Focal passage: Daniel 5:17-28
We have become confused in our culture today about what it means to genuinely love someone. I have the privilege of parenting three children. One way my children know that I love them is because I continually observe their lives and when danger seems near I move into action to correct, warn and help them to move to a safer place. I feel certain any parent in the right state of mind would do the same.
Danger can come any many forms. Sometimes there is a true safety issue that can impact a person physically. There are also moral and spiritual dangers as well. As we see in our lesson this week, Belshazzar had allowed pride and greed to consume his heart. Consequently, God brought judgment upon him.
We all know people like Belshazzar who are moving in a direction that would not please God. Perhaps we have been there ourselves.
The question I have is, “Will we love them enough to confront them?” Unfortunately, I believe many Christians do not equate loving someone with confrontation. Of course, loving involves many more things than confronting a person’s sin, but if you love someone and you know they were heading toward destruction it seems right you would seek to stop them.
Let me give you an example. I have a personal policy that I will not officiate a marriage for two people if they are living together. You would be surprised how often I have been perceived as not only archaic, but also as unloving because of my stance. But, the truth is I will not marry them because I love them.
I think living together before marriage is not only unhealthy but also a sin. God cannot bless what He is clearly against (Ephesians 5:3). So, my approach has been to gently confront and explain why I think what they are doing is wrong. Sometimes they respond positively and other times they choose to use someone else. Let me assure you confronting individuals about their sin is never easy, but I have learned that God is always honored when we do the right thing.