Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Burden of Discernment

"If any man see his brother sinning a sin which does not lead unto death, he shall ask, and He shall give him Life for those who commit sin not leading to death." 1 John 5:16
It is a weighty thing to be entrusted with the spiritual wellfare of one another. When a member of the Body shares a need for prayer or the Holy Spirit reveals something concerning a brother or a sister, we have an opportunity to "bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ," (Gal 6:2). But we also have the ability to deeply wound that brother or sister and grieve our Father by gossipping or criticizing.
Oswald Chambers says:

"One of the subtlest burdens God ever puts on us as saints is this burden of discernment concerning other souls. He reveals things in order that we may take the burden of these souls before Him and form the mind of Christ about them..."
Without getting too caught up in the distinction between a "sin which leads to death" and a "sin which does not lead to death," this passage culminates in a remarkable promise: "He shall give him Life for those who commit sin..." How different this is from the death and division which comes from gossip!
May we never fail to recognize and be humbled by the honor the Father conveys to us when His Spirit gives us insight into the lives of others.
-Sarah Elizabeth

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