“These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. ”
Jude 1: 20-23 KJV
Today we begin our conversation about how we should respond to “the secret-slipper inner.” If you have missed our previous conversations on the Book of Jude and would like to find out what a “secret-slipper-inner” is, go to my categories section and click on “Hey Jude”
Jude begins this part of his discussion with a warning to “Keep yourselves in the love of God”
The first thing we need to do is guard our hearts with love. Whatever our reaction is, it must be grounded and founded in love. Our first motive should be to love the church and the “secret-slipper-inner.” Love must proceed the urge to confront, or to defend.
It is interesting that in telling us how to deal with those who bring controversy to the church Jude first tells us to deal with our own hearts. In the midst of conflict this is almost never our first motivation. We want to deal with the problem. We want to exorcise the “demon”. Meanwhile God tells us to look within and judge ourselves to make sure our motives are pure. Further he tells us to do what we need to be “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Before we deal with someone who is causing contention or sin to rise in the church we need to remember from whence we have come. We need to remember who we were, who we have become and the fact that it is only God’s grace that remade us. We can take no credit for our salvation. It is God’s grace from first to last and that alone. Seeing that helps us to understand that any confrontation we are going to have with a “secret-slipper-inner” is not about “throwing the garbage to the curb”. It’s about offering an opportunity to a brother or sister to receive the grace that we are daily in need of. Only when we can love them as we love ourselves are we in any sort of shape to begin to deal with those who have slipped into the church to cause destruction.
I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences in this vein.