How should we react to sin in others?


How can it possibly be all right for any person to sin and then to blame someone else for the sin?
Because we say, "That's okay. It's all right, I forgive you," it feels like we have told the offender what they did is okay. Which is what forgiveness actually feels like on the surface. When an offense has been committed, it is not all okay. However, who wants to carry dead weight around? Letting go of the offense and allowing God to deal with it in His own way and His own time is the act of forgiveness. I seriously doubt that anyone who forgives an offense can completely put it out of their mind and never think of it again. However, we can decide never to bring it up again and in so doing, we can choose our thought process concerning the event.

But, what about when someone commits an offense against God’s people, the Church? What are we supposed to do then?
When we sin, our fellowship with God is broken until we confess our sin and realign ourselves with God. When another person, especially one in a church leadership role, commits an offense it is a greater offense because it can lead the sheep astray if it is not addressed.

The fact that a person "avoids you all together" tells me he knows he’s done wrong and is in denial about it. It shows a great deal about where a person is in his Spiritual walk with God. Avoiding the person he’s wronged is how he is dealing with it...denying it. When a fellow borrows a hundred dollars from a friend promising to pay it back and then as time goes along things become really tight and he sees that he cannot pay the money back. His first inclination is to avoid the person he's borrowed from thinking, "Maybe if I don't see him then he won't remind me that I owe him money and he certainly won't ask me to pay up if he can't find me. I feel guilty that I can't pay back what I owe so I'll just avoid him."

When a Spiritually immature person sins, this is how he can react to God. Let me just brush this under the rug and I won't have to deal with it and by that time, the wall is built up between him and God and the relationship is broken. Not from God's side but from his own side. He doesn't even realize he's done this. Seeing your face (or maybe it's the Holy Spirit in you) is convicting him. He feels guilty so he avoids that feeling by avoiding you. He doesn't want to deal with God so he avoids you.

Paul sent Mark home because he was homesick and pining away. Barnabas argued to keep Mark with them, but Paul was adamant. It caused a rift between not only Paul and Barnabas, but also between him and Mark. However, Paul forgave him and then yearned for him later, writing for him to be sent to him, because he was such a great help in his work. That relationship was repaired over time.
Paul also spoke of others who injured the cause of Christ and turned them over to the Lord for correction. Because Paul was the founder of that church he had authority over it. We don’t have control over, or authority over our siblings in Christ, therefore we are not to react this way to sin unless all options have been exhausted. Therefore, Who is it exactly that has ultimate authority over the offender? God has promised that He will discipline and chastise those whom He loves for their betterment. I suspect that this fellow is in for a rough sail ahead.
How do you fellowship with someone who is in the ministry who sins and then blames someone else for his sins, or a church who upholds such an individual because he is a relative but condemns others for having differing methods of ministry?
It is an interesting issue. Paul tells us in Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them.

But God did not react with anger to sinful man, He instead acted with deep compassion and Jesus looked into the faces of those who nailed Him to the cross and asked forgiveness for them. So is it better to focus on the sin the other has committed or is it better to react with compassion and pray for the soul of the sinner?

Is the offender a wolf in sheep's clothing? Or is he a godly person who has done a terribly ungodly thing and is having a terrible time dealing with it?

For my part, I have a deep tendency to get angry at someone who attempts to lead the sheep astray. I got really upset at the false teachings that my little Sonshine Kids spouted sometimes because I knew it came from a false teacher in their own culture. I just had to pray that God protected their hearts and minds and I taught the Truth at every turn
Confusing the issue is to think it is about people being honest with themselves and the Flock. It is more about sin, and confronting sin for those who stray from biblical principles.

God sent His Son while we were yet sinners.
All fall short of the glory of God.
Jesus said forgive your brother not just seven times but seventy times seven when he comes to you in repentance.
Jesus also said he who has been forgiven much, loves much.

What ever the offense, it takes the offender to recognize the offense as sin. If not, it’s like Aaron looking at Moses with that doe in headlights look saying, "All that gold just fell in the fire and jumped out looking like a calf! Honest!" Yeah, right.

Repentance takes an act of submission to God. It is a heart change. When a person is in denial about his own sin then his heart hardens and can become like stone. This is precisely why God designed His family with all its parts like He did. One hand cannot wash itself by itself. One foot cannot walk by itself without toes and the other foot for balance.

We have to balance each other. When God lays something like this so very heavily on your heart, I believe that God is urging you in a special way to deal with the sinner in a loving way. I urge you to pray deeply about it and to tread lightly asking God to soften his heart and prepare the way, smoothing the path. Also asking Him to take this feeling away if He has no desire for you to talk to the offender. After I was absolutely sure this is what God wanted me to do, I would call the person up and be honest telling him that God had laid a burden on my heart and I would like to buy him lunch...coffee... what ever... and talk with him about the burden.

I do not think that God allows just anyone to confront one of His children about their sin. I believe God prepares the heart of the one to do the confronting and the heart of the one to receive the confronting. When the child that needs the discipline has a heart change then God is pleased but it cannot turn out well without much prayer and heart preparation on the part of the confronter.
When we pretend nothing ever happen in a case like this who are we helping? I know that it is God who judges all we don’t deal out justice, but we do answer for the way that we respond to sin in ourselves and in others. God offers forgiveness but never ignores sin.... it cost Him His son.
Post a Comment