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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Too Close for Comfort

She's crying. He hasn't been kind ... to her or to their children. He has been touchy and, consequently, both oversensitive and overbearing. The slightest offense causes him to lash out which simply serves to cause further offense. They're both Christians, mind you, who know the Lord, but times are tough, emotions are taut, and things aren't looking good.

Who does he go to who can cuff him behind the ear and ask, "What are you thinking? What's going on that is so bad that you're willing to drive away your family? What in your life is so bad that you choose to ignore every command from God about being a good father and a good husband?" Will she go to support structures that will encourage her to trust in the Lord and "be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior" (1 Peter 3:1-2), or will they encourage her to get out with her kids and "head for safety"? You know, "You gotta look out for yourself first."

The answers to those questions will likely depend on your underlying view. Do we go with the world's view, or do we take God's perspective? Unfortunately, for a large number of American Christians, the answer is the former rather than the latter. The Bible says that we are to "confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another" (James 5:16). God's Word says we are to "Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." (Gal 6:2) That last one, in fact, is on the tails of the verse that says, "Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted." (Gal 6:1) Jesus told His disciples, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)

So how did we get here from there? How did we end up in a largely electronically-connected world that will quickly "unfriend" you if you tell them they're doing something wrong and please, oh, please, don't get so close that you can see my flaws and address them? When did it become a good thing for Christians to walk alone, to violate God's commands and expect no help and no correction? When did this become a "tolerant and loving" thing to do? Mind you, I'm not suggesting that there was a time in the near past when something changed and we're here now. No, I'm pretty sure we've been like this probably since Adam. We're just more blatant today. We're independent Americans who don't need or want any help at least on spiritual or sin issues and we're better off standing on our own two feet ... while we drag down family and friends and the church itself.

I pray a lot for the church, for believers, for myself, because these things shouldn't be this way and I suspect only God can make it any different.

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