When a fellow believer sins, you can either see him as damaged goods, or you can see your friend on the battle field who just got shot. You can turn your ‘sword’ on him and tell him that his sin messed up the entire operation or you can use the ‘sword’ to protect him from anymore shots.
‘…the sword of the Spirit …is the word of God. -Ephesians 6:17
If our salvation is our faith, then what we believe is under attack. Any time you come to a point where you doubt that someone can be forgiven, you know you’re believing propaganda that was put out by the enemy to weaken our forces. If your faith in Jesus saves you, your doubt in Jesus destroys you.
You’re out on the field… what do you believe? If God is who He says He is, then this is no accident, there is a greater purpose for it. Ultimately that purpose is for Jesus to be reflected in you. This is where it gets real. Who is Jesus? The Accuser or the Savior?
Love: put yourself in the other person’s position. Look at your fallen brother and switch places with him. Don’t try to imagine what he may be thinking or feeling, there’s too much detachment. Try to imagine what you would be thinking or feeling. If you think you would never do what he did, then stop right there. If you can’t put yourself in the other person’s position, then you are not capable of Love. You’re worthless.
Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. -John 13:35
Anyone who doesn’t love is as good as dead. -1 John 3:14
My friend, Keri, told me a story about a girl who went to her high-school named Erin. Erin was a Christian. People loved and respected her. When Keri found out Erin was pregnant, she was bombarded with a mixture of emotions. It was confusing to watch someone, who seemed to have it together, fall. It hurt to be let down and it made Keri angry. Especially because Erin knew better. Keri watched as people, both Christians and non-Christians, began to distance themselves from Erin. She struggled with her own emotions and wondered how she should treat her. How does one Christian respond to another who has been caught in life-changing sin?
Keri prayed about it and that night she had a dream. Her dream changed her forever and answered the tough questions about how to handle someone who has fallen.
She dreamt that it was her. – Preface: ‘Grace Is For Sinners’
Jesus switched roles with us. Love in evidence. If you want to know how to respond to someone who sins, imagine if you did that. You as you are. You did that. How does it feel? What do you need? Do you need to be told you were wrong? Do you need to be told you were right? Are you doubting your ability to be forgiven? On the battle ground, that is exactly what’s at stake. Your faith.