In a world of offense no one wants to confront anyone about a certain area of sin that they may be struggling in due to the fear of offending. This offense mechanism has seeped well into the church today and has caused a “grace only” type of movement. This grace only approach and theology is predicated on the thought that God loves everyone regardless of what they do, and this in part is true. But the problem lies in the fact that when we believe in Jesus we are then transformed daily by the renewing of our minds and with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we must not grieve Him.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:30-31 NKJV).
Now I do understand that transformation is a life long process and sin takes time to conquer, but if there is no progress then there must be some type of confronting changes. I get asked the question in regards to homosexuality and how I would approach this area if I saw someone in the church practicing it. I always answer by stating the obvious that homosexuality is sin. I then go on to explain how I would allow the person or persons to remain at the church for a little while before confronting them.
I would watch and see if they begin to show signs of changing or if they continue in the same pattern and begin to infect the thinking of fellow believers within the church. At that moment I would confront them privately on the matter and explain to them in a humble and loving way that they are grieving the Holy Spirit which dwells within them, and then I would pray over them and then ask if they needed any assistants. At this point most Christians go, “OK, that sounds pretty good, but what if they are offended and leave the church?”
“Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.” (Ezekiel 3:19).
At that moment it is no longer my duty to try and please them and keep them in the church. If they are offended by my words, it is then only guilt that they really feel and not truly an offense. As fellow believers it is our duty to confront fellow brothers and sisters in the faith when we see an area of short coming. This does not mean that we should hit them over the head with a Bible and start exercising demons, but instead it means that privately we should approach them in love and reveal truth to them. It is bad that someone dwells in sin, but even worse for the ones that see them and do nothing about it out of fear of hurting feelings.
“Who, knowing the righteous judgement of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32).
The devil wants us to live in fear and wants us to remain silent, so therefore there is no growth within the church and the church then can not stand strong against any lurking evil that may try and invade. The devil wants us to live in complacency with the belief that sin is OK. Believe me I know we all sin and fall short of the glory of God and I am one to shout that above most believers, but this does not give us the right to continue on in the sinful pattern. God loves us all, but does not love our sins.
We are called to be children of God seeking to please and glorify Him to the utmost, and this can only be done by the cleansing of the blood of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Now as the Holy Spirit dwells within us we should then be sensitive to the Spirit and thus when we sin we should feel the grievous of the Holy Spirit being pressed upon our hearts and minds. This same principle applies when we see a fellow brother or sister living in sin as the Holy Spirit speaks to us, pressing the issue and urging us within our hearts and minds to pray for them, to confront them and help them in the love of God.
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” (Jude 1:20-23).
I always tell my fellow brothers and sisters that if they see an area that I am falling short in, then do not hesitate to confront me and pray for me. We all need help and we are all called to build one another up in Christ, and sometimes this requires first breaking down before building. Another way to look at the confrontation issue is the fact of loving others. I tell people that if you truly love someone you will help them in anyway. If you see a person that looks sick, you go up and ask them, pray over them and then help them get to feeling better. The same applies to sin, if you see a loved one sick with sin, then go ahead and confront them privately, show them grace and love, pray over them and help them get better.
I do not know where you stand today. I am not sure if you know someone that is living in sin and needs help. Listen closely to the Holy Spirit and ask God if there is anyone that needs help overcoming and ask Him to send them your way. Do not be afraid, but only stand strong in faith knowing that you are doing what you are called to do. It would do injustice to do nothing and ultimately make us guilty and marking nothing as sin in our life. Let us stop being afraid of offense, and rather look at confrontation as overcoming evil and helping another grow in Christ. God bless!