When loving care is exhausted…
What do you do when you see someone you love and care about heading down the wrong road?
1) ASK for guidance from the Lord. Hold on to what the Holy Spirit shows you in the midst of prayer and His Word. Psalm 63:1-3 (KJV): “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.”
2) DISCERN if you should speak or hold your peace. Discerning when and what to say is important. Prov. 9:9 (KJV): “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”
When someone is scorning God and His Word, and is choosing to walk foolishly, or in willful sin, we need to review what Proverbs 9:7-8 (KJV) says: “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. 8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.”
Remember that self-protection can be a form of pride, so this does not mean to keep silent because of pride in your own heart or fear, but because you believe God is specifically working and you don’t want to interfere.
Conversely, you must also discern when you should speak and ACT. Titus 2:12 & 15 (KJV). “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”
There are situations where someone appears religious, yet is living a hidden life of sin, holding the Truth of God in unrighteousness as Rom. 1:18 speaks about.
3) PRAY always and sometimes with fasting. Mark 9:29 (KJV): 2So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
Prayer prepares our hearts with the heart of God toward grace and mercy for all. Through fasting we overcome our flesh and rise to a place of power with God to overcome self and the works of the Devil. Deliverance comes in the spiritual realm. We are dealing with demonic workers of iniquity. Christ knew their power and our weakness in the flesh.
Also, don’t work against God (Acts 5:39). It may be a hard concept for us to accept, but remember sometimes God actually gives someone over to their sin. Romans 1:24 God gave them up to…, vs. 26 God gave them up to… , vs. 28 God gave them over to…
Keeping ourselves daily in God’s Word and prayer will give us guidance in these matters. We should also rely upon the authorities God has provided both in our church and/or civil government.
Note: This was primarily written for those situations that do not require the involvement of civil authority as proscribed in Rom. 13:3-6. If this is warranted, then as a Christian the situation should be brought into the light (I John 1:7) for necessary correction and consequences. Consult with your pastor if you are uncertain about matters that are questionable. There are many more verses to be considered when it comes to knowing how to respond, such as Hebrews 12:12-14 (KJV) and your pastor or a Biblical Counselor will be able to guide you.
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