Take a look around your church and you’ll probably immediately be able to pick out a few people who have not found the forgiveness that Jesus brings.
These members and even church leaders don’t just make casual mistakes. Instead, they sin blatantly and seem to defy anyone to say anything.
However, church is about finding forgiveness in Jesus. Unless we’re willing to confront sin, how can anyone change their ways? It’s not always easy, but you must learn to confront those who are heading down the wrong path.
No One Wants To Judge
A single line in the Bible is often the reason why many people are unwilling to confront sin. Matthew 7:1 states “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” As this story on Bible.org points out, it’s not meant to be taken so literally. It’s important to read beyond that single passage.
God doesn’t tell you to not to confront a sinner. He wants you to follow His word and help others follow His word. That means confronting sin and helping others lead a better life. There’s a difference between being critical or judgemental and genuinely helping someone else see the error of their ways.
But Everyone Sins
Often, church leaders and members might avoid a confrontation by saying, “but everyone sins.” Yes, that’s absolutely true. No one is perfect and that’s why Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t confront sin when it’s apparent the person doesn’t seem to care at all. For instance, maybe they’re having an on-going affair with another member or can’t seem to open their mouth without lying.
An on-going sin that hurts that person and others needs to be confronted. Think of it as an intervention with an addict. They need help to lessen their sins and start down a better path in life.
People Need Guidance
Sometimes people honestly don’t realize what they’re doing. For instance, a new member who is just starting to explore Christianity may still have bad habits. Unless someone helps to guide them, how will they know to correct their ways?
Going back to the addict example, even sinners who know what they’re doing is wrong may not know how to stop. It could also be they’re sinning because of something else wrong in their life. Confronting them allows you to help them.
Know When To Confront Sin
This is a tricky one. It never fails that someone will take this to the extreme and suddenly try to act like a saint while condemning everyone else. Knowing when to confront sin means listening to God’s word. Every time someone tells the occasional white lie, you don’t need to confront them. If they sinned and are asking for forgiveness, they’re already taken care of.
It’s only when the sin is obviously hurting that person, someone else or even the entire church that someone needs to step in. The sin has become toxic and odds are, the sinner is repenting. That is the time to confront sin.
Confrontation Is Never Easy
Confrontation isn’t easy and many people actually fear it. They’re terrified of hurting others or alienating themselves. Of course, they also doubt themselves and wonder who they are to judge someone else. Remember, it’s not judging. It’s helping others better follow God’s word.
Trust in what you’ve learned in church and life and let that guide you and give you confidence. Church leaders and members must stand up for what’s right, even if that means dealing with the discomfort and fear of confrontation.
Confront By Admitting
There’s one way to confront sin without seeming judgemental. This method also helps alleviate the fear a little as well since it seems more like a confession. Confront a sinner by admitting your own sin. It’s a way to relate to each other and make the other person not feel like they can’t do anything right.
This also works if you happen to be the sinner in question. Admitting your sin to someone else allows you to confront your own sins and work towards forgiveness.
Help make confrontation easier by offering an anonymous forum on your website to post concerns or post weekly blog posts dealing with obvious sins within your church. Don’t have a website for those ideas? See how Reach Right Studios can help.