2 Timothy 2:24-26
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient. In humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
Ouch. Came across that during service yesterday after praying desperately through out the week about a situation. I have a very hard time responding gently when someone, let alone a group of people, I care for are hurt by someone. More than anything I desire that no matter what anyone has done, that they will know forgiveness and healing and restoration. Truly! Even if I do nothing out loud or step in the situation with fire, my insides burn and ache for the one in pain. Repeated offenses? Eeesh. Yeah. HARD.
Honestly, I am still in the same place I was several weeks ago on it, though. And like I encouraged several others yesterday, it’s best to go to that person with the issue before it gets out of control…I am reminded again by this verse above, with a gentle, teaching spirit. When one has done that and there is no change or response, I know, it’s hard. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t want to ever give up on anyone. Hopeful beyond reason? No….maybe beyond HUMAN reason, but not beyond God’s ability. Yeah, He doesn’t force us to love Him or to choose Him, but I know His love for us is patient. He has this really neat way of preparing people and moving the road around so that truth is visible.
As we know, Jesus became righteously enraged in the temple (John 2:13-22)…so sure there is a place for stepping in with force. Lest we not forget God became so disgusted with his creation that he destroyed most of it with a flood (Genesis 6). Talk about taking control in the situation! Indeed, God and His Son have the authority without question in these situations.
My question is, when is enough enough? Do we have authority to step in after repeated offense? I know the Biblical steps for resolving conflict and all….but when it’s not your battle and you just “have to” sit and watch those you love live in pain, I don’t know. Just gonna keep covering this all in prayer. God, take care of these people I care about. Move swiftly to bring about peace and resolution.