I did it just the other day… I honked my horn as one last car meandered through a yellow, then red light while the traffic on my side of the intersection waited through the first 3-4 seconds our green light. That’s just wrong. This red-light rebel got me thinking, “How should a Christian respond when we confront sin/evil/injustice in our lives?”
We all have those frequent, stoplight moments. But there are also occasions when we come face to face with something that is just simply wrong. It’s sin that has a ripple effect in our lives. You see it in international issues like human trafficking; an evil invades our lives and our neighborhoods through pornography, the objectification of women and dangerous situations for adolescent girls (and even boys). That’s a big, global evil, but we see sin/evil/injustice at work, in our relationships and unfortunately even in the church.
So what do we do? As Christians we begin where we should always begin, in prayer. Prayer is a radical, counter-cultural action of faith that puts our attention on The Truth, The One who defines what is right and good. Jesus even says to “Pray for those who persecute you,” (Matt. 5:44). Only then can we have even the slightest perspective from God’s point of view. Then and only then should we respond with grace. That’s the hard part.
The most difficult thing about being a true Christ-follower is that we are called to confront evil, not just sit there and let it happen. But how we confront it is the key. We don’t pile on more evil. We cannot control how people act, but we can control how we respond. The Bible says that we should, “Never pay back evil with more evil,” (Romans 12:9-21). In fact it’s a key to our Christian witness and should differentiate us from people who do not know the Lord.
We are barely scratching the surface of this complex issue, sisters and brothers. But be encouraged that when you encounter something that is just plain wrong, it is okay to confront it, call it out and then respond in a Godly way. The good news is that whether we are on the giving or receiving end, God’s grace is sufficient to forgive (individual) and reconcile (everyone involved). In the end love will win, because God is love. He confronted evil at the cross. It’s done. The victory has been won.
So rather than respond with you horn like I did, pray and then lead with love. Confronting sin is never easy, but neither is being a true Christ-follower. May we find our strength in Christ and respond with His grace.