But, We Are Supposed to CONFRONT People

This is really more of a preemptive post.  You see, the voices in my head, they argue with me.  Sometimes when I hear them aruge, I think, “I’ll be some other people think that.”  (”Other people?  You are talking about voices in your head.  You’re nuts.”  Well, you’re reading it.  What does that make you?)

On Sunday, I talked about Jesus’s attitude toward the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11).  He (his words) did not condemn her.  He did encourage her to leave her life of sin, but all considered, Jesus’s response to her was very soft.  There was barely a rebuke, and no harsh words, just simply “I don’t condemn you and stop.”

My suggestion is that this should be our attitude in the face of other people’s sin, especially those who are not believers.  Holding non-Christians to Christian standards seems a little ridiculous.  I would go so far as to say, that Jesus’s attitude of grace should be carried over into all of our relationships.

This is where the voices kick in.  “God has called us to confront people’s sin.  We don’t coddle people.  Sometimes, folks need a rebuke.”  Can I agree with that and still say that Jesus is the model?  He rebuked her.  He said that she was living a life of sin.  He didn’t say that she had made a simple mistake.  He also told her to stop.  What more is needed?

The problem for us comes a couple of different ways.  First, are we holding ourselves to the same standards that we are enforcing on the rebukee?  Second, are we determining their sin to be worse by some arbitrary rankings of sin?

Most importantly for me, is why are you doing this?  Why do you want to do this? Are you angry? Are you thinking about you or them? Are you more interested in them hearing your angry words or do you want them to turn away from sin because you love them?  Too often we think we are on the side of justice.  We believe we are God’s delegates to let everyone else know where they are wrong.  If other people’s sin is making you angry instead of breaking your heart, then you should reevaluate and come back later.  Love has to be the motivation.

“If you really want to show someone love, you’ll tell them the truth.”  Maybe.  How about this: “If you really want to show someone love, you will offer to do whatever you can to help them.  You will share the sins you struggle with as well and offer to meet with them on a regular basis for prayer and accountability.”

Loftenism: Just because something is true, doesn’t mean it needs to be said.

Furthermore, if it does need to be said, where does it need to be said?  How does it need to be said?  By whom? Why you? Why now?

Confronting people is about, (wait for it) people.  Showing love to people, helping people.  Turn off the so-called “righteous indignation” and turn on some good old-fashioned compassion.

1 Corinthians 13

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

If I rebuke people, confront people, and/or call out sin and do not have love, I’m just mean.