You’ve heard it before, some one needs to “talk about stuff”. Have you ever noticed that when people want to talk about something good, they seldom tell you “we need to talk”?
Certainly, if we’ve done something wrong, we do need a good talking too. For the salvation of our souls, if we’re in sin. (Mat 18:15) But, often folks want to talk and it has nothing to do with sin, rather PREFERENCES.
How are we to handle it?
We need to recognize that we are all bound to the commands of God, for He has all authority, (Mat 28:18), and we’re to observe all things that Jesus has commanded, (Mat 28:20).
However, we are not God. We have no authority to…….
- write laws for God (Mat 28:20)
- bind laws that He has never bound (Mt 16:19)
- enforce commands He has never given (Mt 15:9)
People mistake preferences for commands. We’re all different. We have different backgrounds, parenting styles, haircuts, clothing etc.. Because of that mistake, “we need to talk” comes around.
There’s another problem that occurs even before the talk, Gossip. Even before researching whether a matter is sin or not, we talk to others about it. Stirring up strife, fanning the flames. (1Ti 5:13) If a person has committed sin, the last thing you need to do is tell everyone else. You also want to keep it private for another very important reason, YOU MAY BE WRONG!
Before we have a talk with anyone, let’s ask 3 questions.
- Is it Sin? (James 1:15)
- Will I be allowed time to study the issue?(2Ti 2:15)
- Will I be allowed time for prayer and repentance? (Ac 8:24)
If you can answer yes (especially the first one) then a talk is likely a good idea. If you are unable to answer “yes”, definitively, then you may want to leave it alone altogether.
Is it sin?
If you believe there to be some sin, make sure. Bring the passage of scripture. Study it yourselves to make sure you understand the passage. Then approach the person in love and humility. Follow the process our Lord prescribed in (Mat 18:15-17)
Then, give them time for study and repentance. The person may be learning these principles for the first time. They may not know what you know about the meaning of these passages. Give them time. Time to study and time to repent.
Do it with love. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” (Ga 6:1) (1Co 10:12; 2Ti 2:25)
What should you do if you’re approached?
If you’re approached, you can nicely ask these questions…
- Is this regarding a sin in my life? Jas. 1:15
- Will you be discussing the doctrine of Christ (scripture) in this conversation? 2Jno.9
- Will you produce a passage(s) of scripture to indict me of sin? 1Jno. 3:4
- Will I need to repent, or be marked (withdrawn from) as one that walks disorderly? Rom 16:17
If no to any 1 of these say, “I would rather not discuss the issue.” This will help by preventing unwarranted conversations, or hurt feelings over matters of style.