If there is one thing we as Christians are consistantly good at it is pointing out the sins of others. Let’s face it: pointing out the wrongs of others is incredibly easy. It doesn’t require much effort to declare that someone else is wrong and that we are right. What takes considerably more effort is helping others understand the wrongness of their actions and to make lasting transformative changes. Here’s the thing: our call as Christians is not simply to call out sins, but to work alongside God in helping others transform their lives. A much harder job? Yep! But, it is also a much more powerful and rewarding job.
One of the most famous Bible passages is Jesus’ forgiving of a woman caught in adultry (John 8). While many sought to stone her following their interpretation of the law, Jesus showed fogivness. Notice, however, that Jesus did not simply declare all was good and the woman could go back to doing whatever she desired.
Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” John 8:10-11
Jesus not only forgave, but encouraged the woman to transform her life, no longer committing the sins of her past. The Apostle Paul demonstrated this same undersanding of forgivness and transformation. If you’ve ever read 1 Corinthians, you know it chocked full of the sins, wrongs, and bad habits of the Corinthian church. In his second letter to the Corinthians Paul explains why he first letter was full of such accustations:
For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:8-10
What was the result of Paul pointing out the people’s sins? They actually changed their lives, and the whole community was blessed because of it! Thats the real reason we point out sins. The question I have for all of us is: how can we be more than accusers? How can we not only point out wrongs, but help others to change their lives? I work with a church that for years complained about alchol abuse in their community. After years of simply complaining, they started doing something about it by starting a Bible based recovery program (Celebrate Recovery). Hundreds of people have come to Christ and transformed their lives because this church is more than accusers, they are transformers. How can you help the people in your life, especially your freinds, family, and fellow church members, realize transformation?