“As your fathers did, so do ye. “
A shattered and battered friend builds a barricade — outside goes the streets, parties, men, women — no challenges, no frank conversations, no vulnerable places; nothing gets in! — nothing but a safe little bungalow with a few other cocoon-spinning associates; — they are veiling their secrets together. Left out are also secret memories of raped or violated. God also is forfeited. Some add a convenient god to their project, but the True God gets the stiff arm; He represents unconcealed truth is why, and truth stings. Can God ever get in? He can if these self-shelters can be penetrated.
We got a problem. God wants to preserve rights; rights of free will, rights to want, rights to self-government, as far as it goes. God doesn’t overrule the one created in His image or He violates their being, by becoming an antagonist God.
So, how can it work? Well, the masked personality-shelter gotta go here. Confrontations to these “armored-up” often backfire, however — they reinforce their armor. The personality- complex develops a stiff upper lip. Much like a virus adapts to an antibacterial, germs resists an anti-biotic, personalities can strengthen themselves from life-threatening attacks.
Then what? Jude suggests three classes of people:
- those who contend with you,
- those who are as brands already in the fire,
- those who are candidates for compassion
- contenders often oppose themselves. Paul told Timothy not to strive with them, be apt to teach, be gentle, and instruct them in meekness.
- “Fire Brands” have surrendered to hell’s impending doom, they find it impossible to turn at this late date. Snatch em out, says the Bible.
- Those who will be pitied, by all means show compassion, take care to not fall into their ploys to get sympathy, avoiding ultimate healing. Don’t become an enabler.
“Gentleness, is an expression of the character of love, it moves and motivates us with meekness.
Meekness is a willingness to transfer my rights –because I can trust the life of God, expressed through gentleness. “Dr Carl Stevens
“Gentleness is a strong hand with a soft touch. It is a tender, compassionate approach toward others’ weaknesses and limitations. A gentle person still speaks truth, sometimes even painful truth, but in doing so guards his tone, (of voice), so the truth can be well received.”https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting
- “The resisters” in Acts 7:51, “…clung to the present and the material, while God was calling them to higher spiritual levels.” — Steven spoke boldly against them.
- “The opposers,” “contradict a grant (gift) — from The Spirit.”— Instruct them meekly.
- “The fire brands,” need ‘a most narrow escape.’ — these snatch out of the fire on their deathbed; maybe.
Why the strong language sometimes and softness another?
Their chances were coming to an end!!!
God spoke in Genesis 6:3, “…once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” ” And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man.”
Perhaps this is a guide for meekness: how close are they to final judgement? Years? months? days? hours? minutes?
“History tells us that Philip of Macedon conditioned his servant to stand in his presence every day and repeat, “Philip, you will die.” He wanted to be reminded of his mortality.”
“Death is the great equalizer. It is no respecter of persons… You decide now-not later, not after death-which destination it will be. You decide where you will spend eternity. And the two options are heaven or hell.”http://www.christianpost.
What are we saying? Urgency determines the degree of intensity.
Hell is real for those who don’t know Jesus. Revelation 21:8 (NCV). Who can predict when a man will die?
“…the boat was capsized “about 400 or 500 yards off shore. Mr Meriweather said he saw the occupant of the boat, whom he did not recognise, get back to the side of the boat and grab on to the main sail boom, but he did not inform authorities. “Capsizing is not an unusual occurrence and I went off to do something else,” he told the inquest. “What normally happens is they would right themselves afterwards, it wasn’t a major event. “The next time I looked, a couple of hours later, there was nothing there.”countyecho.co.uk
Beloved, can we dare to assume they are okay?
“a smoking flax He will not quench.” Be all things to all men. Because Jesus Christ is gentle.” love ya