It is necessary to confront others in sin. Most people wouldn’t agree with my statement. Approaching others in sin is messy, difficult, and unpopular. Even so, it’s necessary for us to do it.
Jesus as Our Example
In Matthew 21, Jesus approaches the Chief Priests and Elders about their sin after He escaped their trap. Jesus could have let the Chief Priests and Elders walk away, but He doesn’t. Instead, He immediately goes on the offensive to point out their sin.
Now, Jesus doesn’t do that because He is mean or for some reason wants to inflate His own pride. No, Jesus does it in hope that they would see the error of their ways and repent. As well as He does it so the watching crowd would be protected from the lies and bad example of the Chief Priests and Elders.
Why We Should Point Out Others Sin
We should point out others’ sin for the same reason Jesus did.
(1) So they would repent and begin to actually follow Jesus.
As well as we should point out others sin:
(2) To protect the church.
You see, if we allow people to continue in sin without addressing it, those in the church might believe that lifestyle is acceptable. After all, so and so has: A live in girlfriend, is involved in an adulterous affair, abuses their spouse, does’t lead their family to attend church, is a crooked business man, is addicted to pornography, or whatever they might be involved in, and the church hasn’t addressed it, so it must be okay for me to live that way.
You see, if we don’t confront sin, if we don’t call people to repent, we not only hinder our witness to the community, but we also hinder the spiritual growth in our own church. So we must follow Jesus’ example. We must confront others in their sin.
Confront in Love With Great Care and Wisdom
Of course, we have to do this in love, with great care and wisdom, but we must do it. It is not only good for them and their spiritual growth, but it also protects the church.
I know confronting others in their sin is not popular. We live in a culture that likes to sweep things under the rug. We live in a culture that doesn’t like to deal with others’ sins. We live in a culture where if we start pointing out things in others’ lives, we are now meddling in their business.
Here, however, is the thing, while we all have a personal relationship with Jesus – meaning that we are saved individually – our relationship with Jesus is not a private one. When we become believers, we are born into a community. A community we refer to as the church.
The reason Christians are born into a community is so that we can help one another grow in Christ. Part of the way we help others grow is by lovingly exposing their sin. We can’t stop there though. After we expose another’s sin, we must also help them work through the process of repentance and growth.
So while it’s not popular for us to confront others about their sin, it is necessary and something we are called to do.
Question for Reflection
- What are your thoughts about confronting others in sin?
Post adapted from my sermon: Talk is Cheap, Walk the Walk