Those who expose and embarrass seek to control people by fear. It is a form of terrorism. They force people to be righteous by fear of being exposed if they are wrong.
James 5:19 – My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back,
James 5:20 – remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
To expose wrong doing makes the exposer feel superior morally and maybe even spiritually. The exposer is celebrated by those who enjoy seeing the exposed person embarrassed and silenced. The exposer is feared by many who do not want to risk being exposed. That is how the exposer gains addictive respect in society. The question however is, which spirit seeks to expose and embarrass?
Those who expose and embarrass seek to control people by fear. It is a form of terrorism. They force people to be righteous by fear of being exposed if they are wrong. They force their will on people, churches, organizations and even governments, by threatening to expose and embarrass. That is why they would even use lies to achieve such a goal.
Pharisees sought to expose and embarrass a woman caught in adultery. Jesus covered her up by refusing to condemn her or even cross examine her. Jesus does not expose and embarrass you. Which spirit seeks to expose and embarrass?
Jesus condemned sin but did not expose and embarrass. Jesus used sharp language in dealing with sin in situations that are limited and were more likely to help that sinner rather than embarrass.
Revelation 12:10 – “…For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.”
The Bible refers to Satan as the accuser of people. Those who seek to expose and embarrass are accusing others of wrong doing. Those who seek to expose and embarrass are accusers. Which spirit seeks to expose and embarrass you?
Matthew 18:15 – “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”
Did you note the words, “just between the two of you…” Jesus recommends that when dealing with sin and offense, as much as possible the process should seek to avoid exposing and embarrassing. The matter escalates gently only when a person is adamant. It gets exposed to the whole church when no other way can be found to help the situation. That is the spirit that avoids exposing and embarrassing. Which is this spirit whose first action is to to do a light warning or none then expose and embarrass?
When the first thing someone does is to expose and embarrass, are they still in the faith that Christ gave us? When minimum effort is given to privately ending a matter, and maximum energy is placed on exposing and embarrassing, do we still have the spirit of Christ?
When a person is exposed and embarrassed, the first cause of action is self preservation. They get on the defensive. They attract sympathy and sympathizers and the problem at this point can no longer be solved. No wonder Jesus recommended a private handling of the matter to raise probability of success in solving problems.
When a person is exposed and embarrassed, the problem can spin out of control as interested parties seek revenge. Dirty linen comes in public. Reputations ruined. Children get traumatized. The church loses credibility. The government official is sentenced without trial. Revenge leads to counter exposes and counter embarrassment. Which spirit would want things to go this way?
Our text today, tells us that, when helping someone who is in the wrong, a sinner, we save them from death and cover sin. Covering in the sense of avoiding embarrassment of the individual. Helping the person without exposing and embarrassing them. May this be our spirit when dealing with personal broken relationships, church and public issues, in Jesus’s name, Amen!
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