Elul 26 Love does not gloat over another’s sins If I could take back one thing I have done it is recounting other’s sins. When I go talk to a confidante or meet a dear friend over lunch and I am struggling in a relationship, it is so easy to complain about how someone’s sin struggles are affecting me. If only I spent equal time --or more--reflecting on how my sins were affecting others around me. Sin hurts not only the person committing it but EVERYONE within range as well. Ir is deadly to all who hear of it, see it modeled, are directly affected by it or affected by those who are directly affected! Think of that multiplication and it just spreads from there. One single isolated sin can affect 100’s of people by the end of the week. A scenario I picture is this. An angry husband comes home and berates his wife because his boss berated him...she is upset and snaps at the kids on the way to school the next morning...they take out their frustration by acting up in class and the teacher has to deal with it...she goes to the teacher’s lounge and spreads her frustration to all the teachers on her break and they take home that negativity to their homes and the cycle spreads. God draws a significant hard line when it comes to sin. He does not tolerate it without consequences to teach us. If we follow biblical principles for eradicating sin from our lives (like loving the sinner but removing them from fellowship until they see the error of their ways and confess and repent) then we might see less infection in our families, our churches and in ourselves. Our hearts should not be ready to point the finger at others when they sin as much as it should alert us to put out effort to look deeply within ourselves first to see our own sin. Then we can go speak the truth in love to the other about their sin. Our stance is deep compassion for the hurt they are causing themselves and others. If they are willing to make changes, help and support to fix the problem is often what they need the most. And they need to hear how sorry we are that Satan has stolen from them so long but that we have a God that will help deliver them from the enemy and restore what has been stolen! The next time you want to bring up someone else’s sin, I challenge you to examine the tentacles of sin infecting your own life and instead talk about theirs. I challenge you to begin to examine how your sin is contaminating your friends and family. I pray that you will stand up against the enemy of temptation and close the door to the thief who has been robbing you. Be firm. Be bold. Get mad and do something righteous about it. Remember the saying, “When you point the finger at someone--there are 3 fingers pointing back at you.”
Follow the season of Teshuvah during this Month of Elul with Guest blogger Denise Dee Lytle Gibbs who originally posted these blogs on her Facebook page Fall Feast Prayer Initiative.