The Possibility of Effective Confrontation?

Devotional Thoguht fo the Day:
1  Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2  Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:1-2 (NLT)

455      You will only be good if you know how to see the good points and the virtues of the others. That is why when you have to correct, you should do so with charity, at the opportune moment, without humiliating… And being ready yourself to learn and to improve in the very faults you are correcting.  (1)

There are times in our lives as believers that we need to correct others.  To call them to repentance, to help them  understand the grace of God with greater clarity.

It isn’t easy, and i think that shows up in the way we go about this divine task.  The first is to come in with condecension and even anger at those who just don’t get it. We become crusaders, giving our opponents a chance to repent or be left as our road kill.  Let’s be blunt, such coercion rarely results in true repentance.

The other option is simply to be apathetic.  To assume there is no option but the former tactic, and to give up trying, leaving the person to suffer without the hope of the gospel. This is not proper either, for the obvious reason, how can we love our neighbor if we are willing to leave them to struggle in sin and in error?

Paul calls us to do such correction with gentleness and humility. And with the concern that we don’t fall into the same trap into which the enemy ensnared our beloved brother and sister. St. Josemaria notes this as well, encouraging us to self-examination and to improve our own lives.

I think the reason for this is that the reason the sin that irritates us, that concerns us maybe in the very same family as the sin we struggle with in our own lives.  Whether it be pride or lust or some form of idolatry, we need to be aware of the grace that delivers us from the power of that sin,  We have to become aware of the grace that covers our sin, that heals us of the damage it does.

As we consider our own need for grace, and the joy of being rescued, as we kneel before the altar and given the most incredible feast, then we are prepared, with humility and the gentleness needed to confront our brother or sister.  And so prepared, we have a chance to see the miracle that happened in our lives, happen in theirs, the blessed gift of repentance and reconciliation.

This indeed is our ministry. This indeed is a gift of God.

Lord Jesus, help us be aware of the mercy you have on us.  AMEN.

Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 1743-1746). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on July 9, 2016, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Kathleen Nagy

    Love this! So easy to see myself as having done this wrongly. Spurs me on to correct in a loving way through the Holy Spirit. Thank you.

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