I wasn’t prepared for all that pregnancy brings, and I’m sure most first-timers agree. One thing that continues to surprise me is how inquisitive people are about my current condition. Generally, people don’t ask too many intrusive questions about your health, but apparently all is fair game when it comes to pregnant women. This seems odd, seeing that raging hormones make for more irritable and moody women, but that’s beside the point. The point is, people get very invested in a woman’s pregnancy. Very concerned. They ask questions, pry a little, and insert themselves into awkward conversations all for the sake of finding out information or giving advice.
The point of today’s post is not to get people to stop doing those things (though, I must admit that if that’s a byproduct, I’ll be ok with it! Ha!). The point is, perhaps we should use this as a lesson on dealing with sin-sickness. You see, while people wouldn’t normally ask about doctors visits and nausea, and while they might not normally remark on how well or unwell I look, they don’t seem to mind when it comes to pregnancy. There’s something about the state of being pregnant that prompts people to move past social norms, push awkwardness aside, and go on about whatever business it is you have with the pregnant women — be it a horror story (please don’t) or home remedy.
Like I said, why don’t we use this as a lesson on dealing with sin-sickness. Galatians 6:1-2 says, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
We are commanded to check in on the spiritual state of our brothers and sisters. We must stay up to speed on their struggles and failures. We must throw out the lifeline when they struggle. We must do all that we can to restore them, because all that matters is heaven. That’s it.
Unfortunately, we often let awkwardness get in the way. We don’t feel like it’s our place to tell people to stop doing something God says they shouldn’t do. We don’t feel comfortable letting people know that the path they’re traveling is heading toward eternal death. Instead, we pretend not to notice. Or worse, we don’t notice. We get so caught up in ourselves that we fail to see the warning signs of our brothers and sisters who are slipping away.
Let’s make it our aim to push past social norms, move past our discomfort, and have hard conversations with people who are heading toward an even harder eternity. We do it all the time with other things, why not with this most important thing? As followers of Christ, we are to warn those who are erring. Not sit idly by. Not remark to ourselves that it’s a shame. We are to be active in reaching out to the lost. These people are dying. Their condition is one to be concerned about. Theirs is a life we should pry into. And, perhaps they won’t enjoy that, but that shouldn’t stop us. We will be judged based on our reaching out to those who are dying. If we sit back and let them go, we are just as guilty.
“Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 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.” James 5:19-20
You can’t save a sinner from death if you don’t reach out to the sinner. It’s not called judging, it’s called compassion. It’s called keeping commandments. It’s called loving God and loving souls. Let’s be sure we are truly God’s people, seeking to save the lost and keep the saved in the light (1 John 1:7).