I’m sure many of you have heard that Carolina beaches are experiencing more sharks than the typical summer norm. They seem to be swimming a little closer to shore than people would like. My family and I recently went on a beach trip to North Myrtle, against the warnings of many friends and family members who have deathly fears of the giant creatures in the murky waters. Needless to say, it was a HOT week. We refused to get in the water, but my Mom couldn’t stand the heat and decided to sit her chair at the edge of the water so that (at least) her feet could stay cool.
I was reading a book and looked up to see my mom jumping out of her chair and waving for a little boy to come back to the shore. At the same time, I saw his mother doing the exact same thing. Both women looked a little crazy, frantically waving with fear stricken faces. When the boy saw both of them begging him, he began to swim and then eventually sprint out of the water. I walked down to the edge of the shore to see what was wrong, when my mom told me that there was a shark, longer than her body, swimming less than 10 feet away from the little boy. As the people around them crowded around, everyone was overcome with relief, thankful that these two women had taken it upon themselves to jump out of their chairs and warn him about what was getting ready to happen. They had potentially saved him from something that would affect his life, forever.
As I was replaying this image in my mind, the Lord quietly whispered how this picture, the picture of these two women screaming after the little boy, is what the Lord calls each of us to do for our friends and family members. As I look around the world today, it’s a scary place. People that I love are slipping into habits and hang-ups that break my heart- sex outside of a God ordained marriage, over indulgence of alcohol and drinking underage, drugs, compulsive lying, addiction to social media, eating disorders, pride, and vanity. While some of these seem like “mild sin” and some seem extreme, we live in a broken world where this sin is not only possible, but it is encouraged every time we turn around. Song lyrics, television shows, movies, and even school systems promote that the “Christian way” or the “biblical way” is the “old fashioned way,” the “wrong way.” They promote that life is all about present pleasure, finding one’s “own way,” or “only living once.”
So what does the bible say about how we should approach sin when it comes to the people we love?
James 5:19-20 says, “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
Matthew 18:15-22 says, “If your brother sins go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.”
So many times we use the excuse with our friends and family that we don’t want to judge them for their sins. However, the part that we miss, in God’s word, is that we are not called to let our friends or family get attacked by the shark. We are not called to watch them dwindle away in sin, to waste their life, or to let evil overcome. When we cannot talk to them alone or they will not listen, we are expected to call in for reinforcements, friends and family members who love the Lord and who will help us. When the little boy saw my mom waving at him, he paused and started coming to shore, but when his mother joined in, he sprinted away from something that could have harmed him indefinitely. We are called to be the friend who waves our loved ones back to shore, just as Christ called upon us!
Written by Logan