Last week I posted a Facebook message that simply spoke the truth. I had seen several posts over the previous week where people were airing their arguments with others openly on Facebook. I decided to speak into the situation and suggested the proper way to deal with disagreements and hurts between friends.
What amazed me was the overwhelmingly positive response I got to the post. I think it was the most comments and likes I have ever received, many by people I seldom hear from.
It dawned on me that people want to say the right thing, they want to correct and teach but there is a great fear of it. People were relieved that I had addressed the situation and spoken the truth.
How many times do we in ministry and in our churches gloss over the issues, allowing them to slide? We do it at home, we do it with friends and we do it at work also. The root of it – REJECTION & FEAR. Plain and simple. We are afraid if we speak the truth that people will turn against us and become upset, fight us, slander us and ultimately reject us.
Indeed, Proverbs 9:7 says “Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.”
But notice that it is talking about a mocker and the wicked, here we are talking about people filled with pride, who have cruel habits, are not willing to learn and care less for others than themselves.
Proverbs 10:7 says “Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray” and Proverbs 12:1 says “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.” There are many more scriptures with statements similar to this.
Our instruction from the Bible on how to deal with people who are doing something wrong is to teach them and correct them in a respectful, loving way. 2 Timothy 4:2 tells us “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”
We do this by using the scripture to show people how God wants us to behave. 2 Timothy 3:16 states that ” All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”.
The truth is that we do need to be helping each other to grow. In our churches we need to teach and correct each other with humble hearts. We need to be preaching from the pulpit messages about receiving correction humbly, about growing and learning constantly and about having the courage and love to go to our brothers and sisters in the Lord and talk to them when issues arise.
At the heart of the issue we see churches declining – I can say firsthand that a large amount of that decline is because people do not see Christ-like behavior in our churches. If I had a dollar for every time I have been told by people that they left the church because they get treated better by people outside the church, I would be a financially wealthy woman! People won’t stay where they do not feel loved. If we are going to learn to love like Christ we need to first learn to correct, teach, rebuke and train like Christ.
Pastors and church leaders need to speak truth, they need a new infusion of courage and boldness to lead their churches into maturity.
Christians, it is time to become humble, to receive our lessons and then to pass them on. Lets also raise up a generation of truth speakers who lift each other up in love.
- Clinging Heresy (keyword-power.com)
- “How can we prevent our young people from losing faith?” (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- Compromising God’s Word in Deference to the Traditions of Man (charleswhenderson.wordpress.com)
- Preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2) (marbaniang.wordpress.com)