I recently saw this comical video about two friends talking and one was obviously about to get into some intentional trouble. Yet, because they were considered best friends, the other friend decided that rules don’t apply, so they condoned their bad behavior. I think we’ve all been there. You know…that awkward moment you’re with someone and you experience the inner turmoil of needing to give correction but you don’t…(can you hear the crickets). I do believe personality and the degree we can handle confrontation has a lot to do with how easy it is give rebuke. However, our personality or feelings should not trump the Word of God and the opportunities we have to bless others through a correction.
If it is hard to accept a rebuke, even a private one…it is harder still to administer one in loving humility. ~ D. A. Carson
I honestly don’t know which is easier or harder for me. I do know that I need accountability and direction in my life so I welcome correction, as well as give it. In day 27 of our Study, David Mathis gives us seven steps toward rebuke that is Christian and transparent. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!
- Check Your Own Heart First – Before approaching our brother or sister in the body about their sin, we need to renew our repentance and tendencies in the same area. Matthew 7:5 “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
- Seek to Sympathize – The Golden Rule of Rebuke: “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” Matthew 7:12
- Pray for Restoration – Pray for others before confronting them and for the moment you approach them. Pray and speak toward restoration, not merely righting wrongs and appeasing your own justice.
- Be Quick – Don’t allow sin time and space to grow into tall nasty weeds in our lives. We should speak without delay and receive it with thick skin; so that gentle words of rebuke become common place for us, and sin is nipped in the bud.
- Be Kind – It’s not just the corrective word but also a tone and demeanor that matches our Master. Any righteous rebuke is a kindness. When we correct an opponent with gentleness, how much more a friend.
- Be Clean and Specific – Kindness must be matched with clarity. Don’t tiptoe around what’s really caught our attention. Have specific examples ready and have transparency in speaking the Gospel.
- Follow Up – If they receive it well, follow up with a note or call and commend that evidence of grace in their life. If they don’t receive it well, follow up with some further expression of love; a reminder that you’re praying for them and have nothing to gain but their good.