Too much when we discuss sin to others we water down the truth. We do this because of a fear of triggering an emotional response. Also, there is a fear of losing a connection to the other person as well as a fear of losing someone close to you. When we preach from the Word of God we should not fear a reaction from someone else. God’s word is convicting them. Many times, we feel like we lack the ability to discern truth because we are wrapped up in our own sin. That emotive response to our own failures is because of the “whataboutisms” that is regurgitated from those not wanting to face the conviction of their own sins. This verse explains the response of others:
John 3:19-21 (NASB)
“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
In my earlier post Is Your Truth the same as Gods Truth discusses how me rationalize our own truth. The same concept applies when we put our own emotions of our own sin on the person we are talking to. When we show people, the truth described in the word of God, their response is negative because they do not want their deeds to be exposed to the light. When people are left in darkness they don’t have a responsibility to change their actions. When their deeds are exposed to the light they have only one of 2 actions to take. Denial or Change. In order to combat the denial reflex you have to deny yourself.
Matthew 16:24-26 (NASB)
“The Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?’”
People are not receptive to the truth until they deny themselves. It is hard in our country to fully deny ourselves. We cling on to the material which is perishable and holds no value. Our culture gives us instant gratification of our desires which dehydrates us from eternal gratification. When we as the Church cling on to the perishable we lose perspective and get triggered when our own sins are shown in the light of day. We lose the temporal gratification when our sins our exposed. Anger doesn’t get rid of sin, only us confronting it thru God’s redemptive power we can be cleansed of it.
This passage I quoted needs to be preached constantly in church to give us perspective. When we don’t fully take up our cross a follow him this world will consume us and change us. Our sin becomes our drug. We are in less need of a savior. We should we unapologetic as teachers to call out specific sin. If we don’t we are doing a disservice. When the last part of verse 26, “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” should be a call to action.
Matthew 6:20 (NASB)
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal”
The desires we have hear on earth is going to be gone very quickly. When we respond positively to truth we are investing in things that will last for eternity. When we confront our own sin, it is almost like winning the lottery. If we deal with our sin, we will have everlasting life and treasures beyond anything we can imagine.
Ephesians 4:25 (NASB)
“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.”
We are called to tell the truth to fellow Christians who are sinning. The logic is formulated from the truth that we are all members of the same body. For the church to function it needs to be healed. When we go out into the world we need to be productive. When the body is drowning in its own sin it would not be productive in a culture that getting more and more difficult to change for the better. We should not fear telling the truth to one another afraid of a reaction that may ensue. Our response to truth should be meant with gladness when is done to build you up and to encourage. When we don’t do this are we acting as if we are members of the same body?