[Jesus said] “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. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”
To what extreme would you go to save someone you love from shipwrecking their relationship with God by their persistent sin against him? Would you risk the discomfort of an awkward conversation? Would you say something that could change the relationship for good? Extreme love moves us to go to the extremes necessary to rescue the soul that strays from Jesus.
Speak with love, but don’t mince your words. Tell them of your love and concern for them and their Savior’s love and concern for them. If they don’t listen, don’t give up! Extreme love doesn’t throw in the towel. Try again with one or two other trusted friends because that one soul is worth all the effort. Still no breakthrough? If they have any connection with a church and those who have been called to provide spiritual care, get their church family involved in the rescue mission.
Jesus showed extreme love. He went from the highest heavens to the lowliest position on Earth. He is true God from eternity, but he took on frail flesh. He is life and light, but he surrendered to the darkness of death as he died on a cross. That’s extreme love. Jesus went to the extreme to save you from sin and death. He went to the extreme to save that soul that is straying or has strayed from him. It’s that extreme love that calls us to go to extremes to help and restore our brother or sister who is in danger of being lost in sin once again.
Jesus Christ, renew me by your extreme love and move me to go to the extremes necessary to communicate that love to others. Amen.