Have you ever been frustrated with the slow process of sanctification...in someone else? Go ahead, raise your hand. No one's going to see you on your phone or at your computer. Unless you're at Starbucks. But you've been frustrated, right? You see a brother or sister in Christ and you wish that they knew better; or even worse, they do know better but it seems they aren't doing anything about it. They should be much further along in maturity, self-control, serving the saints, Sabbath keeping, honoring their parents or whatever it is that's bothering you. Interestingly we are often quick to spot faults in others which may be relative strengths in our own lives. But we're not so quick to identify our own shortcomings. (Just FYI, someone else is probably frustrated with your and my slow progress in some area too.)
So what should you do if you find yourself frustrated with another's slow growth in grace? Well, Scripture does call us to encourage and exhort one another, to confront others in their sin, and point them to the Savior. But God's Word also gives us some ideas on how to do that. You probably aren't surprised that we are not to encourage and challenge one another as holier-than-thou saints looking down our noses at our morally challenged brothers and sisters. So how should we seek to help one another on the way to glory? Two thoughts.
I'm not saying don't say anything. No! We need to encourage and challenge one another. But we would also do well to remember how patient God has been with our painfully slow growth in grace. We would do well to remember the gentleness of God toward us. And that, friends, requires humility. So go help your brother or sister. But go humbly, recognizing your own weakness. Go gently. Go understanding that change often doesn't happen overnight. Have patience as you remember God's patience with you.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
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