Now don’t get me wrong, I believe as Christians that we are to hold one another accountable. When we notice another brother or sister in sin, we should confront them in love and help them find their way back, but I believe that is where our job ends. Only God can change a heart. ONLY GOD! It is our job to love not slander. It is God’s job to convict. We are NOT to condemn…but we do. Conviction points us to an answer. Conviction reminds us that the blood of Jesus washed away our sins. Conviction is God’s job.
Jesus says, “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” (John 12:47) When we walk with Christ, we are free. Not free to sin but free from condemnation. It is Satan who uses our past, our scars and our regrets as ammo against us. He uses those very things through those closest to us to remind us of our past. Those whom the enemy uses, becomes our enemy as well because even believers can be used by Satan to condemn and discourage other believers. Satan attempted this very thing by using Peter to try to discourage Jesus as He announced His impending death to His disciples.
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:23)
Because Jesus has the mind of God, He recognized the schemes of Satan, but that is not always the case for us. We do not have the insight to know when someone is being used for evil instead of good. Someone we know and love approaches us with words and we take it to heart. We think, “They know me and love me so they must be speaking truth about me.” Guess what? NOT always true.
Over the past few months, I have had to grab hold of Philippians 4:4-9 and claim it!
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”