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Restored II

 It’s easy to get lost when you don’t have a map. Or if you happen to be hiking, which I hear is a thing people do if the trail is not properly marked, with arrows pointing the way for the intrepid and surefooted, it’s easy to wander and get turned around, especially if you’ve never been there before. I like taking walks as much as anybody, but I tend to get a bit leery when I see people strapping on fifty-pound backpacks and talking about eight hours each way. There are mosquitos and bugs in the woods, and eight hours of trekking through the underbrush, hoping you don’t get lost, and checking to see if you have cell service every few minutes in case you do just isn’t my cup of tea. Neither is tea, for that matter. I’ll take coffee any day, even gas station coffee. Now I’ve offended the English. Some days, you just can’t win.

Not everyone enjoys the same thing. We must allow for each other’s differences in these matters, but just because you went for a hike doesn’t make you Meriwether Lewis or William Clark. The route was already mapped out for you, the markers were freshly painted, and other than poison ivy, you didn’t discover much anyway. This isn’t me being testy; I’m just fresh off a conversation I had with a hiking enthusiast whose story was so self-congratulatory and grandiose one would have thought they climbed Everest blindfolded. Relax, Chucky, it was the kid’s nature walk in a middling national park. I think the backpack and water gourds were a bit of an overkill.

The only way to get lost on a clearly marked path is to wander off, whether because you think you know better than those who blazed the trail or because you saw something shiny off in the distance that you couldn’t help but go and investigate. No one made you wander off the path; you did it willingly, voluntarily, and of your own volition. If you were traveling in a group, perhaps there were even others who warned against going off into the thicket, insisting that it was smarter just to stick to the path itself, but you rolled your eyes, called them a prude, asked them where their sense of adventure was, and went off into the wild.

The way is the way; it has been since Jesus walked the earth, and it has not changed. Although people have attempted to find easier paths, ones that did not require a climb or any exertion on their part, the destination was always different than that of the old path because it’s the only path that leads to that particular destination. It’s not whether a trail is easy that matters; it’s whether it will lead you to where you want to go.

Whenever I’ve flown over the last couple of years, the announcement has added a new wrinkle that at first I thought was for the benefit of levity, but given the common sense deficit we’ve seen of late, I get the impression they’re as serious as a live round on a movie set.

The new addition informs you of that particular plane’s destination, then the announcer says, if this is not your destination, please let a flight attendant know so we can get you off this plane. There was one instance where a lady wearing pajamas and a ten-gallon hat got frantic and said she was supposed to be going to Chattanooga while the flight she was on was going to Dallas, but thankfully, that was the only one.

Are you headed in the right direction? Is your destination firmly affixed in your mind, and is the destination the thing that drives you ever onward?

If we notice someone wandering from the truth, our attitude should not be one of indifference. Once again, James highlights the importance of brotherly love and seeing the household of faith as a body that must take steps to restore a weak, sick, or lethargic member.

To notice that someone has wandered from the truth, you, yourself must know it and walk in it. Someone already in error will not be bothered by another who likewise walks in error. Someone walking in truth, possessing the love of Christ, will always show concern when another wanders from it.

Your duty isn’t to let them wander off further and further into the dark but to try to turn them back. Yes, you may be deemed unloving, intolerant, bigoted, a zealot, and a legalist when you approach someone and lovingly warn them of their error, but that can’t be helped.

I can’t control another’s actions, but I can control my own. I can’t control how someone will react to being warned of the error of their ways or that they are wandering from the path of righteousness, but I can do what the Word instructs and risk being mischaracterized, maligned, and hated. The wages are too high for you to keep silent because it’s a matter of a soul being saved from death.

James 5:19-20, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”

It’s not self-righteous to warn another that they have wandered from the truth. It’s not holier than thou or sanctimonious; it’s biblical. Anyone who accuses you of being smug, haughty, or supercilious for pointing to the Word and warning that they are wandering from it simply does not want to acknowledge their error and is lashing out with personal attacks.

Tell me where I’m wrong Biblically, not that you didn’t like my tone or that I could have been gentler in my delivery. If I care more about your soul than you do, then there’s a problem, and it’s not the manner in which a warning was delivered.

We should care more about our souls than a scratch on our new car or a stain on a new shirt. We should, but there are many things we should be doing that we aren’t, and that’s to our shame.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Posted on 30 March 2024 | 10:31 am

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8. Apr 7, 2024 - Preparing For Persecution III
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11. Apr 2, 2024 - Final Thoughts
12. Apr 1, 2024 - Wisdom
13. Mar 31, 2024 - Restored III
14. Mar 30, 2024 - Restored II
15. Mar 29, 2024 - Restored
16. Mar 27, 2024 - Nature
17. Mar 26, 2024 - Effective
18. Mar 25, 2024 - Honesty
19. Mar 24, 2024 - Order II
20. Mar 23, 2024 - Order
21. Mar 22, 2024 - Sick
22. Mar 20, 2024 - Suffering
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