Turn from Sin. James 5:19-20.

May 26th, 2009

James 5:19-20.

 5:19.  Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,
 5:20.  let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

Turn From Sin

A good old religious word is 'repent', it just means to turn away from the direction you are heading and go a new way. The new way, of course, should be towards God. As humans we in no way can save anybody to be in the kingdom of God. Only Jesus was appointed to do that. We can't Justify, or atone, for the lives of others, again only Jesus is able to do that. We can't get into someone else's head or into their heart, and make them believe. We can't forgive them of all their sins, only the ones that are directed towards us. The forgiveness that matters, whether we forgive them or not, is God's forgiveness.

The only thing that we have any control over, and it is really limited, is the power to turn someone aside from a dangerous, sinful, activity. If I have a friend who is walking towards a cliff, I might grab him by the shoulders and physically turn him so his next step is safe. Safe for now. However, he may  get resentful, shake himself loose and go back on his way. The ultimate repentance is still his decision. I could struggle with him,wrestle him to the ground, drag him away, sit on his chest and commence to tell him why his path is a deadly one. You would think it is plain to see. You would think your activities are plain enough to show your concern. You would think your words are clear and there is no breach in any logic. You are exactly right.

But as long as that person refuses to believe the lie that has been placed in his brain. That there is no absolute truth, that the deeds in his life are sin, and not simply an alternate lifestyle, that they are somehow entitled to do as they please and not pay any consequenses, my best efforts will be nothing as soon as they are out of my direct contact. It's the nature of a lifestyle that is devoted to addictive behavior.

As a human, we can do as James claims and turn our friend. For lasting affects though, he needs to become motivated from the inside. That spark of understanding that we try to reach out to him with has to reach a point sparks in his mind. When God makes that happen, true repentance, turning, comes to happen.

These are James parting words, and the ultimate goal of all the things he spoke of in his writing. We are to take any trials that fall on us as good. Keeping the good that will come out of it in the end in mind. We can be wise, but do it with tact, and with intentions of a peaceful end. We can teach, but we need to be in full control, beginning with mastery of our tongue, or language. Say what we mean, and mean what we say. In all our behavior we should be compassionate, not judging. All in the hopes that we might turn someone back to the correct path. Well, at least long enough for God to change their mind.

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