You Never Know!

Ezekiel 3:21

Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning; and you will have saved your life.

With a little grace, the weirdest things can happen. That jerk you work with might not turn on his heel and storm out when you ask him to stop sinning. He might, instead, stop sinning. He might even turn out to be a friend. And you might find that you were a sign of mercy to him. So don’t get mad, get prophetic. Warn the sinner, not in threats and self-righteousness, but in love and mercy. You might just be saving a life. And it might just be yours.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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  • lkeebler

    So clear and to the point… I like your “words of encouragement.” Unfortunately the “world” will tell you if you warn the sinner about his sin that you are being self-righteous and threatening (mad and crazy), and many would say you are being hateful, demeaning, disrespectful of dignity, discriminating, and the like. We are no longer “allowed” to love the person but hate the sin, instead we are told we must accept the sin (lifestyle) in order to truly love “all” the person. Yes, in Love and Mercy we tell someone they are sinning because like someone ready to walk into a huge pit, we reach out our hand and say STOP!