Have you ever thought? “If THEY could just measure up (stop the habits/sin that annoys you), we’d have the perfect friendship/marriage/work/ministry relationship.” I remember a heavy season of doing this. I would complain (which was a sin I completely ignored – “Do everything without complaining or arguing” Philippians 2:14) about the failings/sins of others to others, and how it was stopping their growth and affecting me. I would hold firmly that I had pure motives and the motive was in the name of The Faith. Two friend/mentors gave me a very different and unexpected response that my peers did not give. Both of these very wise individuals on separate times (who are solid, seasoned Believers) listened very closely and rather than offer a “Fix It” solution for the others or join in my pow wow of complaining – they asked me “What about you? What about your story (your sin)?” I thought “What!?”
Both individuals (Believers) without telling me my sins of complaining, judgment, not walking in love, and not extending grace, encouraged me to step away from pointing out the flaws of others and look inwardly. One even asked me, “What if they never changed?” I did not give the grace filled response of I would love regardless or stop keeping tabs. I was still vested in pointing out their sins and was not interested in grace (the same grace God extended me). These wise friend mentors also encouraged me to step away from keeping records of wrongs as noted in 1 Corinthians 13 and to confess my own sin. They always encouraged me to walk in love, to take my eye off the sins of others, and to surrender the frustration to God so that the situation could be fought in the unseen realm. By turning over the situation to God, we are now entering into a major tenet of our belief which is Faith. Ultimately, there is no sin that is too great for us to forgive and extend Grace. God calls for our obedience too especially in walking in love and extending grace. – Amen
What is walking in love?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8