Have you ever had to deal with a person that professes Christ, but they ignore God’s instructions? It is especially difficult and frustrating when the person is a spouse, a child, or good friend. It is even more difficult when their behavior causes you heartache and suffering.
Yes, it is possible that they are not a true believer. They may have a dead faith instead of a living faith as the book of James teaches. Only time will tell with these, as by their fruit you will know them.
However, it is possible, they are an immature believer. The Holy Spirit’s nature is to be patient / long suffering with them even when they cause others great heartache and distress.
See the below verses how patient Jesus and Paul were toward immaturity. There is just some truth that the immature cannot yet handle. It could take a lifetime for the Holy Spirit to awaken them to certain truths. Look at your own self. Look at the sins of your youth as you were maturing in Christ. Even look at your current sins that you are still fighting. God is giving you time; give others time as well. Therefore, suffering one, be patient.
John 16:12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
Mark 4:33 (NET)
33 So with many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear.
1 Corinthians 3:1,2 (NET)
1 So, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but instead as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready. In fact, you are still not ready,
Hebrews 5:11-14 (NET)
11 On this topic we have much to say and it is difficult to explain, since you have become sluggish in hearing. 12 For though you should in fact be teachers by this time, you need someone to teach you the beginning elements of God’s utterances. You have gone back to needing milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced in the message of righteousness, because he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, whose perceptions are trained by practice to discern both good and evil.
Many times the immaturity of others will cause us to be treated unfairly and unjustly. And likewise, our immaturity will also cause others grief as well, but to this suffering we were all called.
1 Peter 2:18 Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are perverse.
19 For this finds God’s favor, if because of conscience toward God someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly.
20 For what credit is it if you sin and are mistreated and endure it? But if you do good and suffer and so endure, this finds favor with God.
21 For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps.
22 He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth.
23 When he was maligned, he did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened no retaliation, but committed himself to God who judges justly.
24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we may cease from sinning and live for righteousness. By his wounds you were healed.
25 For you were going astray like sheep but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
God bless. Bob.