This evening, as I was studying the scriptures concerning what our attitude to unbelievers and sinners should be, I came across Jude 22-23.
I want us to see thought provoking things from that portion of the scriptures.
The message Bible puts it this way ” Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.”
How do we handle people who are different from us? I discovered who we handle determines how we handle him or her… We don’t handle everyone the same way. I will take it one after the other
1. People who are not strong in faith:
We need to take it easy with them. We don’t engage in an unnecessary battle with them… This we do with love and compassion.
2. People who left the faith, who have made up their mind to remain in sin, or people who are caught up in wrong doctrine:
We need to go after them. The NIV says we need to snatch them out of fire. We can rebuke them, we can boldly speak against those doctrines and stands. For instance, when someone pronounces that Jesus is not God or that Jesus is not the way… We don’t treat it lightly.
3. People who made wrong choices, who were caught in sin (or SINNERS):
These people are very delicate. We can loose them when we are harsh, we can loose them when we condemn them. We have to be tender with them but not soft on sin because we know what sin stands for. This means we don’t just ignore them, this means we reach out to them with a tender heart, a tender approach and a loving personality. While doing that, we also be careful enough not to endorse sin. Let them see God’s love and also see how their sins can destroy them.
In summary, we don’t treat lightly with those who preach the false doctrine. With their doctrine they keep sinners away from God because they always present a wrong picture of God. They are on the brink of fire and we need to snatch them away from fire, they need strong rebuke and not pity.
We treat sinners tenderly because they are still in the default setting of every man. We do it with the knowledge that every saint had a past and every sinner has a future! Sin remains sin, when a member sins they body needs to rebuke him or her in love but not to be disgraced publicly. A believer who made a wrong choice can fall in this category, we need to be tender on them so that they understand we don’t hate them. Jesus would call the Pharisees fools because they preach falls doctrine and live fake lives but he never used such words on sinners and people who made wrong choices, he rather reach out to them tenderly and won them over.
In all, the love of Christ is ultimately to be chiefly found in all our approaches. I believe this blessed your life.