Be ex­am­ple of Christ to loved ones un­der in­flu­ence of cult

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

I’m con­cerned be­cause my sis­ter has be­come deeply in­volved in a re­li­gious group that sounds like a cult. She’s al­ways been kind of a weak per­son, and I’ve heard that cults of­ten tar­get peo­ple who are eas­ily in­flu­enced. Is this true?

Yes, it’s true that some re­li­gious cults de­lib­er­ately seek out peo­ple who are eas­ily in­flu­enced — ei­ther be­cause they have no real con­vic­tions of their own, or be­cause they aren’t emo­tion­ally strong enough to re­sist pres­sure from oth­ers.

This doesn’t mean ev­ery­one who be­comes in­volved in a cult is this way, of course — but it does mean some peo­ple are es­pe­cially vul­ner­a­ble to a cult’s ap­peal. In fact, one char­ac­ter­is­tic of many cults is that they are led by a strong leader who dom­i­nates its mem­bers and de­mands their to­tal loy­alty. Lead­ers who seek to serve Christ, how­ever, aren’t this way, but are “ea­ger to serve; not lord­ing it over those en­trusted to you” (1 Peter 5:2-3).

What can you do to help your sis­ter? First, ex­am­ine your own spir­i­tual life. Have you ever de­ci­sively com­mit­ted your life to Je­sus Christ, and are you seek­ing to fol­low him and live for him ev­ery day? Make sure of your com­mit­ment to Christ, and then ask God to make you an ex­am­ple to your sis­ter of his love and peace and joy. She may not be open to what you tell her — but she can’t ar­gue with the re­al­ity of a life that’s been changed by Christ’s power.Then pray for your sis­ter. Pray that God will show her that she’s on the wrong path, and will give her the courage to turn to Je­sus. Pray too that God will give you a deeper love for her, and will give you op­por­tu­ni­ties to talk with her about

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