A late night revelation

I was having trouble sleeping tonight, when this illustration burst forth in my brain.

As followers of Christ we are asked to walk a narrow way. In this case the black line. This black line represents, doing the things we should do. Characterized by the statement Love God and Love people. The fushia (?) line represents some Christians who pick out the faults of others and tell them how they are displeasing to God, and are going to hell. The maroon line represents tolerating sin. Where we love people so much that we become enablers allowing sinful practices and bailing out the person to the point that they don’t get any correction and discipline to help them out of the addiction or such.

The red dotted that swiggles back and forth along the Black line of the narrow way, is about as close as we come as most Christians. Trying to help, correct, or discpline a friend or youth group member, out of love without being judgemental. Sometimes we tolerate sin to a point, but let them know that it isn’t right. Sometimes feeling judgemental about something and acting that way. The trick is to stay as close to the black line or walk the black line as best as possible.

I think what brought this on was the outing that we had today with the youth pastor and other volunteers. While planning, we had discussions about how to relate to some of the kids who are in the midst of major problems without being judgemental and yet helping them with their particular sin. Loving them but gently guiding them toward Truth.

That’s everybody’s struggle.

A late night revelation

  1. Michael says:

    Very good point, Jeff. Most of the time when dealing with my own children as well as in my preaching, I try to emphasis that as it pertains to those “thou shalt not’s”, there is a reason why a loving and benevolent Heavenly Father would have said “don’t do it” and that these reasons – as evidenced by so much brokenness in the world today – have as much to do with His love and care for us as His inevitable judgment.

    Pointing out errors can be tricky, but I like what you say about becoming an “enabler” by remaining silent. This is the same analogy that Simon Weisanthal pointed out in his book, “The Sunflower”, about his time as a Jewish POW in the Polish “ghetto”. It was the silence of the Church and the citizens that enabled the Nazis to do as much harm as they did.

    Good thoughts.

  2. Jeff Slater says:

    This is great… You remind me so much of myself it’s scary. I was a meteorologist, four years out of college working at a TV station when I answered God’s call to go to seminary and become a pastor.

    That diagram gave me flashbacks to the many, many such dotted line diagrams in meteorology school while still keeping my ministry brain in gear. Scary; talk about contextual ministry…

    There’s no meteorology on it, but check out my blog/podcast: http://ministrygeek.net

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