3/16 Luke 17:3

3 "Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him."

Jesus was instructing His disciples on how important it is to not tempt others to sin. He added this instruction found only in Luke's Gospel. Brothers and sisters in Christ are supposed to look out for one another. We are like soldiers in battle. Sin is the weapon of the enemy to bring us down. Sin can even cause us to do damage to our fellow soldiers. That is why we must pay attention to ourselves to see that we are not yielding to the enemy.

When we see a brother or sister compromising with the enemy, Jesus says to rebuke him or her. We have to warn one another. Sin is subtle. We often justify in our minds why it is all right to engage in some kind of sin. Sometimes it is a part of our old lives that we never really understood was sinful, so we don't think twice about going back to that behavior. This is when we need someone to step in and rebuke us. We usually know in our spirits that we are compromising with sin. The rebuke confirms it. Sometimes we don't take the rebuke and become upset, but in time we realize it was done in love.

Isn't it God who forgives the repentant sinner? Yes, but the sins of our fellow soldiers also hinder our effectiveness in the battle. None of us is alone. As parts of the body of Christ, the infection of any part can harm the rest of the entire body. We forgive the one who repents for compromising our mission. When you choose to sin, you not only harm yourself, but also your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pay attention to yourselves!

Remember: No one likes to call others out and rebuke their sin. It risks our relationship with them. However, love will realize how important it is to do so.