The Buddy System

Ezekiel 33:8-9

Suppose I (God).say to a wicked person, ‘You wicked person, you will certainly die,’ and you say nothing to warn him to change his ways. That wicked person will die because of his sin, and I will hold you responsible for his death.  But if you warn a wicked person to turn from his ways and he doesn’t turn from them, then he will die because of his sin. However, you will save yourself.

Galatians 6:1

“Brothers and sisters, if a person gets trapped by wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should help that person turn away from doing wrong. Do it in a gentle way. At the same time watch yourself so that you also are not tempted.”  

The Buddy System

There are scriptures that bother me. The two quoted here trouble me because they make me responsible (at least partially) for the sins of others. Isn’t it hard enough to be responsible for myself?

I struggle daily with “not my will, but God’s will”. Though I truly want to follow His leading, I am a strong willed (stubborn, pig-headed) child of God.

I remember holding my child’s hand as we walked through a busy parking lot. The child struggles to be free of my grasp so they can run on ahead. They would run and be completely unaware of the cars backing out of parking spots or suddenly coming around a corner. Often I am that child who would rush headlong into danger were it not for God’s hand holding me back.

These scriptures bother me because they tell me God wants me to be His hands and hold onto my brother’s or sister’s hand for their safety.

We are on the buddy system. You hold my hand and I’ll hold yours. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit we will keep each other safe.


Father, we your children are often willful and disobedient. We would have rushed headlong into trouble if you had not held us back. Sometimes it was your Spirit cautioning us and sometimes you sent your people to give us your wisdom and your warning. We thank you for them. Now we ask that you place your loving heart within us so that we might speak the words that could pull one of your children away from the brink of destruction. Amen. 

All content (except quotations) © 2019 Thomas E. Williams.