Monday, November 17, 2008

When You Are Burdened For A Loved One

After last Friday's blog post, so many of you jumped on board and posted other questions in the comment section or emailed more of your questions. I will get to them this coming Friday. But I received this email question from a blog reader last week and thought it needed more attention than last Friday's blog could spare.

"Sally" wrote:
"My husband and I gave our lives to Jesus in 2006. He radically changed our lives, our hearts, everything about us is totally different, we are so blessed by Him! What we find ourselves continually struggling with is the attitudes of others. We have not had anything negative directed toward us from family or friends, but the problem is when we try to witness to them. They are not ugly or anything, but they tell us they are already saved, and politely try to push the subject aside. We can't know anyone else's heart, only Jesus knows. If someone tells you they are already saved, but everything about their lives that we can see, seems to say otherwise, such as, swearing, drinking, going to bars, etc..what do we do? I feel burdened that they aren't truly saved, because they show no outward signs of fruit in their lives. When we invite them to church, they will occasionally come just to appease us, but they don't attend church anywhere, etc, you get the idea....Do we need to leave them alone, and just try to continue being an example by the way we live our lives and the way we conduct ourselves, or do we continue to try to invite them to church, knowing they will always have an excuse not to go? I know this email is long and I apologize. I value your opinion and outlook on the subject as a sister in Christ.Thanks for your insight!"

I would venture to say that each one of us has a member of our family who was just described above. The Bible says in Matthew 7:16, "By their fruit you will recognize them". The truth is, there are many "ala carte" Christians in this world---they say they are Christian but they pick and choose what part of Christ they want to follow. When we are filled with Christ, we share that with other people in various ways like serving others, treating others as God would treat His own children, and inviting them to worship with us. You are not responsible for their actions and their choices, but you are responsible, as a Christian, for the type of witness you live before them. Continue to pray for these family members of yours. James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." Sometimes we just don't know what to do about these situations because we feel like we've done all we can do and our hands are tied. In these cases, the Bible clearly says to "pray for wisdom". God knows your heart is burdened for them and He will bless you for your being sensitive to the Spirit. Continue to live the Christ-centered life and yes, continue inviting them to worship with you as the Lord leads you.

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