Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (James 5:20)

OVER THE YEARS I’ve mentored several Christian women. One time it became necessary to confront a mentee regarding a particular sin in her life that was driving her away from intimacy with God. She stubbornly clung to her destructive isolation, and we likewise became estranged. I wept over our separation and daily asked the Holy Spirit to soften her heart. In time God brought her back into His fellowship. All was forgiven, and God restored her. Today she’s in full-time Christian ministry.

The Bible makes it clear that whenever sin must be confronted, it must be done in such a way as to be nothing less than clear evidence of true love. Proverbs 27:6 tells us, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” There are confrontations of sin from true friends in love, and then there are ovations that only pretend at love but are no less than acts of enemies to our souls. Confronting a brother or sister in Christ about their sin for any reason other than their own well-being—for anything less than love—is direct disobedience to God’s Word. If it’s not out of love, it’s the work of the Enemy.

Sin is all about one’s separation from God, so the solution is not so much about correction as it is about connection—about right relationship with God. It’s painful to see a Christian break away from the Lord. Let’s help each other draw closer to God.

Be a student of God’s Word so you’ll recognize sin’s separation when you see it.

Nancy Reinke lives in Oregon with her artist husband. She enjoys writing, quilting, gardening, and encouraging others.