This post was inspired by the lovely Venessa Ellen of My Counseling Corner, who we have had the privilege of hosting at our church and hearing her speak twice.
If you drive a car you know what it is like to come around a corner and see a police car sitting there. Even if it is parked and empty, hearts still skip a beat and stomachs drop when the conviction of speeding, texting, or other illegal things while driving sets in. Getting a ticket is no fun and often blame is shifted and excuses fly. We don’t like to be caught and most importantly we don’t like the consequences that follow. It is inconvenient and uncomfortable to be held accountable for our actions. The best way to not get a ticket is to not break the law, pretty simple right? Kind of a duh moment but really if we want to have a perfect record the surest way to achieve it is to abide by every rule all the time. Easier said than done right? Since it is impossible to follow every rule all of the time it is good to rest in grace. God doesn’t require us to be perfect but He does desire us to be perfected. Besides the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the Cleansing work of His Word, God uses His people to reveal blind spots and show areas of our hearts that need to grow. Holding everyone to a standard of perfection does not love people the way that Christ did.
When living in community it is important to not run around acting as the “Sin Police” and hand out citations that require payment for all sin observed. It is not our job to make that everyone stays in line and follows the rules. Part of living in community is helping others along, praying for them and holding them accountable. Let God do the convicting. Let God bring about the work that He sees fit in the lives of those around us. Walk along side of girls and encourage them with truth from the Bible.
We should be attentive to our heart and be diligent to not allow sin to take root and flourish in our life. Sometimes the reason it seems easier to point out sin in other people’s life is that pride makes us blind to any wrongdoing in our own life. People should know that as a Christian we are serious about removing sin but that we also trust in God’s timing. Merely handing out sin citations hurts others and isolates us. People don’t need to pay us or owe us anything for their sin; they need to go to God with repentance.
God is the ultimate standard for sin and source of conviction. Our ultimate goal should be to usher people to the throne of Grace for forgiveness and peace. Remember to live in community, pray for others and worship God. Since it is not our job to orchestrate everyone’s life we can rest in the Grace that God freely gives encourage others with truth.
What sin do you need to confess to God? How can you encourage those around you without being a sin police?