The church is to be marked by love that seeks to save one another from sin’s snare. We mimic the Good Shepherd, who sought us, when we go after those who stray. Is there anyone who needs you to seek them out? Has anyone strayed into sin that you’ve neglected to pursue? If you fell into sin, who knows and loves you enough to pursue you?
Richard and Andy worked in a factory outside a west Texas town. Andy’s new faith was growing, but he told Richard his drive home was a daily battle. A few miles from his house was a fork in the road: a left turn led home, but a right took him to the strip club that had long been his escape.
One afternoon, Andy confessed he craved to go to the club after work. Before Richard left, he prayed with Andy and assured him Jesus would help him resist.
It was pouring rain when Andy began his drive. Approaching the fork in the road, he noticed something in the median. As the windshield wipers brushed aside the rain, he saw Richard standing at the fork with a large piece of cardboard. On it was an arrow pointing home. Andy turned left toward home that day, and every day since.
Richard is the kind of brother we need, and the kind of brother we all should want to be. Whether you are a man or a woman, we need help from fellow sign-holding saints to point us away from temptation and toward our heavenly home. What follows are four exhortations to help you help others home.
Resist Shallow Relationships
The path of faith must not be journeyed alone. Perseverance is a community project. God intends each of us to protect others from apostasy. We can be tempted, however, toward shallow relationships. Rather than stand in the storm as Richard did, we are tempted toward apathy. Rather than humbly confess our need as Andy did, we are tempted to avoid accountability. But beware: shallow relationships leave you susceptible to Satan’s snares.
Consider Sarah, a sister who had grown tired of being single. She had prayed and waited on God, but no one at church pursued her. So, when a non-Christian coworker began pursuing her, she felt dangerously vulnerable. Had Sarah been isolated in shallow relationships, she acknowledged that she could have fallen into Satan’s trap. Thankfully, she confessed her temptation to several Christian sisters who helped her resist his advances.
God calls believers to be committed to a deep, honest, loving church community (Hebrews 13:17). We are a body (1 Corinthians 12:12) and a family (Matthew 12:49–50; Ephesians 2:19; 1 Timothy 5:1–2), and we are entrusted with nearly forty “one-another commands” that exhort us toward deep, spiritual love. We are too weak to make it to heaven alone. This is why God gives us one another. Surround yourself with people who help you toward heaven, and love others by doing the same for them.