Q. My question concerns being concerned about a loved one’s walk with the Lord. When it is obvious that they are continually putting self first or are imprisoned by an addiction, is it considered judging them when I pray for them. My attitude is that if I were in the same condition or position, knowing that I was still loved by them, I would covet their prayers. Sometimes I feel there is such a fine line between concern and judgment, especially when I see them hurting another loved one who is in a weaker position physically and emotionally and even positionally.
What is your understanding in this and at what point is intervention other than prayer required if ever. Is this an impossible question?
A. In Matt. 18: 15-20 the Lord told us how to respond to a brother who has sinned against us. But to my knowledge the only place where we’re given instruction on what to do when we observe some one sinning, but not against us, is in 1 John 5:16 where we’re told to intercede on the sinner’s behalf with the Lord. Obviously it’s appropriate to intercede for any victim as well.
My opinion on this matter is that only someone with clear authority over the sinner should intervene directly. By this I mean a pastor, spouse, family member, or a very close friend. I would never suggest that anyone else intervene except in case of a dire emergency.