November 05, 2017

Difficult but Necessary

1 Thessalonians 5:12-22

Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

—  James 5:20

If we’ve committed our lives to following Jesus as Savior and Lord, we’re in a relationship with him and other believers. It’s a relationship that includes teach­ing and correcting others. This means that when a fellow believer engages in a pattern of sin, an unacceptable way of life, we need to say or do something, even though we might rather not. Confrontation is never easy.

We begin by looking at our own life. Jesus warned about seeing the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye while ignoring the plank in our own eye (Matthew 7:3-4). But a love-led motive will be understood. It’s important to see this as a ministry of mercy and a sign of genuine fellowship. Mutual admonition may be difficult, but love compels us to address destructive behavior.

The Bible urges us to warn against idleness and disruption and to encourage the disheartened. We should also respect those who work hard among us, such as the pastor teaching at worship today and the leaders of other ministries in the church. It’s not easy to balance the tasks of admonishing the wandering, encouraging the fearful, helping the weak, and being patient with everyone.

Will you take time today to encourage those who lead you in the church community?

Father, empower us to see what we must do and what we must avoid doing as we seek to live together in love as fellow believers. In the name of Jesus, who did all this perfectly, we pray. Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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