Do you have “those” people in your life, perhaps at work, neighbors or even family (thank goodness my family is perfect and I never have that problem! 😉 ) whose choices and behavior disgust you?
Recently I found myself pondering the actions of someone. To be honest, what I was thinking about them privately was something I’d never want you to hear coming out of my mouth! Let’s just say it was not pretty.
My own feelings and thoughts towards this person confused me, in truth, disgusted me. I went to the Lord in prayer.
Lord, what am I to do with these feelings I have towards this person? You hate their behavior too, but You died for them. How can I love them and still feel this way? What do I do with what I know about them?
Instantly I realized that just like signs of agonal breathing can be a sign of imminent death, the evidence of sin that we see in others are signs of spiritual death meant to lead us to pray for them, not to simply criticize and judge them.
If I came upon an accident and found several people mangled and dying before my eyes, would I be disgusted? No! I’d be moved to action. I’d call 911 and start rendering aide.
Can you imagine, however, coming upon such an accident, surveying the scene only to say, “Disgusting! You people make me sick.”
Worse yet can you imagine telling other bystanders, “You should see that guy’s neck, it’s spurting blood everywhere. I wouldn’t go near him if I were you. He’s gross!”
What do we do when we see sin working it’s death in someone?
We take them before the Lord, just like the desperate would bring their sick loved ones before Jesus asking Him to heal them. We cry out to Him to heal their sin, to open their eyes to what they are doing. In some cases, such as family, we keep doing that day after day, loving them all the while.
Do we ever point their sin out to them? Of course, that is biblical. But we do so in love; we do it after prayer making sure our own heart is pure.
The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.
My friend, if you are disgusted today by the actions of someone…if you want to turn away from them, don’t. Perhaps God allowed you to see their sin so that you could pray for them. Ask God to move you to compassion and away from judgment. Render aide to them by praying for your brother and sister in Christ. Remember that you follow a risen Savior Who is at work through you to accomplish His will for others in ways you may never understand. You never know what just one more hour of prayer for someone might accomplish.