Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend.
Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Moreover, if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Political correctness rules some churches as much as it rules our world. We blend, bend, tend, praise, please and appease, giving and taking encouragement, shunning and shirking admonition. Attempting not to rock the church boat, we flow silently down the river.
But what if the boat takes a slow turn and starts circling on a placid lake? Its captain and crew seem contented. The view is nice with time to party. Secret romances and hidden schemes start growing among the passengers, but no one wants to talk about them.
Because we left the harder path, God's Great Commission was rerouted to shore-boat excursions and day trips. We continue to profess our faith, but close our eyes to our shipmates' sins--hoping they'll close their eyes to our own. Even so, Salvation's Captain sees.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Stay in the Lord's white water: an action trip He'll never forget. Cruising around in a waveless life isn't exciting navigation. Because Jesus made plenty of waves, but calmed the seas when necessary.
At the same time, don't stay mute to sin: certainly not your own, but neither the sins of your fellow believers.* If we refuse taking or giving godly correction as He prescribes,** then we're a double dose of foolish, floating around as evil winds blow.
To Be Continued...
* 'What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?' (1 Corinthians 5:12).
* Don't denounce outsiders. Outsiders don't know Who you know. Nor do they have God's Word as the Standard of Truth and Prescription of Conduct. Toward them, we're neither prosecutors nor judges. We're Good News messengers, offering the fruit of God's Holy Spirit, that they may taste and see that the Lord is good. If they choose to believe, God's Spirit will begin their instruction and reconstruction, which is an ongoing process for us all.
** Good Article: The Gentle Art of Correction: https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-14-gentle-art-correction-2-timothy-223-26
** Good Article: Giving and Receiving Godly Criticism: Sharpening Each Other With Your Words: http://9marks.org/article/giving-and-receiving-godly-criticism-sharpening-each-other-with-your-words/
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Bad Ideas series.