Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Walking a fine line (2) - What's it got to do with you?

So there you are, you've decided to try and dialogue with the person what's got (you fear) a  'bit of a problem'. The first response that comes back at you is more often than not:

'What's it got to do with you?' When you get it, how will you handle it? Here's a few suggestions:

Returning to part of the 2 Timothy 4.2  passage we are told that we should:

'Tell people what they need to do, tell them when they are doing wrong, and encourage them.' 

You can't get clearer than that now can you? Of course, as ever, 'it ain't what we do but the way that we do it - that's what gets results'  and Paul is clear on the way that we do it: 'With great patience and careful teaching.'

Combine this with a bit more Paul (and since Paul is so loved, who can deny that this is right) and toss in Galatians 6 (yes I know I love this passage):

'People. If anyone is doing wrong (sinful) stuff then you who are spiritual should restore them gently and lovingly. Be careful that you don't cross the line and sin in the way that you do it because it's easy to do it the wrong way.
Regardless - watch out for each other because that's what Jesus, the Christ, really wants so none fall or get lost.' (RVV))

Let me hear a 'Simples' from the crowd! The 'What's it got to do with you?' has an answer ladies and gentlemen.

Of course, if one wanted to be pedantic (and apparently I often do) then we might also turn to a bit of blood, fire and the promise of destruction (Yes indeed, time for a bit of Ezekiel - you can see why some of the modern errors out there eschew this stuff can't you?) - and I'm thinking of Ezekiel 3 in particular (again RVV):

'You are a sentry for the people of God. If the alarm needs to be raised and you don't do it and people end up dead then you're responsible. BUT, if you shout and bang your mess tin and the people, even though they hear you, continue as if nothing is wrong, then you've done what you should have done and even if their live is forfeited, that's because they were just plain stupid!'

The world is filled with a great many 'really stupid people' (RSP) and one of the hallmarks of them (theist and non-theist) is that, upon hearing what you have to say, they raise two fingers (real or implied) and continue unabated.

I've sounded the alarm and done my bit - the rest is up to you. The key to this Christian business though is keeping an eye open for the other person (and trusting that they will do the same for you).

I'll leave this here (five minute rule) with another Pauline command (Romans 16.17-18) as a final thought:

'Guys, I beg you to be on the lookout for those who cause divisions and, corrupting the word of God I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and trip believers up through their dodgy doctrine and avoid them because despite their TV programmes, their CDs, DVDs and merchandising, they do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery deceive, and corrupt, the hearts of the naive.'

Hope this helps some of us develop the courage to dialogue, understand the issues, study and restore the weaker people among us.

  RVV = Revised Vic Version 

1 comment:

UKViewer said...

Somewhere among all of that could have been with discretion, privately and without embarrassing in public.

In fact, good old Army discipline.