Jude 1:22-23 (New International Reader's Version)
22 Show mercy to those who doubt. 23 Pull others out of the fire. Save them. To others, show mercy mixed with fear. Hate even the clothes that are stained by the sins of those who wear them.
Jude 1:22 (The Message)
22-23Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.
When I was young in the faith, it was often difficult to find the answers. Although I knew that something new had happened to me, I didn't know what to do next. I also struggled to know if I had really been saved, and since changes in my life occurred slowly, I often had doubts about whether or not my conversion had been real. This often led to backsliding and delay in discovering the fantastic life God has in store for me.
I could have really used a Christian mentor that would pull alongside me and encourage me in my faith. I could have used a mentor that would help me be accountable for the things that I was and wasn't doing. It would have been great to know someone tender-hearted and merciful, that would accept me for who I was, and help me pick myself up and get back on track.
There are many around us that are new in the faith, that have doubts, or that may just be learning about this life called Christianity. There are many who need to be confronted as they make this life-change, to help them turn from the bondage that they have been living under. There are many that need to be sheilded from the pressures now put on them by Satan, as they attempt to follow Jesus and be a reflection of His image.
Do you find yourself coming into contact with people like these? Do you have a yearning to tell others of your redemption and help them know about Jesus? Do you have a burden for those who are trapped in the garbage of this world and hopelessly lost? If you do, then the Holy Spirit of God is talking to you. It is you who needs to show mercy for those God is giving you a burden for.
It is you who needs to learn from Jude's teaching and be that encouraging image of Jesus Christ.
Photo "Urban Poverty 1" from ElRincon, 10-17-2005, from stock.xchng