What we have here is a failure to communicate…
Ohhh yes. Its Thursday here on Planet Earth (at least the portion that I call home). And well I am looking very forward to taking tomorrow off and spending the day at the Aquarium with the family. (Maybe more about that later.) So what better way to start off a Thursday morning than with a little scripture reading and some meditation. And WHAMMO!!!
22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. (NIV)
22-23Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven. (MSG)
22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others,but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. (NLT)
These passages are from Jude vv22-23 in the NIV, Message, and NLT. Talk about some controversy. It seems to me that it is easier for me to lump everyone into two simple categories. 1. Believers–who deserve grace and mercy 2. Non-believers–who deserve condemnation. But that is not at all how God has called us to relate to others. There is an important distinction made hear among various types of people and how they are to intersect with God’s message. Most fundamental there is not one circumstance where condemnation is deserved or encouraged. Condemnation is reserved solely for acts of sin not sinners. In every instance mercy is to be at the core of how we relate to all people.
Are you getting this? Mercy?
I love the movie Cool Hand Luke. One of my all time favorites and I think everyone should watch it at least once (just fast forward through the car wash scene). The warden at Luke’s prison thought he had everything simplified and figured out. If you watch the movie you’ll see just how wrong he was about Luke and how the wardens misinterpretation of how he treated Luke only created more strife.
Today I have been shown how to react to a very specific person and I admit that I had it wrong.
Thank God for his Word and his Truth.
How do you relate to others? Especially those who have sinned?