19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back,
20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. - James 5:19-20
This is the whole reason we are called to love in community with one another. Yes, it is to encourage and support one another when we are struggling to manage the trials and chaos that this broken world throw at us, but this is the biggest and most important reason. Don’t miss God’s purpose for community.
When our hearts are submerged in sin, we are told in scripture that we are blind to our sin. We literally cannot see what we are doing, or how our sin is impacting those around us. Our own hearts hide our sin from us or justify it in some way to minimize our brokenness. We argue the hurt was too big to forgive, or we had a right to be angry; we argue it’s been a difficult time so we have a right to indulge, that we’re not prideful when we’re meddling, or that it’s not gossip, we’re just seeking advice. Emotion has such a strong ability to cover reality, and when we are deep in an emotional response, we simply cannot see the reality of our hearts.
God has given us eyes to see the sin of those around us with much more clarity than we see our own. As fellow believers, we are called to live in community with one another so that we can keep our eyes fixed on Him. When we notice a brother or sister wandering from the path, we are to gently help them to see the error in their ways. I am so thankful for the communities I live in as they have pointed my eyes to Him on those occasions my own sin has blinded me. This is why we are to be transparent with our struggles with one another, so we can keep a watchful eyes on each other’s weakness, and hold one another accountable to change.
A warning to heed in this area is that we often go to judgment when we notice another person’s sin. We can be prideful as we look to their sin and think we would never struggle with such an issue, or we can judge their failures as a lack of commitment to the Lord and call their faith weak. God does not call us to be harsh or prideful in our approach to turn them back. He calls us to gentle and loving - always. It’s important to note that James says “whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins,” it doesn’t say whoever points it out. In other words, when we are harsh or offensive in the way we point out someone else’s sin, we may push them farther away. It isn’t the pointing out of the sin that saves our soul, it is the bringing the sinner back that covers a multitude of sin. Be gentle when you call out the sins of another.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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