August 5, 2008
Love One Another
I hear sad stories from Christians who feel their sinful choices caused a church to desert them. According to Scripture, such situations call for a loving confrontation, not gossip and criticism (1 Thess. 5:14). A church’s commitment to following God should be evident in its Christ-like attitude. Yet we sometimes turn away the very people Jesus told us to love fervently: fellow believers.
First Peter 4:8 tells us that “love covers a multitude of sins.” And we find many biblical examples of one person’s total acceptance of another: the Prodigal Son’s father met him with a hug rather than the tongue-lashing the boy knew he deserved (Luke 15:20); an adulterous woman would have died at Jesus’ feet if He had condemned rather than forgiven her (John 8:11); and you and I would be hell-bound if the Lord had not intervened at the cross. Jesus loved us with our failures and faults, and He commanded us to do likewise.
The Son living through us changes our perspective. You might say we look through “Christ-colored glasses”—perceiving this world and its people as He does. No longer is our focus upon someone’s ugly sinful habit. Now we see our brother or sister as being in need of love, redemption, and restoration.
Instead of driving out believers who are entrapped by disobedience, let us draw them back into church life. Call when a brother misses services, or invite a hurting sister out for coffee. Speak up about their sin when the Holy Spirit guides you, and, above all, pray. We can win back our fallen brethren with Christ’s love.
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