Friday: Further Thought – Living for God

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“The love that suffers long and is kind will not magnify an indiscretion into an unpardonable offense, neither will it make capital of others’ misdoings. The Scriptures plainly teach that the erring are to be treated with forbearance and consideration. If the right course is followed, the apparently obdurate heart may be won to Christ. The love of Jesus covers a multitude of sins.

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

His grace never leads to the exposing of another’s wrongs, unless it is a positive necessity.” – Ellen G. White, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 267. Think, for instance, of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). We usually look at this as a story of Christ’s grace to a fallen woman, and that’s true. But there’s a deeper element, as well. In confronting the religious leaders who brought the woman to Him, why did Jesus write down the “guilty secrets of their own lives” (Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 461) in the dirt, where the words could instantly be obliterated? Why didn’t He openly accuse them, declaring before everyone what He knew about their own sins, which might have been just as bad as or even worse than that woman’s? Instead, Jesus showed them that He knew their hypocrisy and evil, and yet was not going to expose it to others. Perhaps this was Jesus’ own way of reaching out to these men, showing them He knew their purposes and thus giving them an opportunity to be saved. What a powerful lesson for us when we need to confront those who have sinned.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Dwell more on the question of unity as opposed to uniformity. Are there some areas in which we need to be in complete unity of thought in order to function as a church? If so, what are they, and how can we find this needed uniformity? In contrast, what are areas in which a diversity of opinion is not harmful but, in fact, could be helpful?
  2. What has been your own experience with the concept of the need to “suffer in the flesh” in order to cease from sin? What does that mean? Does God’s power in our lives to change us mean automatically that we don’t suffer in the flesh in order to have victory? If not, why not?
  3. Look around at the devastation that alcohol has produced in so many lives. What can we do as a church to help others see the danger of this drug? What can we do to keep our young people aware of what a mistake it would be even to experiment with a substance that can do them such terrible harm?
Amen!(0)

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