Summary: Exactly like our physical body our spiritual body consists of individuals and relationships carrying out specific functions! Our survival depends on our ability to maintain and at times restore our internal environment.
Pt. 4 - Confront
We have been talking about how the spiritual body works is a direct parallel to how our natural body works. Like our physical body, which works because there are specific biological systems that carry out their assigned role and function, our spiritual body consists of individuals and relationships carrying out specific functions! Our survival depends on our ability to maintain and at times restore our internal environment.
Paul tells us this in 1 Corinthians 12:25 - The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t.
So we have said that we are not created for isolation. We are designed for relationship. Christianity has not and never will be a private practice. Our society has tried to convince us that it is so that we would be isolated, weak and manageable. Together we are a formidable foe. Isolated we are an easy target. We must be connected and then move even deeper into covenant so that we can anticipate and expect the body to function according to its intended design. The reason we see the body fail to function properly is because parts are out of alignment or are not fulfilling their function. So for us to function properly we must be so tuned into one another that we carry and comfort each other as we obey Peter's commands to walk deeply in love and to offer one another hospitality without grumbling. But again like the natural body there are times that we need adjustment and realignment. (Ever needed a chiropractor to get you back into alignment?)
Here is the issue . . . we like it when members of the body are assigned to carry/comfort us. However, we balk when, for proper function, they are assigned to us to confront us! I suggest that this is in large part due to the fact that we fail to show love first (remember love covers a multitude of sins and makes room for our gift) and because some of us seem to take more joy in confrontation/correcting than we do in carrying/comforting. Some of are missing in action when a fellow believer needs help. However, we are Johnny on the Spot when they need to be spanked. I would also submit to you that the other reason we don't like this is because our proud, rebellious, undisciplined hearts don't like to be confronted or called out and so we continue to walk out of alignment. The fact of the matter is that our willingness to carry/comfort you gives us license to confront. If I carry you out of a financial need, then I have the right to confront if I see you making the same stupid choices. If I carry you out of the pain of a destructive relationship, then I have the right and duty to point out that you are headed back into the same situation again.
We like to point to the New Testament church as our goal and as the type of church we want to belong to. However, we fail to recognize or embrace the fact that almost everything we know about the New Testament church is a result of letters being written to confront/challenge issues inside the church.
So the new mantra for today's isolated, easily targeted, misaligned believer is "don't judge me". The Bible says, "Don't judge!" We are so out of alignment that we even misrepresent what the Word says. Listen carefully today . . . that is a lie. Jesus was very clear that we are to inspect fruit and therefore also have the ability to judge the nature of a person.
Paul understood this concept. He understood that in the body we would have to be willing to confront. Listen to what he says to the believers in Galatia. He gives them instructions on the necessity of confrontation. He says we should do this. Not you might want to. Think about it. Pray about it. Depending on the situation. No he says . . .
TEXT: Galatians 6:1
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
He is literally saying that when we watch one who is a part of our body fall we must respond. We can't turn a blind eye. How can you restore if you don't confront? One version says those who are spiritual mature should restore. Our maturity is revealed not just by our willingness to carry/comfort but also by being willing to confront. Mature is I don't want to speak to you but I do what I don't want to do because I know I need to correct you because I am committed to your good. Maturity is revealed by our willingness to do what isn't easy. The immature take the easy road. They ignore. They look the other way. I have said it before discipline is not fun but you can't become a disciple without discipline.