One of the big challenges that face Christians and the church today is to live the life of Christ in a culture that is becoming more and more hostile to such a lifestyle. Individualism is now so pervasive, that it’s a brave person who dares to challenge the lifestyle choices of anyone else. “It’s none of your business” is the infallible mantra.
It’s so easy to adopt this way of thinking in the church. It gets us out of having to face difficult things. But we lose so much if we go down that path. One of the reasons that God has adopted us into his family is so we can work with him to help one another become better people – more like Jesus, the perfect Son of God. Not just in our thinking and believing, but also in our living.
Paul challenges the Corinthian Christians to be who they are – people who have been set apart by God to be holy. People who have been made clean from sin by the sacrifice of Jesus. They had lost sight of this, and were carrying on as if anyone could do anything and still call themselves followers of Christ. He calls on them to separate from people who refuse to turn from sin – not even to eat with them.
We don’t do each other a favour when we step back from challenging and encouraging each other to greater holiness and Christlikeness. Hard as it is to open ourselves up to being accountable to God’s people, this is God’s provision to help us to flee from the things that hold us back, and to persevere in growing like Christ.
May God give us the courage to let others speak into our lives, and to speak into the lives of others, so that together we can truly grow in Christ and powerfully proclaim him.