We are called to stir one another up to love and good works. We are also called to meet together and encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24-25). Through relationships and community, we bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and lift each other up when we fall (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Are you in a small group of believers? If not, I highly encourage that you find one, and give each other permission to speak freely when one notices another believer is not acting according to the scripture. Proverbs 27:17 is a famous verse that calls for us to sharpen one another “as iron sharpens iron.”
To do this, we need to be able to know the truth and speak the truth. We also need to be able to confront one another with love and compassion and redirect when necessary. This is the part that gets uncomfortable for many Christians as no one enjoys being told they are wrong, and few enjoy telling someone else they are wrong.
Matthew 18:15-18 offers instruction for restoring Christian relationships. We must start with our fellow Christians, accusing a non-believer of wrongdoing is not a good idea as they can get offended, defensive, and retaliate using words like hypocrite or hate crime. Instead, we continue to pray for the non-believer and model the way Jesus encourages us to live. If they begin to see you are different, they may start to ask questions that can open a door for good conversation.
Yes, Christians are called to take the plank out of their own eye before judging someone else for wrongdoing (Luke 6:42, Matthew 7:1:5). If I am committing adultery and I turn to my Christian brother or sister and confront them about adultery, this would not go over well. However, if I have never committed adultery or I have stopped the sinful behavior, then I have removed the plank from my eye and can speak with my Christian brother or sister about their transgression.
Confronting someone can be a very difficult discussion to have. Without preaching or coming off "high and mighty", we should first pray for guidance and wisdom within the conversation, and that they might have an open heart and mind to receive our concern and words. I like to ask God to speak through me and for the words from my lips to be His words and not mine. I ask God to help me not mess things up. Then, I ask the other person for permission to speak freely about a matter that has been weighing heavy on my heart.
Matthew 18:15-18 says that if the conversation does not go well with just the two of you, then try again with one or two more people joining the conversation as a “testimony of two or three witnesses.” Sometimes, the person does not want to change. They may not be ready to give up their sin. If that is the case, we should continue to pray for them.
In a blog post by Sarah and Susan, they explain how it’s okay to “call each other out” for sin. The twin sisters call for accountability in our modern culture as opposed to thinking accountability is taboo. They list two main reasons to hold one another accountable. The first, is because it helps us to avoid sin. When sin separates us from God, we cannot truly know Him and follow Him in the way He has planned for us. It is similar to when we tell a lie to a parent, spouse, or loved one. That lie acts as a barrier and can cause a fracture in the relationship. This is no way to live with anyone, especially with Jesus.
The second reason, is that accountability helps Christians mature in their faith. Using Ephesians 4:14-16 as a guide, we see that we are no longer infants. Just as we grow and mature as human beings, we too should grow and mature as Christians. Transforming from a potential believer to a new believer, to a young believer, to a mature believer, and finally to a parenting believer. If you're curious where you are on this journey, I invite you to take the Discipleship Growth Chart survey today to see how you are doing on your discipleship pathway.
Thank you Father for loving me unconditionally, despite my sinful nature. Thank you for allowing me into the Christian family and surrounding me with Godly brothers and sisters.
God, please help me to have the right circle of friends that will encourage me to live a Christian lifestyle and hold me accountable when I make a mistake. I pray for Christian accountability partners around the globe to give one another permission to speak freely and to radically shift their words and deeds to align more with the Bible.
Help me to have ears to hear as You and my Christian brothers and sisters speak into my life. Help me to listen and understand what needs to be done differently to stay on the straight and narrow path.
Father, please help us all to sin less and to stand out as being different. Help us to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed” (Romans 12:2) in body, heart, mind, and soul so that we can do what is pleasing and honoring to You.
In Jesus’ name, we pray,
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