Tomato – tomaaaaatoooo

Potato – Potaaaaatooooo

Oh fences – Offenses

I am thinking of Offenses. But I am considering their resemblences to fences.

They are something to get over. 

Some fences are small, just aesthetic if you will, and you can hop right over them.

Other fences are clearly set up to be a boundary, you would have to look for a gate or climb over.

Occasionally, fences are barbed wire, or hot wire, or even backed up by armed guards, I would caution you not to try to enter or exit property by hoping over such fences as these.

Anyway, the bible is clear as mud, that I am both suppose to confront a brother regarding an offense and that it is to my glory to overlook an offense.

So when do I confront and when do I overlook?

When the fence is little,and does not interfere with my ability to continue on my path (because I can simply step over it) I can overlook it.

Subsequently, when the offense is little, and I can continue in relationship without addressing it, it would certainly be to my glory to overlook it.  (like water off a ducks back)

A fence that is a bit higher, that poses a boundary, I may need to consider looking for a gate. I may not always be in a position to hop over this size fence. I may not be in proper attire to hop over the fence (what if I am wearing a skirt?) I may not be invited to hop over the fence, and then could get arrested for tresspassing.

Likewise, an offense that poses an obstacle in relationship may need to be evaluated before the Lord. 

If I can not get over the offense and continue in relationship, or if circumstances created by the offense will not allow me to continue, or if the offense is causing the other person to not be able to continue in relationship (thus the no trespassing sign) then I probably need to address the offense.

Last but not least, the barbed wire, guarded fence.  This is not a fence I want to be penned in by, and certainly not a fence I would attempt to get over. 

Which makes this exactly the type of offense that should be addressed among believers. In this instance, it would seem the sister inside the fence is in sin.  And while I can not and should not enter into her sin, she is in bondage, and someone from the outside, who sees the offense clearly and objectively, and knows it is sin, must bring it to the attention of the one in sin.

I am not suggesting that we would address sin in this way, in this context, with people who are not professing to walk with the Lord.

I am suggesting that the Lord does not allow us to cast someone out of fellowship, without first bringing their sin to their attention. 

What chance would we have had of getting to the other side of our own barbed wire fence, if the Lord had not shown us our sin and the fruit of it?

In summary, the fruit of our lives should cross all fences! 

If our life bears fruit by not confronting the offense, and the life of the offender does not cease to bear fruit because the offense has gone unnaddressed, then by all means overlook it.

However, if our life, or their life, can bear fruit when the offense is addressed, then by all means address it.

Furthermore, if our life or their life, will cease to bear fruit when an offense goes unaddressed then it most certainly needs to be addressed. 

And always, when your talking about fences, speak the truth in love!