Day 25: We’re Connected to Grow Together – By Warning Each Other

Point to Ponder: It is your business!
Verse to Remember: “You must warn each other every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” — Hebrews 3:13 (NLT)
Question to Consider: We wouldn’t hesitate to stop a friend from stepping into traffic. Why are we hesitant to stop a friend from stepping into sin?
[Read More] thoughts on Day 25 of Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Community, and what it really means to bear another’s burdens.

For whatever reason (perhaps my lack of sensitivity :-), I’ve rarely had problems confronting people — at least peers; see last week’s posts about my authority issues. However, what particularly impacted me for this week’s devotional was the importance of confrontation being:
* positive and redemptive
* in the context of committed relationships
Put another way, the goal is NOT to make the other person feel bad, but to lend them our strength to overcome and avoid that area of weakness in their life.

Perhaps that is why it is so important to first examine ourselves. By identifying with that person, we are able to receive grace to share. Conversely, if we merely judge them (without empathizing or helping), we block the grace of God and actually increase our risk of falling into the same sin.

I was convicted in this regard when talking with a friend about a very well-known if controversial Christian leader who was recently exposed as living a dramatically expensive lifestyle. Rather than mocking him or tearing him down for these flaw s– or excusing them — my friend said it inspired him to pray for that person’s protection. I must confess that I have often been party to pride and self-righteousness when someone’s flaws were exposed — especially someone with whom I’d had theological disagreements. I realize that the godly response is a love that covers over another’s weaknesses, rather than glorying in them.

As Christ does mine.

Prayer: Father, grant me your eyes to see the pain and danger my brothers and sisters are prone to, that I may act as a watchman to call them back to safety. More, grant me a heart that is so full of you — and empty of myself — that I react with charity, compassion, and supportiveness to lift them up when they are weak, rather than tearing them down — even if I don’t like them! Lord, help me to make it my business to be your agent of love in this world. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.