“Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of His nostrils are they consumed.”
Some troublemakers look like trouble. We know as soon as they show up; who they are and what they are after. However, there are troublemakers in the world and in the church, who remain undetected because of their appearance and influence. These are people are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing. We can’t always know that they are troublemakers, until the fruit of their sowing and reaping reveals the truth …
Many troublemakers know how to manipulate those in the faith. Sometimes they even go to great lengths to convince us of their intent to do good and not evil. How do we steer clear of allowing troublemakers a place in our lives or homes? We must surely learn to turn away …..
T – Take the time to pay attention ~
“Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.” (Haggai 1:5)
U – Understand their true motives through discernment from the Holy Spirit ~
“But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?” (Acts 5:3)
R – Remain steadfast in what you know is the right thing to do ~
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” (2 Timothy 3:14)
N – Never comprise yourself by making concessions for sin ~
“All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.” (1 John 5:17)
A – Always choose good over evil ~
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
W – Work more towards pleasing God than pleasing people ~
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
A – Approach them only after praying for wisdom and insight from the Lord ~
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Y – Yearn more for their salvation, more than their acceptance ~
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
(2 Peter 3:9)
Turning away troublemakers doesn’t mean that we stop interceding for them. Absolutely not! We earnestly pray for their salvation and repentance. Yet, their influence over our lives and families can’t be underestimated. We have a responsibility to love them in Christ Jesus and to be wise in our interactions with them. Jesus told us, “be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16).
They need the Lord and when their hearts are ready, we may be the ones to lead them to Jesus; but we also have a responsibility to guard our hearts ….
Therefore continue to diligently pray that hearts and minds be opened as we strive to teach others the Word and to win souls; yet, as well, remember to pray for wisdom and discernment for yourselves that you be able to recognize those in your lives that would be deceptive and try to undermine your progress in your own spiritual journey.
To associate with those who call themselves Christians, but who live a sinful lifestyle is to condone their sin and thus be a participant in it.
Paul speaks on this in detail in (1 Corinthians 5). Furthermore in saying “anyone who calls themself” a brother or sister (v.11), Paul is leaving open the issue of their actual salvation status. For what a person calls themself does not necessarily reflect what they actually are. But with regards to what kind of sins Paul is speaking of, it is apparent that these are blatant, obvious, and of which they refuse to repent and the warning here is to guard against accepting these as one’s lifestyle which is so offensive. The truth is that one bad apple actually can ruin the whole bunch; and the issue here is that sin that is not acknowledged and not dealt with can actually lead to additional issues. Clearly he sums it up with the last verse: “But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (v. 13) ….
“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
Dear Lord, help me to recognize when a troublemaker is bringing confusion to my home and life. Give me the wisdom to deal with them in truth and in love. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.