Scripture Read: Timothy 5:21-22 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. 22 Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free
Application: Mob mentality is never a good thing, in the Body of Christ it is a tragedy. We possess the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, therefore there is no excuse with getting "caught up in the moment" when it comes to our discernment. This is especially dangerous for the "feelers" in the Body of Christ. I am one of those, I process data through my emotions first. This makes me very empathetic, and able to connect with people easily. The negative side though can be a reactionary spirit. This is not how the Holy Spirit leads. God is proactive and if we listen to Him over our emotions He will bring us balance. God desires empathy toward those that are in sin, but He wants it to be based on truth, not what feels right at the time. It is wrong when the Church does not confront sin, yet it is just as wrong to have a rush to judgment. The real issue with God is are we moving toward a confrontation AND restoration?
Slow movement is not no movement. When we move on hearsay, or appearance we place ourselves in great danger of becoming part of a sinful situation. Because men are fallen, including saved men, many motives other than the truth can drive a confrontation. Church politics, envy, offenses of various kinds and even just pure hate. We need to be careful and move slow enough to allow the Lord to bring the truth to the surface. Remember, this is not inaction or ignoring problems, that is done far too much in the Church and the legacy has been disastrous! This is the very opposite, it is planned action, but measured and dependant on the Lord. When we rush, we jump ahead of the Lord and find ourselves " shooting from the hip" . If by God's grace we hit the target it is only by God's grace! There is no fruit, no maturing in dealing with sinful situations. No opportunity to see God guide us through prayer and measured steps. If God wanted all issues to be resolved by Him alone He could do it and He would have made that clear in His Word to us. The contrary is the truth. His Word is filled with instructions on how He desires to work in and through us to accomplish His desire. This includes ministering to the Body of Christ in matters of sin. It is no fun, I know, I have been involved in more then I can count, but there is no greater experience than to witness God's Spirit break through the heart of an individual and see them restored to full fellowship. The effort is worth the cost. For the times rebellion continues and the sinful brother does exactly what the enemy wants him to, even then the Spirit of God comes alongside you and let's you know you did what was needed, that you cannot answer for that person's decision and He fills you with His peace that your effort of love was worth it. That is why this passage is so important. Many today refuse to exercise the courage required to confront sin in the Church, if you are one that is willing, the last thing you want to do is to move too fast! Move, but move under the timing and guidance of the Spirit.
Meditation Questions: What are the dangers we encounter when we move too fast? Have you ever experienced any of the things you just listed? What did you learn from that? Have you ever hurried to judgment? If you could do that one over, what would be different? Have you ever been judged wrongly? What did it make you feel? Have you forgiven the ones that did that? What does your answer show you? List in order the most important things that should happen before we confront someone.