In Gentleness May We Draw Them Back To Him

May 15, 2014

Friends,
God is exceedingly compassionate. He is completely holy and just, but He is also kind and merciful. He is patient, and He is Love.

Because these are God’s attributes, His essence, they should also be ours. We should be exceedingly compassionate, we should be completely holy and just, while also being kind and merciful, patient, and full of His love. Every day, those who “have been clothed with Christ” (Gal. 3:27) are to put on Christ (Rom. 13:14) and His armor (Eph. 6:11) so that we can stand against the devil and against the sinful nature (same verses) and conduct ourselves in Christ-likeness. We ourselves are not God, or little gods, but we are clothed and filled with Christ who is God and we are filled with His Spirit, and we are therefore to behave, think, and speak like Christ. (Rom. 8:29 // Gal. 2:20 // 1 John 2:6) This means we are to be self-disciplined, mature, and godly at all times and in every situation, while also extending to others exactly what Christ Himself would extend.

What then should we do when we are faced with the decision to confront, or not confront, sin? We pray. If we can wait a day that is probably best, as then we are not reacting in carelessness or emotion, but instead acting after having girded ourselves with Christ, His armor, and His attributes. If we cannot wait a day, even a quick call out to the Lord for guidance and humility and Christ-likeness will do wonders.

Often sinners are hardened rebels, self-centered and selfish, even cruel and unfeeling. But sometimes the sinner has veered off the straight way due to pain. Neglect, rejection, betrayal… these, especially, can cause a morally-upright person to grasp for healing, affirmation, and security in those worldly places which specialize in promising them such. When we see this has happened, let’s be gentle. (Gal. 6:1 // 2 Tim. 2:24-26) Let’s not ignore their sins, not pretend the sin doesn’t exist or that it doesn’t grieve and anger God, but let’s be gentle. Let’s love and care and exhort and rebuke as the Lord would. Let’s do it all as we would want it done to us.

Of course rebuke is no fun for the receiver nor for the one who, with Christ’s heart, gives it. But, to neglect to confront sin is weakness, cowardliness. It is to not care enough. It is to care more about one’s own reputation and comfort than that of the one who has stepped onto a dangerous path. It is to want temporary laughter and smiles and cooing above another person’s eternal well-being. How can we not, therefore, confront sin if we have the opportunity to confront it? But again, it must be done in wisdom, in the Spirit.

God is a tender-loving God, and He comes close to the broken-hearted, even to those who are sinners. He stands nearby those who, because they could not endure some great pain, because they forgot that no worldly tonic can replace the loving Savior’s arms, fell into sin and falsehoods. He waits patiently, He watches over them, He grieves for them, and He sends His messengers their way. He reminds them in a thousand ways of His love, His faithfulness, and His healing.

But they have to eventually look up at Him, the only True Healer. They have to eventually come out of the fog and remember the Truth. They have to eventually return to their God and renounce the fleeting pleasures of the world that are displeasing to Him who is Holy. They have to do it before it’s too late.

May the rest of us not hinder their return, but instead, through our own conduct, draw them back into the merciful, compassionate, arms of their Savior.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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