Victoria is 19 months old and is quite mischievous. She gets herself into trouble often. Sometimes it requires scolding from Grammy which I hate! My point - even though she misbehaves and requires discipline I still love her with all my heart. She is a precious little girl with flaws.
We have precious people in our churches who sometimes are mischievous and make poor choices in life who also have flaws. Often times these folks find themselves in places they really don't want to be. As Christians we must come alongside them and encourage them and love them. Shunning them and judging them will only push them further away from God
Luke 6:37-41 (The Message) "Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity." 41-42"It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
One of the most frustrating parts of pastoring is dealing with those in the church who are always judging everything EVERYONE else does but fails to see their own flaws. God did not place us on this earth to be judges. The church is not a courtroom. The church is a place of recovery. It is a place that should be filled to overflowing with love and compassion. As Christians we need to be a support to those who are struggling with sins in their lives.
I want to encourage you today to pray for those in your church who might be struggling with poor choices they have made. Encourage them to repent and begin a life of restoration. Walk with them as they begin to put the pieces of their lives back together. Any of us could fail today. Not one of us is exempt from making poor choices. The flesh is weak and if we let our guard down we can also be extremely vulnerable to poor choices.
Blessings to you today!