It is a grave mistake to think that love means accepting a person, sin and all, with no moral judgments about his or her behavior, especially when it’s coming from a spiritual leader. God’s Word gives us absolute standards for right and wrong behavior (2 Timothy 4:1-4). As well, He instructs us as to how we’re to deliver correction, chastisement or rebuke against ill behavior, but in love.
If we see someone violating biblical standards, they must be corrected, but in love. If not, the violator will be headed towards sin. And the consequences of sowing to the violator’s flesh is corruption (Galatians 6:8; Romans 6:23). Besides, we wouldn’t want to be held accountable for failing to correct someone when we had the opportunity to do it.
The art of correction is a huge subject which many believers, particularly church leaders do not wish to address. Fear of retaliation, loss of membership, anxious that the person’s feelings will get hurt, finger pointing, being aware of the guilt of sin in one’s own life or procrastination are a few reasons why correction in the body of Christ isn’t popular or isn’t done. In His ministry on earth, Jesus brought forth Kingdom correction according to the full Gospel (Job 5:17, Hebrews 12:6). And today He’s still doing this through His sons and daughters (Titus 2:15).
Biblical correction, in love, is gentle (Galatians 6:1). It requires one to first examine himself (Psalm 139:23,24; Matthew 7:3-5). We do not have to be perfect, as we know perfection, to practice this ministry of correction. If we think this way, it would never get done. Conversely, we must have the mindset of Christ. Nonetheless, we must first judge our own sin (Matthew 7:1,2). Also, correction according to the Word of God requires waiting on the Lord. To add, followers of Christ must apply biblical wisdom to know whether to remain silent or not to bring correction at that time because of the situation.
It’s true that we are under Grace, and that our sin has been forgiven yesterday, today and forevermore. As well, it’s true that we’re not obligated to sit under “sin conscious,” messages which shackles our liberty (John 8:36). So why bring correction? Because Jesus said, He is the “way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). People must understand that “their way” in sin behavior, is God resistant or rejection.
In conclusion, when we or a spiritual leader speaks the truth in love regarding rebuke, instruction in righteousness or correction, we could start out by saying for an example, “you don’t need to do—whatever the wrong doing is—that because, this is who you are.” In other words, tell that person who they are in Christ, in love. And keep reminding them of who they are in Christ every time you see them or speak to them. Make sure that you’re being led by the Holy Spirit rather than self-righteousness. The Holy Spirit of God will do the rest! Now that’s love. And personally, I want that kind of correction (Proverbs 3:12).
Yah©bahne a/k/a Joanna High copywriter