Correcting Other Christians
Daily Bible Reading – Job 41, 42; 2 Corinthians 1, 2
Today’s Key Passage – 2 Corinthians 2:1-11
Living a Christian life does not happen in a vacuum. We know from the Bible that God intends for us to live together in community with other Christians. This fellowship not only helps us grow as followers of Jesus Christ, it also helps us reach others. Unfortunately, in doing this we are sometimes faced with circumstances where one of the other believers we are “doing life with” starts to stray from the path.
The idea of having to confront another believer terrifies me. Like most people, I do not really like confrontation, and I try to avoid it whenever possible. For a long time, I believed that when I saw another Christian sinning I should not say anything. After all, I figured it was not my job to confront him, and I was afraid that I would come off as judgmental, but there is a fundamental difference in judging someone and correcting them in love. This revelation came to me when another believer confronted me for something I was doing. At first, I was angry at being “called out”, but I soon came to realize that this man was coming to me out of his love for me. He saw an error I was making, and cared enough about me to bring it to my attention. Matthew 18:15 says, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.” When Paul had to correct the Corinthians in today’s key passage, he did it out of love. Even though he had “great distress and anguish of heart“, he knew that if he truly loved them and cared about them he had to correct them.
In his book, Who You Are When No One’s Looking, Pastor Bill Hybels discusses the “tough love” required to be a follower of Christ. He lays out a four-point plan to dealing with confrontation. Step one is clarifying the issue to really understand the problem. Step two is cleansing your spirit to ensure we do not feel critical, angry, or judgmental before we confront someone. In Matthew 7:3, Jesus says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”. Cleansing the spirit allows us to avoid pointing out the speck in our brother’s eye if we have a plank in our own eye. Step three is carefully selecting the time and place to talk with the believer. Step four, probably the most important, is to pray to God for help.
By following these points, we can ensure that when we are forced to confront another believer, we do it correctly. Obviously, the easiest thing to do it is to say nothing at all, but as we know, the easy thing is very rarely the right thing. If you really love others more than yourself, sometimes it is necessary to correct another Christian. When this time comes, remember to do it in love.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.
Posted on November 15, 2013, in 08 - 2 Corinthians and tagged Anger, Bible, Christian, Conflict, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, God, Jesus, Judgment, Love, Religion, Service, Sin. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.