts and found her gravely lacking in grace. This was just sad to me. She is in a position of being able to mentor other younger women and yet has an air of pride about other moms that have kids that act out. There was so much condemnation that if I was a non christian would never try to build a friendship with her. And that is part of why we are reach out to the lost and court them so to speak with love to come closer to their bridegroom. To have a small taste of the sweet honey He offers with His own love and mercy and forgiveness. Attract more flies with honey, salt the know.

There is also the time when you need to turn and only continue to pray for those who have a hardened heart. God turned his back on people and nations because of their actions, sometimes for years. And if we can see that we need to distance ourselves after we have given our best effort and feel released, that still doesn't give us the right to be judgemental and feel as if we are better, but we should have a broken heart for those who are lost.

This life is not about us, our "rights", our feelings.

Is this anywhere close to what you are asking?

James 4:11
Rom 14:13-Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
Rom 14:3-5 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. ...Each man should be fully convinced in his own mind.
Gal 6:1-restore with meekness.
1 Thes 5:11-
Matt 5:7
Roma 2:1
Matt 7:1-2
Jn 7:24
Prov 18:17
1 Cor 4:3
Eph 4:2
Prov 14:21
Matt 18:15-16-17
Prov 11:17
Matt 20:1-16
Lk 5:29-30
Num 14:1-4
1 Sam 24:10-17
Lk 23:34
1 Cor 16:14

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