Discipleship is Easy Even When It’s Hard
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us.”
(1 John 1:8)
“The heart,” said the prophet Jeremiah “is desperately sick no one can comprehend it.” (Jer. 17:9) Which is why when a brother or sister confronts us with what they believe are sinful attitudes or behaviors, we ought not dismiss them easily. We ought instead to hear what they have to say with the utmost seriousness. But because our hearts are desperately sick, this is easier said than done.
The apostle John knew the truth. The heart is sick, and the temptation is to avoid calling sin what it is. The human heart avoids admitting sin like cockroaches avoid the light. Cockroaches avoid the light because they want to live. But there is no life for human cockroaches who seek life by avoiding admission of sin.
Here’s the hard thing to admit, I have a cockroach-like heart. So do you.
So here’s the counsel of a fellow sinner. When your brother or sister comes and tries to wrestle with you over the sin they think they see in your life, listen to them. They may not be very sensitive. They may stumble with their words. They may not have their facts straight. They may be 180 degrees off.
But they might be spot on.
And because they are your brother or sister, because you are one with them in Christ, because the blood of Christ has purchased you both and unites you in the fellowship of the redeemed—they should be taken seriously. The purity of the body of Christ and the holiness that all of us are commanded to pursue demands it.
- Listen to them.
- Converse calmly with them, ask questions and try not to be defensive.
- Part as more than friends–as brothers/sisters.
- Go to God with their input and search your cockroach heart.
- Remember, 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” and then remember the glorious truth of the gospel, that the result of confessing sin and receiving His forgiveness is that “there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)