When one hears of someone they once were very close to having fallen from their faith in a devastating way, it tears at the heart. Cuts to the core. We wonder how in the world could that person have done such a thing?! What about their spouse? What about their children? What about their church family?
It seems so very easy to start pointing fingers, asking questions, speculating . . . and yes . . . judging.
The Christ-given, mother-nurturing side of me wants to take these people in my arms and love on them. Let them know that they are still loved, that they can be restored through Christ – true repentance always brings forth forgiveness and restoration.
The other “human” side of me wants to demand answers. Answers to the “Why?”, the “How could you?”, and “What now?” And to speak “if only . . . ” into their situation. But I do not. I’m biting my tongue. What good would it do, anyway?! None. When one sins, they are fully aware of what they have done. To God, to themselves, to those close to them. It would be adding ‘fuel to the fire’. It is not my place to do that . . . that job is Holy Spirit’s, 100%.
One sits and contemplates the relationship . . . do you remain friends with this person or persons? If we turn our back on them, how can they understand the depth of love and compassion Abba Father has for them? If all they feel is rejection, ridicule, shame, blame, etc. wouldn’t that push them even farther away? Deeper into the pit that the enemy of their souls has already pushed them into?
Instead, I am choosing to contemplate ALL that the Lord, by His loving, grace and mercy, has forgiven me for. All He has brought me through. All He has restored in my own relationships and wrong choices that I had made along the way.
I focus on His character instead of the flawed human character of my friend(s) / loved one(s) who chose to make wrong decisions and sin. I remember Jesus, as he saw the people about to stone the woman caught in adultery – how he simply knelt down and wrote in the sand, saying “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” – well, of course no one could throw that first stone, and soon no one was left but Jesus. He COULD have, for He genuinely was without sin, but His character is pure love and forgiveness, backed by the desire to see people whole and reconciled.
I focus on His conversation with the woman at the well – He KNEW her – He knew she was living in sin, yet there was no condemnation in His words towards her.
If I truly consider myself to be a Christian – an imitator of Christ (which I do), then how in the world can I even begin to propose thoughts of accusation, blame, downgrading, humiliating, etc.? Truth is, I can not. I refuse. To do so would be dishonoring to my Lord!
What do we do, then, once the shock and hurt lessens? Pray, P R A Y, & P R A Y some more! Present the Truth . . . in LOVE . . . and allow God’s Character to flow through you to them, through the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to do His work. If they refuse, keep on praying, but do not allow any bitterness to take root in your own heart.
Loving others through the consequences of their wrong choices is not an easy task. It is a spiritual battle, but one more than worth fighting – fighting to keep your own peace as well as fighting for the restorative, healing your friend(s) need to receive as well. They are not in a place where they can do battle . . . we must take up our armor and fight for them . . . trusting God that the battle will be one of victory . . . for His glory and your friend(s) good.
© klh 4Given Ministries