In today’s western society identity is everything. How one self-identifies often defines who they are. The problem with this is we have come to the point where it has become socially unacceptable not to accept someone whose identity is just plain wrong. I am not really looking at getting into that issue today, but it has crept into our Christian family where many have identified themselves as believers, yet they live a life that does not. It becomes really hard for a believer to confront those who are living like this as we become ‘judgemental’ and not showing God’s love. But what does God’s word have to say about this?
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
Paul tells us we need to stand out from the world, what exactly does that mean? Paul tells us a few verses in number 9-13. (14-21 expand even more feel free to look it up)
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfast in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, giving in hospitality.
Evil has created blurred lines where many have been fooled into dabbling and not even realizing they have. A good example is the abuse of substances, many feel that they are strong enough to make the choice to use these substances and quickly will go to scripture and fight that it is okay, yet we see in our society how these can easily be abused and destroy the body and mind. The problem with evil is that it is very similar to the tools it uses. The enemy makes it out as harmless and has no bearing on you if you choose it, yet it digs in and makes it very difficult to escape its grasps like an addict. Think about those caught up in pornography, it only started as looking at the magazines of your dad’s or your friend’s uncle. Yet as it pulled you in it became entangled in your life making it hard to go days without looking for the next porn hit.
What can we do to free ourselves from these addictive powers that are trying to lure us away from God? Reread what Paul told us to do. Continue in steadfast prayer, fervently seek the Lord. Look for mentors who can help you navigate this life and steer free of the evil that tries to hold you down. How can you help fellow believers who have fallen into an identity issue where they have come to the belief that what they are doing is okay yet in all appearances they are conforming to the patterns of this world? We need to be ready willing and able to confront them in love. This is where our love needs to be free of hypocrisy, even as Jesus told us to make sure that we check ourselves and help our brother in love. Taking the splinter out of our own eye. Remember Romans 13:11-14 tells us that we need to put on Christ, 13 says ‘Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.’
I pray today that we can change to become men and woman of Christ who are willing to call their brothers and sisters to charge. In love, hope and faith that they will come to a richer understanding of the relationship with God. Not to shame nor to chastise, but to build them up and bring them to a close walk with God.
Father, it burdens me when I see those who identify as believers and to be part of the family walking a life that is in contrast to the word. I pray that you will help us to show them in love that the life their living is contradictory to what they claim to stand for. This is no easy task Father, I ask for the Holy Spirits guidance in this. Help us to examine our lives as well so that they will have nothing to hold us to account for when we start this journey of redemption. It is time to change the way we show love to our brothers and sisters in you. We want them to grow in their relationship with you. Amen.