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How to stay on the "right" side of encouraging others.

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by mkgal1, Dec 19, 2013.

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  1. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

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    That's a simple question that asks a lot (IMHO). What sort of inspired this thread now is this post of A34's:

    How do we do that and still stand secure in knowing that we're not disrespecting someone?

    If someone doesn't realize they're in bondage or that they're continually hitting the same wall (one that can be removed with a change of thought).....how do we make them see that (*can* we make them see that)?

    If two people have different thoughts about something (like what a Christ-like and mature way of handling something is)....is one wrong....the other right? Is it even about "right" and "wrong"? Don't the surrounding details matter? If we're the one believing someone *else* needs to re-examine their way of thinking......how do *we* know it isn't us that needs to do the re-examining?
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  2. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

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    A Google search showed this article:

    That's not the same thing as sweeping things under the rug.
     
  3. Tins

    Tins The Chocoholic and Cat Lady Extraordinaire

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    That's something I've been wondering for a while, especially lately. I have friends who are extremely conservative and 100% anti all the hot button topics (homosexuality, abortion, etc) and then I have friends who are completely on the opposite end of the spectrum, claiming the name of Jesus but accepting all these things as relatively ok. I am somewhere in the middle, but leaning more towards the liberal side of things and it is very hard to stand firm in that when I have my extreme conservative friends (and husband!) hounding me. In some of the areas, nothing more than a small shift in thought would help them be more gracious towards others, rather than judgmental. And I have wondered how to stand fast in my beliefs while helping them to see things in a different perspective which will perhaps help them be a little more free. I do not want them to be bound as I was in the past by all the rules and regulations and that stuff. I want them to be free, to love, show grace and mercy, and to be compassionate.

    That does not mean accepting sin. It simply means to love the sinner, hate the sin. Respect that other people make a choice, even if it is wrong in your eyes. Even if it is wrong in God's eyes. It's not your choice or in your control. But surely being judgmental about it never helped anything...and I wish they could see that.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have friends who I feel are too liberal and allow anything to slip under the cracks, under the idea of "acceptance" and tolerance, and they fluff God and Jesus up like he is some teddy bear that doesn't have an ounce of judgment. Oh, I know I'm sinning but Jesus will be there when I get done. He always loves me. Stuff like that. So for them, I wish they could have a little more structure when it comes to their beliefs because the lack of any structure at all causes them to fall for anything and releases them of any judgment, consequences, or responsibility, which can in turn hurt them and their relationships because consequences will always be there.

    And for myself, I know that I struggle to accept other's beliefs. I say that I accept them, but if they try to question mine, I will end up getting too emotional, and will fail at the "love one another" part lol. So as much as I wish to encourage others to be more open to different perspectives, I myself struggle with allowing myself to do so. The best way for someone to approach me about a different perspective is to just be themselves and to not hound me with it as though it was the be all and end all. Show me how a different perspective works, rather than telling me.

    I find words to fail a lot now. With most people. They've all heard it. Now they want to see it in action.
     
  4. Kylissa

    Kylissa † Servant of God † CF Ambassador

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    We all tend to be most comfortable with people who are "like" us, no matter where we may be. If we move along the spectrum, we prefer people to share our new views. It somehow validates us.

    What I have found helpful is to keep in my mind just how much I have changed. My position on quite a few things has shifted over the years, if not outright changed. I hope that I grow to be more like Christ, so I am forced to look at my "old self" and be humbled by realizing that's is who I was. Keeping that firmly in mind - not in the way of condemnation, but in the sense of realizing my own mistakes - I think helps me to be more understanding of areas where others may be struggling or growing.

    It can be dangerous to see others as somehow "falling short" of yourself, as that puts you in danger of becoming prideful. Pride is one of those sins God especially condemns. After all, look what Lucifer/Satan's pride led to for all of creation.
     
  5. ValleyGal

    ValleyGal Celebrate Life!

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    I think it would be a good start if the original quote from A34 was actually taken into context....meaning, it was a specific response to a specific thing you said. If you take things out of their original context, it makes some people look like they have beliefs that they don't really have. Perhaps you would consider editing your OP and including the whole conversation rather than some random piece that likely won't make any sense out of context.
     
  6. Niffer

    Niffer Hook, Line and Sinker

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    With all the Duck Dynasty stuff that has been coming up, I can see how Christians and non-Christians alike are getting their panties into a snafu.

    There is a line between being gracious and loving, and being tolerating and accepting.

    That being said, as a Christian there are more serious issues and then there are lesser ones.
    For example, if I found out my pastor had a different end-of-the-word Revelations idea I had, would I leave his church on it?
    ..Nah, to me, its end-of-the-world theology, and I plan on being long dead before any of that happens.

    However, if he came out from behind the pulpit saying abortion was a fine and moral choice, I'd stand up and leave right away...

    Now everyone has personal convictions, things they feel strongly about, and that's not a bad thing.
    Ramming it down someones throat, or acting in a way that is aggressive or arrogant then THAT can be a serious problem.

    When it comes to encouraging those in their Christian walk, unless I know them extremely personally, I am absolutely NO position to judge them or their choices.
    If I found out a member of my congregation was a closet-alcoholic, then yes, I would step in and do my best to help them, as they are hurting themselves and could hurt others.
    If I found out a member of my congregation was for homosexual marriage within the church, I'd probably just shrug and keep my mouth shut.
    It's not up to me to try to make them live what I believe is a godly life or make the same decisions I would.

    My responsibility is to care for them as a person, and if through that, they want to know where I stand theologically, I'd be happy to tell them.

    I've had many homosexual friends, they KNEW I didn't agree with homosexual marriage (and a lot of them didn't agree with Christianity. ;) ) but that didn't stop us from being able to have a relationship and friendship.
    Even though they thought I was silly for "needin' religion" they still liked me for who I was.

    And even though there are Christians who we don't believe have the right perception of things, our first course of action should be to create a relationship first, before we try to 'change their minds'.

    ~ Niffer
     
  7. razzelflabben

    razzelflabben Contributor

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    Personally, I think this is easier than most people try to make it...first, study scripture so that you know what you believe and why, in this way, you will not be guilty of leading others astray. Secondly, understand and accept that God has given every man the gift of choice and you have no authority or right to remove that gift from them. All goes back to God's authority in giving the gift in the first place.

    Most people get into battles over theology and life styles because they want to control the choices of others. If we get that it is God's job to convince and change hearts and not our own, then our sole job is to point others to Christ, hold them there in prayer, and watch God work. That does not mean beating them with the truth, or shunning them for unrepentant sin, but rather it's a Matt. 18 approach to sin issues.
     
  8. Autumnleaf

    Autumnleaf Legend

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    What color is a Rubik's cube?

    [​IMG]

    It depends on which side you are looking at and when you are looking at it. Everything is kind of like that. We all see things filtered through our own senses and our own experience. That makes for lots of different perspectives. Your truth may or may not match what my experience and senses present to me. You never know. Its important we pray about things before attempting to correct someone else. Very few people choose to be evil and do wrong. Most think they are doing the best they can and in their own estimation are good people. Just ask them.
     
  9. CounselorForChrist

    CounselorForChrist Senior Veteran

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    For me I have always been able to see things form all angles. And I use what I know to determines what I will say. Obviously I tend to share from my point of view. But if someones POV makes sense then I can agree with them. And if someone says something to me trying to correct me, I examine what they said and if they are right then I apologize.

    However I try not to turn everything into a battle or debate. Best example is salvation. Its my job to help bring people to God. But at some point I give up on a person not because I don't care. But because if a wall chooses to be a wall then you can't change it. That and they have heard the truth and God says He will work on them. I do not like forcing my view on anyone as if to control them.

    They are free to disagree and I will respect that. As my one signature says at the bottom "Lets agree to disagree!". This also means I try not to hold grudges against someone who disagrees or can be mean about it to me. On their end they can choose to be how they want. I am not responsible for how someone wants to be.

    I love encouraging others in the end.

    FYI i don't wear panties anymore. LOL :p
     
  10. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

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    Great responses.......thanks!

    I especially loved how these points were worded:

    I believe this is a great stance to take:



    And....this is important (I believe):

    I've been guilty of getting my theology directly from people I respect (instead of seeking it out all on my own). We have to be firm in what we believe.....not in order to convince others....but mostly so we won't be blowing in the wind and changing with everything that passes our way.

    This may be where things get difficult to discern. What some people believe is someone "sinning against them" may just be an annoyance or even something within them that causes them to see things differently (for instance.....a person may have an entitlement issue and see it as "sinning" when someone has to bow out of a ministry project due to a seriously sick family member).
     
  11. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

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    I agree.

    I also think that the people that are doing evil things and believing they're doing it for good (like suicide bombers....abortion clinic bombers...etc) are the ones that are impossible to convince to do otherwise.

    Have you heard of the Stanford Prison Experiment? This is ordinary people chosen at random. They had to stop the experiment early---due to the psychological effects.

    Here's the link (I think it's interesting): The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo
     
  12. razzelflabben

    razzelflabben Contributor

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    This may be where things get difficult to discern. What some people believe is someone "sinning against them" may just be an annoyance or even something within them that causes them to see things differently (for instance.....a person may have an entitlement issue and see it as "sinning" when someone has to bow out of a ministry project due to a seriously sick family member).[/quote]
    why does everyone make Matt. 18 only about sinning against "me"? If I take an offering and remember someone has ought against me...ought, not sin, something. What would be hurt by going privately to someone who is bowing out of a ministry project and talking to them in love? Finding out that they have a serious family issue, and in that being able to help them and pray for the situation...haven't you won them over in that situation, and done so in love?
     
  13. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

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    Most versions of Matthew 18 do say, "against you"...and then go on to say to try to resolve it just between the two of you (privately). Wouldn't it be being a busybody to confront someone on behalf of another (especially if the other person isn't even giving it a thought)?

    I mentioned a person bowing out of a ministry project as an example of sin (what I believe to be a false idea of sin). There'd be no harm in praying for them and/or coming along side of them (that would be the best response....IMO). *That* would be an excellent display of love (I think).
     
  14. razzelflabben

    razzelflabben Contributor

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    true story...someone came to me and talked to me about a situation in which someone else was asking for prayer for someone but the context could be viewed as an opportunity to gossip. Person A that came to me, refused to confront person B about the issue (not a sin against person A) so I went to person B, at that time, I barely knew her, but she wasn't aware of how her actions could be hurting others. She got upset (obviously, since she had no ill intent) Well, today, we are very close and dear friends and person A, still has no meaningful, in fact strained relationship with person B. For believers who are struggling to grow in their faith, confronting them (not with judgment and attack, but with love and goal for maturity in the faith) becomes a welcomed confrontation...consider I John 5:3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
    and Proverbs 9:8
    Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.



    Psalm 141:5
    Let a righteous man strike me--that is a kindness; let him rebuke me--that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.



    Proverbs 10:8
    The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.


    Proverbs 19:25
    Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke the discerning, and they will gain knowledge.


    The example you gave was the man who was no longer involved in a ministry project...person A above was in a situation like that...I was the only person who asked her why...she and I are great friends, she calls me her best friend and I know the entire story and have helped her through the situation. Why? Because I "confronted" her and asked her what was up. I didn't push, it was up to her to talk, but I opened the door by asking her if everything was okay. Why are people afraid to talk to one another today? I don't get it...Matt. 18 isn't about judgment, it's about being part of a body that loves one another unto righteousness. Seen it work more times that not, in fact, I only know of one situation in which it didn't result in a satisfactory conclusion and that situation is about unrepentant sin that is being fosters rather than addressed and the situation is on going at this point. Otherwise, have never known it to fail even with unrepentant sin, and since this situation is still ongoing, expect it to end well as well. So, no, I don't follow your objection...maybe you can use an example that will help me understand.
    Which is what Matthew 18 tells us to do...I have an issue with person A bowing out of a ministry project, I "confront" person A cause it bothers me. Person A has the right to say X is the problem, or to not say anything. If nothing is said, I have two options, either trust God that it is an issue that A doesn't want to talk about and leave it there, or consider it is an issue that needs addressed and ask person C to go with me to try to get some answers...this would be like if the person just didn't show up and gave no reason, leaving work unaddressed. If they bow out with someone to take their place, then they just don't want to talk, which is up to them and the matter would be settled between the two of you...what am I missing?
     
  15. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

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    I do like your perspective about Matthew 18 being about restorative love.....I agree. That's a far better perspective than the typical, "they are sinning.....let's get them to stop!".

    The way I see your example is that person A was going against what's advised to us through Scripture. That person missed the opportunity to restore their relationship (and you see the fruit of that---you said their relationship is now strained). I believe it may be better to advise others to go first and try to resolve things just between the two of them (not an attack or even a "rebuke" in that case as it wasn't a sin.........but as you did things.....to ask if that person needed anything/if everything was okay with them).

    I don't really see Matthew 18 as being applicable in that situation as it wasn't really a "fault". We are to make allowance for one another (Colossians 3:13). Calling personal offenses "sins" gets into dangerous territory (I'm not suggesting that you ---Razzel---are doing that......just that people do confuse "righteous anger" with "personal offenses").
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  16. razzelflabben

    razzelflabben Contributor

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    lol my first response is duh!...but then I realized that you and others on this forum have never had or taken the opportunity to get to know me well enough to know that encouraging person A to talk to person B goes without saying when it comes to me. In fact, there are reasons why A refused to go to B, but that is a whole different story. Yes, person A was encouraged, counseled, and advised to go privately to person B.
    :confused: your the only one in this discussion between you and me calling Matt. 18 only about sin...remember, I am interpreting it as ought...that is anything that separates you from true fellowship with your brother. IOW's if I think my brother is wrong to pull out of a ministry project, I go privately and talk to him, if we work it out and he understands my concern and shares the problem with me, I have won him over with my love...if not, I take a brother with me and say, look this is more than just me being a busy body here, something is up and we love you enough to want to help you with the issue. I still don't get why everyone makes it only a sin issue. We are told to share with one another, why would we then think that the only "confronting" we are allowed to do is in the case of sin? I mean, we are told to weep with those that weep, rejoice with those that rejoice, etc. why then would we even think that Matt. 18 confrontation is only about sin? We are even told to confess one to another. How can I do that, if I can't "confront" the other person unless they are sinning? I'm not following your logic...we can look up the Thayer lexicon meaning of the word if you like, it's easy enough to do, but in the end of the matter, what logic would dictate only one translational possibility as right? Strong's site, translation of the word transgress...

    1. to be without a share in
    2. to miss the mark
    3. to err, be mistaken
    4. to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong
    5. to wander from the law of God, violate God's law, sin

    KJV Translation Count — Total: 43x
    The KJV translates Strongs G264 in the following manner: sin (38x), trespass (3x), offend (1x), for your faults (1x).

    Notice offend or for your faults is used, as is to be without a share in..so what if when you approach your brother, the offense is yours...there is still an offense, a mistake, a going wrong between the two of you...it's also called, the ministry of reconciliation...(II Cor. 5:18)

    so again, I ask, what am I missing? show me the error of my thoughts on this matter.
     
  17. razzelflabben

    razzelflabben Contributor

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    btw, the word later used "fault" is translated according to thayer

    1. to convict, refute, confute
      1. generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted
      2. by conviction to bring to the light, to expose
    2. to find fault with, correct
      1. by word
        1. to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove
        2. to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanation
      2. by deed
        1. to chasten, to punish

    KJV Translation Count — Total: 17x
    The KJV translates Strongs G1651 in the following manner: reprove (6x), rebuke (5x), convince (4x), tell (one's) fault (1x), convict (1x).

    again, does not require sin issue, only a disagreement
     
  18. razzelflabben

    razzelflabben Contributor

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    btw, the word later used "fault" is translated according to thayer

    1. to convict, refute, confute
      1. generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted
      2. by conviction to bring to the light, to expose
    2. to find fault with, correct
      1. by word
        1. to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove
        2. to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanation
      2. by deed
        1. to chasten, to punish

    KJV Translation Count — Total: 17x
    The KJV translates Strongs G1651 in the following manner: reprove (6x), rebuke (5x), convince (4x), tell (one's) fault (1x), convict (1x).

    again, does not require sin issue, only a disagreement
     
  19. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

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    All of those definitions have to do with sin; trespasses; admonishments; rebukes. I don't know what version you're referring to.....but, I believe that Matthew 18 has to do with a person in sin:

    Matthew 18:15 "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

    I'm only saying that I don't believe it's applicable when a person is merely doing something *we* (personally) believe is "out of step" (especially if we weren't involved and are hearing about it second-hand). To ask someone if everything is okay is one thing (and I doubt anyone would disagree with that).....it's when two or three people are then involved to carry it further. If they don't wish to share with you (individually)....and it's not a sin issue......I don't understand why you'd involve even more people. To me....that seems like harassment....not love.

    That also seems to be what 1st Peter 4:15 is instructing *against*:

    If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people's affairs.~1st Peter 4:15
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013
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  20. razzelflabben

    razzelflabben Contributor

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    lol....so you don't really want to show me where I have this wrong...okay....as to the specifics of this paragraph, I'm not extremely confused. You started out talking about someone pulling out of a ministry project. Now people do this all the time, so in order for you to bring this up in this thread topic, it must mean that it is a personal issue for you...that is, they left you short handed or something. I mean, if your just being a busy body and trying to run everyone's life for them, that is an obvious, your in the wrong, and as far as I'm concerned doesn't apply to the discussion at hand. So, in order for it to apply to the OP question as I understand the OP question, there must be a reason why it upsets you. That is, something like being left short handed, or feeling guilty because you may have said or done something to drive them away...in which case, you need to go talk to them, just as Matt. 18 tells us to do, and as per the definition, I already pointed out the parts that are not specific to sin, so just proclaiming me to be wrong, doesn't address our conflict, nor help me to understand what I have wrong...okay, so back to the topic...something happened, you may be wrong or they may be wrong...you explore your own heart in the light of God as previously discussed, and cannot find any evil lurking on your part...so you follow Matt. 18 and go to them and say, "what gives, you left me short handed" (remember, we already ruled out that it's just your being judgmental) If you don't get any satisfaction, why wouldn't you take someone as a witness? The guy left you short handed...come on...not necessarily a sin, but worthy of reconciliation none the less, and in line with the definition given for Matt. 18

    So maybe, the guy didn't leave you short handed, but you may or may not have done something to offend them...again, Matt. 18 is helpful and in line with the definitions, whether a sin or not. So you go, and he acts angry, refuses to talk to you as if he is upset...how wouldn't taking a witness help? You take a witness, say, "dude, I'm sorry if I offended you but we are called to the ministry of reconciliation, and I want to reconcile this with you. I didn't think it was offensive, but maybe I got it wrong...help me to figure this out so that I can prevent it from happening to the glory of God." (kind of like my asking you to show me what I have wrong in this issue)

    The only other option I see, is the one we talked about that I excluded as it did not seem to apply to the OP question. Much as a poster you are familiar with, confessed in another thread with me, but did and will refuse to admit or accept responsibility for...that of judgment. For example in the case I am referring to, another poster admitted to having a problem with me because he/she didn't like my posting style...that is easy to see in light of scripture as judgment and the sin of the one who said it, especially in light of how many people respond positively to my posts. Judgment is usually pretty easy to spot, if that was your intent with the OP. Some of the markers of judgment are 1. no evidence to support it being a wide spread matter...for example in this case, it has all the markers of being a personal matter and not inclusive of a lot of other people. Another example would be the situation going on in our church right now. There was/is an issue with the Ass. pastor, he tried to paint a picture of it being just a couple of people being upset, when in reality and the evidence confirmed, it was wide spread. 2. there is no evidence of the person being wrong...iow's all the complaints and accusations are unfounded. If let's say, I'm upset because I heard that X did Y, but cannot find any evidence to support that X did Y, then it's most likely rumor and I would be sinning against X to give it any weight. 3. motive is a big one. In fact, the goal, purpose, motive behind love, which is what we are commanded to do and would be the only reason that we have to explore the OP question, is to reconcile/restore...so if there is no purpose of reconciliation/restoration involved, then it is lack of love at best, and more than likely judgment. 4. Lack of purpose within the body. The body has a purpose and that purpose is to build one another up in the faith. This is related to 3 but since I want to be totally fair we can separate the two. If the complaint does not aim to build X or myself in the faith, it is more than likely just jealousy or pride based judgment.

    Finally, as previously stated, prayer is always the first step...if you are being judgmental, prayer of cleansing your heart...if the other person needs help, prayer for guidance on how to help them.

    I can't even begin to fathom what else you might have intended in the OP that I missed. But again, I'm anxious to find out what I am missing.
    the context is this suffering, trials, etc. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
    14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
    15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.[/quote] so we are talking about suffering for the sake of Christ...what I seem to be missing is what suffering the OP is referring to? I already talked about person X doing something to offend person Y and vise versa...already talked about judgment which I didn't even think we were including in the OP...so what else am I missing? What suffering on behalf of Christ are you referring to in the OP question? As to the busy body thing, absolutely, but that goes back to being judgmental, which I originally thought was excluded from the question. So if you want to talk about busy bodies, they need to first, reconcile with God, then, reconcile with the person they had an issue with, especially since this type of busybody usually leads to gossip, slander, and other lies. That means you would have been in sin and taking Matt. 18 off the table when you are being a busybody in someone elses life, is a violation of even your interpretation of Matt. 18.





    16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
    17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
    18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
    19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

    Now, here is the heart of the passage you referred us to, that the answer as I said above, is to examine your own heart, to see if there is any wicked way in you...to cleanse your own heart from all unrighteousness, to mature in your own faith to the point in which judgment is not a part of the new creation you have become. See, this is what I still fail to grasp...if you are judging, cleanse yourself, God will reveal your judgmental heart if you ask Him to...if your not judgmental, you need to go to the person and help them to grow in their faith....the answer is always God through the working of the HS within. Just as I already said....1. pray 2. confront according to Matt. 18..and if you are the judge in this case, then you still need to follow Matt. 18. 3. if there is no offense, then what is the OP asking? Cause all I see in the question is someone is offended/not happy with someone else...if everyone is happy and there is no offense what is the OP asking? and why?
     
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