We sit at Starbucks now in the mornings. Read our bibles, blog, drink coffee, talk, and laugh really loud. The people at this store don’t know my name yet. I bring my own coffee because I’m cheap. But they know us. Well, they know Liz & Laura. The sun is pouring in the windows, warming the table and creating a glow around us as we study. People trickle slowly in and out. Soft jazz tunes fill the store creating a tranquil yet lively atmosphere. It’s such a great way to open the morning.
I’ve been reading Ezekiel. I don’t really know why. It just seemed to be the book I should study next. He is an amazing guy. Super brave. Super obedient. I came across a few verses today that made me think of a conversation I recently had with one of my friends about confronting people who are making bad choices in their lives. It’s so hard to confront people. At least for me. Especially when they are making sinful choices and don’t see anything wrong with them. I’ve been there. Believe me. I have made my fair share of really bad choices. Would I have responded differently if I had people in my life telling me I was wrong? Living in sin? I don’t know. Maybe.
God sent Ezekiel to confront the people of Israel who were rebellious and walking a road towards destruction. Ezekiel was my age when God called him. He says when God put him in this situation he was overwhelmed. 3:15 I sat among them for seven days – overwhelmed. God had a plan and Ezekiel, although confused and encumbered by the task in front of him, was obedient. Confrontation is HARD, God knows this. But He explains why it is so necessary.
3:19 But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
3:21 But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.
The warning is needed. The result is not guaranteed. But as each verse promises, you will save yourself. When we fail to warn people in our lives, God holds us responsible. James reiterates this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (James 5:20)
This doesn’t make it any easier for me. It doesn’t resolve my friend’s situation. But it does provide some answers. Warning them is the right thing to do. And even if they do not respond to and heed the warning, at least you will know that you have done the right thing. And who knows, maybe a confrontation is just the thing they need to get them back on the right track.