The lifeguard’s rule

The bible says we should love the sinner, hate the sin.

But what does that look like?
I believe sharing the truth with someone is the way we show love, afterall, we’re talking about true love.

Would you lie to someone to spare their feelings, even though what their doing is wrong? What does that accomplish?
According to 2 Cor. 6:14 – 7:1, we are not to align ourselves with unbelievers.

6:14 Do not be yolked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

Chapter 7:1 “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

When we choose a friendship with someone who’s living in sin and wants to stay in their sin over our obedience to Christ, we’ve made the friendship an idol. It stands between us and God. That’s not biblical.

I heard a really good analogy last night of what happens when we enmesh ourselves into other people’s sin with the idea that we can save them through staying in the friendship/relationship.

From my brother-in-law (BIL) who took an Advanced Lifeguard class:

He said that he was trained to save lives and learned early on that a drowning person is very dangerous. The one who is drowning flails around and grabs at anything or anyone trying to get purchase, but when it is another person they’ve grabbed onto, the instinct is to pull them down with them in an effort to save themselves. That’s why you hear of so many multiple deaths in drowning accidents when fathers, siblings and friends try desperately to save a drowning victim.

Lifeguard Rule #1. Save yourself, so you can save others.
My BIL was trained to subdue the person he’s trying to save, whether that meant punching them in the face, pinning their arms from behind, or by whatever means necessary, so they both don’t drown. In doing this, both people are saved.

When we have a prodigal child or adult, a homosexual, bi-sex, or transgender child or friend, an alcoholic, drug user, whatever, if we choose to walk alongside them to preserve the relationship, it is the equivalent to allowing a drowning victim to grab us and drag us down into the abyss. If we do not disable them from grabbing at us, it will cost both lives; and eternal life for the ones we’re trying to save.

Disabling them in this instance means to set a boundary with them. Allowing them to live in their sin, without becoming a party to it. Any time you do spend with the person it should be intentional and eternity focused.

Ya, this idea is unpopular with culture and even in many churches, but that is why Matt. 7:13-14 says “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Ephesians 5:1-13 says “1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater —has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”

So, I have to ask myself, my friends and other Christians, is it really true love to hold an unbeliever’s hand as they walk the road to hell?

I know. This seems harsh, but eternity is at stake here.

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4 responses to “The lifeguard’s rule

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