We’ve started a new series focused on the Lenten theme or repentance.
What responsibility do you have for the repentance of others?
Have you ever thought of this before? Our Old Testament lesson this week made me think about it.
7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.10 “Son of man, say to the Israelites, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?”’ 11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the SovereignLord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! (Ezek. 33:7-11)
What this makes incumbent on us is speaking to those with whom we have influence. To those family, friends, and even fellow church members we know who are stuck in sin, we have a role in speaking to them of repentance. It’s a task that can be intimidating.
But it’s also a task that doesn’t need to be us getting in someone’s face either. After all, what we’re trying to talk to people about is two options- stay stuck in sin (and the consequences they’re likely facing or going to face) or make changes and enjoy life more. Find that which is fuller and far more peaceful.
Now sometimes people are enjoying their sins. And we may have to say a hard word in those cases. Or we may need to wait until they face some consequences and are open to God’s Word for them.
In those difficult situations, pray, pray, and pray more for God to give you wisdom.
Hope Lutheran Church & School