Question:

I have an issue with worrying about other believers. I worry about their actions especially if I deem them inappropriate and possibly sinful, though I am also unsure about whether certain actions are really sinful or not, though I may disapprove of them.

For example, recently I read about a young believer in the church possibly involving himself in smoking cigarettes. Now I don't know for sure if the person is involved in smoking, but I seem to worry about it being a possibility and feel really bothered by it. I personally hate cigarettes.

I expect Christians to behave a certain way according to the Bible. When I see some Christians not doing something right, I get really worried and bothered inside. I have a lack of self-control in not worrying about these things as well. I feel really bugged by my problem of worrying and am wondering what to do? What does God say and what does He do for us to help us with worrying?


Answer:

The first thing you must come to grips with is that some things are not in your control. You can show someone the truth, but you can't make him choose to follow it. Each person has free-will. Even the Son of God did not convince everyone he taught and we certainly can't do better than he. "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master" (Matthew 10:24).

When we see someone doing wrong, it is our duty to warn him of the danger. But from then on, the response to the warning is up to them. "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul" (Ezekiel 3:17-21).

Worrying about something you cannot control is fruitless effort. Jesus spoke about this in his sermon (Matthew 6:25-34; Luke 12:22-31). Focus, instead, on doing the things you can control. Teach when you see the opportunity. Stand for the truth. Choose to follow the Lord no matter what others might think.