Recently I’ve been dealing with trying to tell some of the people closest to me that there are just some things that are going on in their lives that need to stop immediately. Although I’ve made considerable progress with this issue over the last few years, this is still such a daunting task for me for many reasons. I never want to be the bearer of bad news; I don’t want my words to be mistaken for being judgmental; I am not interested in being the source of anyone’s hurt feelings or pain. Dealing with all of those feelings sometimes makes me walk away without saying a word when I KNOW something needs to be said. Honestly, instead of calling many of these people to the carpet on their actions, I have just let a few relationships wither away and that was NOT the appropriate solution. What I didn’t realize in the past is that my failure to intervene in my loved ones’ affairs was as detrimental to me as it was to them.
In the book of Ezekiel, the Lord is speaking directly to Ezekiel and reminding him of his duty as a watchman. “You, son of man, are the watchman. I’ve made you a watchman for Israel. The minute you hear a message from me, warn them. If I say to the wicked, ‘Wicked man, wicked woman, you’re on the fast track to death!’ and you don’t speak up and warn the wicked to change their ways, the wicked will die unwarned in their sins and I’ll hold you responsible for their bloodshed.” (Ezekiel 33:7-8 MSG)
If you are saying ‘WHOA!’, then you are not alone. I couldn’t believe what I was reading! Truthfully, I was a little taken aback and wondered how and WHY God would want to hold me accountable for their actions. Simply put, the answer is because “we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” (Romans 15:1 NIV) If you are not struggling in the same area that your friend is, you have the power and strength to help her overcome it. Even better, if you once struggled with fornication but are now celibate, you are equipped to help her conquer that demon as well. But, you can only help her if you have the courage to warn her to change her ways. We are all watchwomen for God. He granted us His Holy Spirit, not just for our good, but for the good of those around us as well.
Now I know you are thinking, “It won’t matter if I tell her. She is going to do what she wants to do anyway.” Well, you may be absolutely correct, but the Bible says that it’s still your responsibility to plant the seed. Whether or not they choose to heed God’s warning is up to them.
But if you warn the wicked to change their ways and they don’t do it, they’ll die in their sins well-warned and at least you will have saved your own life.” (Ezekiel 33:9 MSG)
Just the other night my daughter was reading me a Bible story and that’s when the message for this EmpowerMoment clicked. She read the story of a paralyzed man who had friends that were so eager to see him healed, that they were innovative, relentless and intentional in their pursuit of Jesus. “They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:2-5 NIV) Ladies, let’s be honest with ourselves here. Are we that type of friend? Will we go through extraordinary, unheard of measures to see our friends healed of their ailments (both physical and spiritual)? Will Jesus be able to look at us and heal them based solely on our faith? If the answer is no to any of these questions, we have work to do! Yes, we are responsible for one another! Yes, we are our sisters’ keeper! And yes, if we don’t speak up against sin, we will also be guilty as charged!
Please forgive me for the times in the past that I kept a tight lip when I should’ve spoken up against sin and ungodly behavior in the lives of my loved ones. Please give me the courage to admonish my friends and family when I witness them headed down a path of unrighteousness. Teach me to do this with a Godly love so that my motives will not be misconstrued as being judgmental. God, help me to accept the same correction from others that I seek to deliver. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to call your folks to the carpet. Yes, I know that it’s hard and I know that it may hurt, but ask yourself two important questions. (1) Do I want to see them die (physically or spiritually) in their mess? (2) Can I live with their bloodshed on my hands? If you answered ‘no’, then it’s time to sound the alarm!
P.S. This EmpowerMoment isn’t just for you; it’s for me too! As I typed this message, God reminded me of at least three people that I have to ‘woman up’ and address. So, pray my strength as I pray yours! Be blessed ladies!
Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.