We love the idea of protectors. We flock to the movies to see superheroes in action, and we love a good thriller where good overcomes evil and justice avenges wrongs. Excitingly, Christians get to share in these thrills as we seek to fulfill our stewardship role as protectors, as exemplified in the life of Job (Job 29:12-17). However, many times we neglect our responsibility in this area when we ignore, or even enable sinful behaviors in our lives and the lives of others. Perhaps the fear of offending, or losing some benefit causes us to allow the wrongs to remain, but like a cancer, if left untreated, it eventually multiplies and destroys. Thankfully, God’s Word cautions us to the dangers of lingering sins and guides us in effectively guarding ourselves and others from them (I.C.U.):
Identify: What temptations do we continue to go back to, or allow in our homes? If a dog can be trained to resist its natural instinct to eat the meat laid before it as it waits upon his master’s command, how much more can we, being in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit, resist the temptations laid before us as we keep our eyes upon our Lord? Therefore, let us identify and acknowledge the problem(s) within and before us so that we may effectively defend against them (Psalm 32:5).
Confront: Once the issues are identified, they must be confronted in love. Although no one particularly enjoys confrontation, when our approach is stimulated out of deep care for a person, any judgmental overtones are diffused. Therefore, as we’re honest with ourselves concerning our own sins, our honesty with others will come from a humble heart seeking restoration, not condemnation. Consider – what persistent sins have we allowed to infect and infiltrate our homes (1 John 1:8)? Greed, lust, envy, anger and overindulgences are all examples of deeper heart issues that may be hidden for a time, but in the end, they lead only to destroy any real hope we have for peace, joy and a reliable testimony.
Undertake: Nothing gets done unless action is taken. Therefore, we must take intentional steps in protecting ourselves and others from those things that cause us to be tempted and stumble (Ephesians 6:13). What have we done to remove the contamination from our lives? What fellow believer continues to stumble without repentance? What have we been ignoring, or excusing so long it has become acceptable? May our concern be so great that we take actions to protect and trust Christ to do whatever it takes to remove the sin like a cancer, no matter how unpleasant the experience may be.
Application: “Intensive Care Unit” – 1 John 4:20
We have the honor to serve as protectors and as God’s intensive care unit, but how are we handling this responsibility? Have we proactively removed those things from our homes & lives that tempt us, or could be stumbling blocks to those entrusted to us? If we truly care about ourselves and others, we won’t cower to the world’s pressure to conform, or compromise, but stand firm in protecting the convictions that lead to righteous living.
by Dagan J. Sharpe @ CareerCall