My Brothers Keeper

May 2, 2012

Our Christian marriage  has the ability to influence others around us even when we do not speak a single word.  We do not always have to tell people that they are living in sin whether it be cohabitating or otherwise. Our Christian presence can speak volumes in making people reflect on the way they are living.  There will come a time when we must stand firm in the word  of God and speak up against wrongdoing.  When we do this we must be careful because there is a fine line between judging and holding someone accountable for their actions.

How do we hold people accountable for their actions and not judge them?

The dictionary defines “judging: to infer, think, or hold an opinion; conclude about or assess.”  This definition is basically implying that the person who is judging has no proof.  On the other hand, accountable is defined as ” subject to the obligation to report, explain or justify something.”  In other words, we are dealing with facts.  We as Christians must hold people accountable for their actions or the Lord will deal with us.

“But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.” Ezekiel 33:6

At one point the Lord allowed me to be in the company of a few people who shared different beliefs from me, an atheist, seven day Adventist, and a Jewish lady.  When our differences in what we believed were revealed  I immediately started to pray for them.   During one of our “mom’s night out” outings a conversation arose about our beliefs.  Each person sitting at the table explain how they came to have their beliefs.  The women who was an atheist grew up in a Christian home, she actually wanted to be a missionary when she got older.

So what made her decide to stop believing in God?  Her grandfather was an atheist, he became very ill.  She tried to get him to believe in God before he died but he wouldn’t so she prayed to God and asked him to save her grandfather.  To her knowledge (because we can never fully know someone’s heart) her grandfather died without believing in Jesus. Her heart changed toward God, she couldn’t understand why God would want to send anyone to hell so she decided that God must not be real since He didn’t answer her prayers.  While she was telling us her story I prayed to the Lord to give me a word from him for this young lady.

The holy spirit started to move and she cried.  The Lord used me to speak to her heart.  She does not profess to be a Christian just yet but she is open to hearing more about Jesus.  If I would have distance myself from her and the others after I was aware of our different beliefs, the Lord wouldn’t have been able to use me to begin to speak to her heart.  The other two were raised in their beliefs, people who have been raised in their beliefs are a lot harder to change.  They were not as receptive to hearing what I had to say,  Christians in general bothered them.

Christians have the reputation for being pushy, hypercritical, and judgmental.  It’s not because we are holding people accountable, it’s because we are judging them.  We think we know what people are in to just because we know a few things about them like, they don’t go to church that often, they had a kid before they were married, they have a bad attitude.  All of the things listed above may be accurate but we are missing the key element, why and what are they doing about it?

Yes we are called to hold people accountable when we know the facts, but if you are not interacting with them regularly you have no idea what they are in too.  And when we do not know for certain, we are judging or also know as baring false witness.    If we want to win people over to Christ we must do so in a non judging, loving way.

Challenge:  If there is someone you believe is living a life that will not get them to heaven, spend some time around them asking questions. You may be missing a key element, the more you know the better you can pray for them or be able to help them in their personal life.

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