Courage to Obey
We have often found that one thing is really lacking with many Christians. People see something that is unlike Jesus, but what is often missing is courage to actually go to that person. They just say, “I’ll talk to my husband,” or “I’ll talk to somebody else,” but to actually go and talk to that person—only that person—about it, that’s really the point where so many people just absolutely miss it.
Well, it’s a command. When God said, “Don’t steal,” you would know that was a command and that you should obey it. And if you disobey it, that’s a bad thing. “If you love Me, you will obey Me.” That’s a command. If you see something, then you must go to him and him alone and try to win your brother. If he won’t hear you, there’s a command: “Bring two or three others and talk about it again.” If he won’t hear them, there’s a command. “Tell it to the Church,” just like “Do not steal,” “Do not kill.” Those are all commands from the same God. We don’t have a choice! We must obey. It’s God’s plan, and we’re to resolve and redeem and protect one another.
And I suppose in a true Church situation, that element of “needing courage” is much less because it’s expected of you to obey. The other person welcomes it into his life.
And you’re not like the first man walking around on the moon……you’re just doing what everyone else is doing! So, I’m sure in a way, it’s much easier than obeying in an environment where nobody’s obeying, and people say, “Mind your own business.”
Well, it actually still takes courage, because you feel like you could be wrong. You don’t want to hurt their feelings. You don’t want to break a trust. You don’t want to lose their affection for you. There is still a risk factor. But obeying God’s command is expected and in fact it’s welcomed, but it still takes courage because of the human factor.
But somehow we know that the things—whether it’s those kinds of things or whether it’s opening up about our own sin—that bear fruit, the things that bear eternal fruit are the things that always include risk. If it costs something, then we know that there’s a chance that it’s going to reap real results, versus if it’s easy, then usually there’s no real results.
It’s true. Anything from the Lord does cost us. It’s true.
It costs our pride and our flesh and our comforts.
I went to speak to a sister one day. And I just had to ask myself, “Is this normal?” Because I really had to swallow hard and I had to really motivate myself and say, “No, I have to do this.” Is that normal? Is that how you feel or does it get better after a while?
(smiling) Mmmm, there’s still a lump in the throat. But there is some level of confidence and it helps knowing that you’re not going to be talked about behind your back or yelled at. You’re not going to be insulted. You’re not going to be squashed or belittled. You’re not going to be cold-shouldered or rejected in the future. None of that can happen because no one is a hypocrite. No one is going to think bad things about you and smile and send you on your way and then just avoid you. Nobody avoids anyone, ever. That’s hypocrisy. It’s unacceptable. Jesus hated hypocrisy—He still does.
So, it helps knowing that they’re going to deal honestly with what you say, but it’s still very, very hard, and you still get the lump in your throat, and you’d rather not go to talk to them. You want to try to find reasons why “someone else who knows them better than I do surely will talk to them about it.”
Or you think, “I just saw it wrong.”
Yeah, “I just misunderstood that.” But it helps knowing they’re not going to be hypocritical or defensive or angry or hostile. All that’s eliminated, yet it is still hard even without those factors. But, everyone knows they should obey His command. There are a lot of things Jesus asks us to do that aren’t easy. But that’s not a reason to not do them.