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Wisdom

 Kicking people while they’re down might make the one doing the kicking feel superior physically and spiritually, but only in their eyes. If anyone witnesses the altercation, chances are they’ll have a different take on it than the sanctimony-fueled individual wagging his finger and showering the crumpled figure with spittle. We don’t like bullies. That’s a general statement, obviously, but all available evidence, anecdotal as it might be, points to the veracity of it. Even bullies don’t like bullies. Ultimately, there’s something broken in an individual who revels in the idea of victimizing someone smaller, weaker, and incapable of defending themselves.

As the adage goes, there’s a time and place for everything. When someone acknowledges their shortcoming, sin, or fallen nature, when they are seeking restoration and repentance is no time to keep kicking at them as though they were a soccer ball. By all means, defend the truth with all your might, but once someone has seen their error and is seeking a way back, that is the time to show mercy and grace and aid them as we are able.

It’s easy to show love to the lovely and loveable. Everyone wants to cuddle up to a pug, but few, if any, want to make kissy faces with a blobfish. It’s more difficult to look upon a bloody, broken thing who might have done you wrong in ways that left a scar and have the character reach out a hand to help them get back to the truth. It is, however, what we are called upon to do, what we must do if we are members of the Body of Christ.

Another thing to be wary of when attempting to turn a sinner from the error his way is that you are actually pulling them up out of the mire, and they are not dragging you down into it. The best way to do this is to know yourself, know your weaknesses, know the things the enemy will use to try and disrupt your growth and avoid them altogether.

If you know someone is in sexual sin and that they need to be brought back from their wayward wandering, but you, yourself, fight the same temptations, find another brother who does not share in the same vulnerability and have them approach the individual, or do it together so that the enemy will have no way of turning a good plan into a horrible execution.

If you were once a gambling addict, perhaps going to casinos to preach the good word isn’t the best place for you. Perhaps avoiding them is in your best interest because when what once was common becomes uncommon, it can readily become common again if you give it the opportunity. Does it mean you’ll automatically start scrounging in your pockets for change to feed the one-armed bandit if you step into a casino? No, that’s not what it means, but why not avoid the things you knew had you shackled and desperate once upon a time?

Don’t put yourself in a position to do something foolhardy that will necessitate someone else coming along and turning you back. If your mission is to get someone out of a ditch but end up in the ditch yourself, you’re at the mercy of another to come and pull you both out.

You’d be surprised at the excuses and justifications some people can devise for doing what they’re doing and living how they’re living because they have wandered from the truth, and it is no longer their standard and plumb line.

Usually, when they are doing something antithetical to the Word of God, they’ll use their own rebellion as anecdotal justification. Well, we’re doing such and such, and so it must be okay with God because we’re doing it. Hold on a minute, though; the Word of God says you shouldn’t be doing that one thing you’ve just admitted to doing. Wouldn’t it be more prudent for you to repent of the thing you’re doing than to justify it to yourself? Just asking for a friend.

You can’t save anyone from drowning if you’re doing all you can to keep your own head above water. First, you must gird up the loins of your mind. First, you must know the truth. First, you must walk in His way before you try to turn a sinner from the error of their way.

Yes, men wander from the truth, and it begins as a seed of doubt planted in the heart at a moment when they’re distracted or otherwise disengaged from being vigilant and watchful. We are most likely to let our guard down around those we consider of like mind. When we’re among the brethren, or what we deem to be the brethren, we’re not as vigilant as when we’re out in the world, expecting attacks and deceptions from every direction. We don’t want to consider that not all who are in the household of faith are of the household of faith or that certain men have crept in unnoticed, turning the grace of God into lewdness and teaching things contrary to Scripture.

It’s usually within a church setting that a lie can take root in a heart because we are likelier to equate a church setting with the whole counsel of God, and so less frequently question what we are being taught or what we hear.

When our walk is superficial, without pursuing righteousness and the virtues that the Word describes as pure and undefiled religion, we are willfully wandering from the truth. We excuse our rebellion by telling ourselves that, in that particular instance, the Bible meant something other than what it said or that we already know the truth and need not test what we believe against the Scriptures to see if it is proven.

Our excuses and justifications will hold water only for a season, for when we stand before the great I Am, He will use the Word as the plumb line by which our lives will be judged.

James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Posted on 1 April 2024 | 11:38 am

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