Hold Them Back
This week's focus: Compassion
“If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?”
More than likely, we’ve all been recipients (or givers) of this rhetorical question. Parents use it to warn about the dangers of doing something dumb or dangerous just because others do it. Unfortunately, we live in a time when mindlessly following the crowd is celebrated and beneficial advice is often construed as judgmental. In today’s climate, tolerance has no room for truth but falsely claims that truly compassionate people will allow others to do what is right in their own eyes—regardless of the consequences. The result is people “jumping off bridges” and engaging in harmful and dangerous behavior.
More than ever, Christians must unite, stand firm, and share the truth in love with those blindly following wherever the world leads. Why? Because the consequences of silence are not to be taken lightly.
In Joshua 7, we read of how the Israelites were defeated before the men of Ai. Thirty-six men died because of a man named Achan’s sin. What’s interesting is that Scripture shows us that he wasn’t the only one held accountable when we read;
“But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the LORD burned against the children of Israel.”
Israel, as well as Achan, are held accountable. Could it be that they tolerated his sin? Did they know and not do anything about it? 1 Corinthians 5:6 speaks of this behavior when Paul rebukes the Corinthians for not mourning or confronting immorality within the church, “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” In other words, even a little sin is contagious, spreads fast, and will infect the whole congregation if not quickly dealt with.
Like today, the Corinthians may have thought they were loving and compassionate, but that’s not how God saw it. Allowing someone to keep walking down a road that leads to death is the opposite of love. Paul was just as concerned over the behavior of the entire church as he was about the individual man. Based on his rebuke, tolerating sinful behavior was just as bad, if not worse, than the sin itself.
With the Holy Spirit’s help and God’s word as our guide, we can be like Jesus, who never tolerates sin (including our own) but confronts it in love. Our job is not to accuse or condemn but boldly warn others to “go and sin no more” (see John 8:11).
Genuine compassion holds people back and warns them not to jump.
by: Jennifer McAlister for My Faith Votes
"Deliver those who are being taken away to death, And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back."
Pray: Dear Lord, Thank you for loving us so much that you confronted our sins at the cross. Your great mercy and compassion held us back from eternal death. In appreciation, please help us not to tolerate sin but lovingly share the truth and point people to You while there is still time. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Think: “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” - Charles Spurgeon
ACT: We have the opportunity to love our neighbor by influencing the policies that affect them. Visit our Summer of Action page to get equipped to host a voter registration event or meet with an elected official in your state. Many members of Congress are back in their districts for the month of August; now is the time to act!
We want to see God honored in America, and we pray for an unprecedented spiritual awakening.
This devotion was produced in partnership with Every Home for Christ.
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