We All Make Wrong Turns
We see it in practical matters, right? Like yesterday when Benny was driving us in the van to go to a certain place and he took a wrong turn. You told him, “You took a wrong turn.” Right? You said, “That’s the wrong direction.” If you didn’t want to hurt his feelings, you would’ve just been quiet and we would’ve kept driving on and we would never have gotten there! But, because you care and you knew we needed to get to where we were going, you told Benny that he took a wrong turn. So Benny turned around and we went in the right direction. So that’s all we are doing, when we are helping someone see sin.
We’re saying to them, “You said you want to go to here. You said you want to have a relationship with Jesus. This thing that you are doing is going to keep you from being Jesus’ friend. Will you please stop? I’m helping you go where you said you want to go.”
And you knew too that there were 15 other people waiting at the other place. If you just let Benny keep driving that way, those people were going to miss out. That’s the leaven picture. If you don’t deal with turning him around, then those other 15 people would have missed out on yesterday. You love them and Benny and us enough to laugh a little bit and say, “Hey, where are you going?”
Then you were humble enough to do a U-turn.
That’s what the word repentance means, it means “U-turn.” That’s all we’re talking about. This isn’t some heavy-duty thing. We’re just saying, “Do you want to go this way? You say you want to be a follower of Jesus. Well, you’ll never get there going this way. Please make a U-turn.” It’s not some heavy thing; it’s a joyous thing. We chuckled and there wasn’t even any real embarrassment there. You weren’t mad or angry at him because he told you that you made a wrong turn.
That’s how we are as believers, too. Somebody says to us, “You turned the wrong way,” and we love the Light. We say, “Well, silly me! Ok.” We don’t get mad or angry at someone for helping us. And that person didn’t need to be afraid to mention it to me, because I wanted to hear it and I want to go in the right direction. Everybody in the church wants to go in the right direction—they want Jesus, right? That should be a given because by definition you shouldn’t be in the church if you don’t want Jesus. Go somewhere else if you don’t want Jesus.
So everybody in the church should want Jesus, so they don’t mind someone saying to them, “You turned the wrong way.” They want to know, so it’s not a problem. We don’t have any fights in the city where I live, or any big brawls. We’ve never had a division in 20 years. Why do we not have all these conflicts and arguments in the church? Because everyone is glad to hear that they are turned in the wrong direction.
We do turn in the wrong direction sometimes. We all do—all of us do. If anyone claims that he never turns the wrong direction, then he’s a liar. That’s what 1 John 1 says. Yes, I turn the wrong direction sometimes. But, I’m not ashamed of that. I’m disappointed in myself, but I’m not ashamed because I have brothers around me who are willing to graciously, with a laugh (and sometimes it’s a serious laugh), tell me that I made a wrong turn. And I’m glad to hear it.
The whole church is like that. It should be like that for every single person in this thing that you call church. Every single one, from the least to the greatest, will have that same attitude—that’s what the Bible says. Everyone wants to know when they have turned the wrong way. And everyone else, as a kingdom of priests, is willing to mention it. Not arrogantly, not with bossiness, not with heavy-handedness, not with legalism, but just with a whisper, “Psst, you turned the wrong way.”
That’s what a church is supposed to be. Everyone helping each other move closer to Jesus everyday for the rest of our natural lives. That’s a church.