this was in a letter i wrote a friend, but i thought really expressed the challenge we were all put before us in truly loving the body of christ and what that looks like. i thought i'd share it (and the friend gave me permission to do so - actually, told me i should!). hope it challenges you. feel free to leave your thoughts...
my heart is heavy about how things are with you. don't stress that i'm stressing about you... i'm not stressed, just heavy hearted for you because this is a tough situation. i'm going to be super honest with you (maybe 'blunter' than usual?? cause i'm a pretty honest person!). last night's sermon and in tonight's small group we were talking about sin in the church. and what do we do with it? and is our standard for the "world" or those who are non-believers outside the church the same as the one that's for the church. it's not. god judges those outside the church; we are to 'judge' one another (we are all saved by jesus through faith, but when it comes to our conduct we are to walk alongside one another and help each other to follow what the bible is calling us to do and live by. we observe one anothers' lives and as we share we help one another to walk in obedience). hope that makes sense. so we were discussing what we're to do if another brother or sister is clearly in sin and must be removed from the church (intense, i know)... but the thing that weighed the heaviest upon me was that it's not a matter of just kicking people out of church community because they're sinful... we're all sinful... but walking through life together and doing so openly enough to share our lives with one another so that we CAN speak truth to each other so we never get to that place of removing a believer from community (if you listen to the sermon from yesterday, this will all make more sense). and that as we see people struggle we help them with what's going on, we love on them, we point them to the bible and verses there to help them through a tough time, we pray for them. i know there have been sins in my life that if not called out, i would have stayed in and it would NOT have been for my good. believe me! i mean, at the time, i was like "whhhat?? this is what i wanna do - i'm not stopping this" but now when i look back i'm like THANK YOU jesus for people who called me out. because otherwise i would have been turned over to my selfish ways... to pursue my own selfishness and sin outside of the church. because if i don't want to be obedient to jesus on big things (that i'm not willing to change in) then why am i doing all this church stuff and why would i want to be there in the first place? ok. i'm rambling.
The Podyum – On a Mission – Prague Lions
22 hours ago