Dear Brethren,

I would like to encourage every Church member to be a blessing and encouragement and support to one another especially to those who are facing problems and struggles. In general, they can be seen to behave in the following manner :

1. Wayward – running away from God
2. Worried – fear of everything
3. Weak – easily fall into temptation
4. Wicked – do evil and harm others

In the Church, we must have a heart of compassion to deal with people who struggle in such areas and show them mercy, kindness, meekness and longsuffering.

Wayward members – running away from God

The unruly people are those who are out of line and wayward in their ways. This is how we deal with the wayward in a biblical manner :

(a) Do not pounce on them judgmentally; do not condemn them; do not wreak havoc on their lives by abusing and alienating them.

(b) Come along with them like a loving parent to a child. Understand where they are going wrongly and call them back and do it with compassion.

“Warn them that are unruly” 1 Thessalonians 5:14b

Worried members – fear in everything

Worried people are feebleminded and faint-hearted. There are people in Church who fear the unknown, worry about everything and see downside of everything. These people need our comfort and encouragement. We can only do so through the Word of God.

“Comfort the feebleminded” 1 Thessalonians 5:14c

Weak members – easily fall into temptation

In the Church, we have people who lack spiritual strength and easily fall into temptation. Some people are weak in continually falling into their besetting sin (Hebrews 12:1). We must pray, support and rebuke them in meekness but not condemn them.

“Support the weak” 1 Thessalonians5:14d

Wicked members – do evil and harm others

The word “evil” refer to people who do wicked things. There are people who attack the Church with their gossip, slander and evil-speaking. They do harm by shutting someone out of fellowship, by being jealous, hateful and bitter. They lead people into sin to pollute the Church. What should we do to such people? We must not exhibit any personal vengeance but rather do good to the person. Show acts of love in the face of hostility. If someone mistreats you, do good to him. Do everything possible so that he can be brought back to God.

“See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15

Our Church is not a gallery but a hospital with many “problem people” who need great care and compassion. We must show compassion, tenderheartedness and kindness especially to those who are wayward, worried, weak and wicked. May we be a Church not only known for our sound doctrines but also known for our great compassion to those who are struggling spiritually.

Elder John Leong