Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

How to Punish Troublemakers at Church

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photo credit: kalavinka via photopin cc

“That’s it! She’s done it again! She’s stepped on my toes for the last time! You wouldn’t believe what she did to me this time. I caught her gossiping behind my back and calling me an immature Christian. She told people things I only told her in confidence. She did the same thing to Darlene and Amelia. She also told Rick that Steve said he was ignorant because He believed in baby baptisms. I’ve had enough with this “so called Christian”. Come on girls! Let’s give her a good shunning!”

We’ve all had them. We’ve all experienced them. We recognize them shortly after they arrive, and we have nightmares about them well after they’re gone. They are the church troublemakers. You know who I’m talking about. They are the ones who only open their mouths to complain and rarely have a pleasant word to say about anyone. They love to stir up trouble and division. They use prayer time as an opportunity to gossip. They seem to have no filter on what they say and do. Yep, we’ve all known them.

It can be hard to deal with these kinds of people. Not only are they frustrating and hard to befriend, but they are also often in sin in the ways they deal with their church family. They can be difficult to confront about these issues because they usually react badly and make it worse. Oftentimes they leave and spend years hopping from one church to the next. You can’t say they aren’t saved or judge their hearts, but you wonder where they’re discernment is, where their grace is and how they don’t seem to be maturing spiritually. Paul would call these people weaker brothers and sisters in the Lord. They make you want to scream!

So how do we punish these troublemakers? How do we deal with their frustrating tactics and rude comments? What should we do to handle these people who are clearly stealing joy from the church family as a whole? Ready for it?

What we do is take ahold of them, look into their eyes and say…….well actually. Before I continue, let’s look at an example in scripture when Paul dealt with an issue like this. It seems the church at Corinth had a troublemaker of their own (I’m sure they had many). We never hear his name spoken…..yay Paul for not gossiping, amen? Yet Paul sends the church very clear and very awesome instructions on how to deal with troublemakers.

“Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.” 2 Corinthians 2:5-8

How do we punish troublemakers in the church? Love. We love them. We take ahold of them, look straight into their eyes and tell them how very much we love them. And every time they frustrate us, we love them. And every time they sin against us, we forgive them and love them. And when we confront issues, we do it in love. And when they need us, we don’t turn away from them but continue to love.

We punish every offense with the most violent and purposeful love we can muster – and with the power of the Holy Spirit filling us up, that’s a lot of LOVE!

Oh Lord Jesus! Help me to love those who frustrate me and sin against me! I pray Lord to be a more loving person, not just to those that are easy to love, but to the most difficult. Fill me up to overflowing with Your perfect love for Your people! In Jesus’ Mighty Name I pray, AMEN!

Alright folks…..now go punish people with LOVE.

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