Care enough to confront
The Bible says we should ‘warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.’ But often, we’d rather stay quiet and avoid confrontation than speak difficult truth into the lives of others. One Bible teacher wrote: ‘A church isn’t a group of individuals who happen to meet in the same place every week; it’s a spiritual body…a loving family. It’s far easier to comfort and encourage than to warn or exhort, but both are necessary. Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak the truth in love so that the whole body may “grow up in all things”. If we don’t take the time to exhort, encourage, warn, comfort, uphold and be patient…we [all] suffer in the end. Your body doesn’t function properly when one part is hurting or performing poorly. And the church suffers when one of its members is unruly, fainthearted, weak, or falls into bad doctrine. Letting a body part fester, or not supporting a part that’s hurt, can lead to irrecoverable damage.’ As our loving Father, God loves us too much to let us get away with bad behaviour. And we should try to share this attitude. We should love and care enough about others to correct and guide them if we can see them taking the wrong path or doing something that could be harmful in the long run. But that doesn’t give us a free rein to be critical and judgmental. Paul wrote, ‘If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path’ (Galatians 6:1 NLT). We should speak only the truth, and our goal should be to speak it in love and compassion.
Do you know someone who needs a gentle correction? Ask God for guidance in how to approach the problem, and when you’ve heard from Him, have a chat with the person and help steer them back to God’s path.
The UCB Word For You