Something that’s an important part of being a part of the body of Christ, to me at least, is being able to rebuke our brothers and sisters in Christ when they sin. Now what is it to rebuke?
(verb) Express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions
( Noun) An expression of sharp disapproval or criticism.
There are many instances in the word of God that we are called to rebuke each other in order to help our brothers and sisters grow in faith and in goodness, for example, from the book that i quote the most, proverbs 27:5 “Better is open rebuke than hidden love” i love this verse, as there’s so much to it. For example, it’s tells us that the Lord sees a rebuke as a form of love rather than being unkind. Or that it is better to rebuke than to keeping our love for that person in the dark. But this isn’t the passage i’m going to be focusing on today. I want to focus on a passage from Luke (very fitting!) 17:3
So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.
Why do i want to focus on this verse? Because this is Jesus himself telling us the importance of rebuking our brothers and sisters in faith. Jesus calls us to love each other, and like it says in that passage from proverbs, we can rebuke in love, and it’s important to do so in my opinion.
I’m far from a perfect person, I mess up, I get things wrong, I sin just like everyone else, I’m like a lot of people in that i’m a work in progress, in my life, in my trust, and in my faith. I’m blessed to have the wonderful family in Christ that I have, that’s full of people that accept that I’m not perfect just as I accept that they’re not perfect. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t rebuke me when I’m going wrong, that they don’t pull me aside and tell me when I’m messing up, or when I’ve hurt someone without even realizing. Because this is what a family does, we pull our loved ones aside when there going wrong and tell them, because how else do we expect them to improve? We rebuke our brothers and sisters in order that they might see where they’re going wrong and improve, because that’s what we do when we love someone, we help them to see the error of their ways and get back on the right path.
We need to be a family that wants to help each other be the best people we can and sometimes that means telling a few home truths, now I’m not saying that we should be horrible for the sake of love, I trust that you are able to make the distinction between a rebuke and just being nasty for the sake of being nasty, but if we want to be the best we can be, we need to know where we’re going wrong sometimes.
Another important point is the end of this passage ” and if they repent, forgive them.” This is the difference between rebuking and being horrible, if someone hurts you and you call them out for it, are you willing to forgive them? Or are you only telling them for your own justification? We are a people of love and forgiveness, in our laughter and our anger, before someone can repent they need to know what they’ve done wrong otherwise it’s just a hollow apology.
So if someone in your Family of Christ has caused you pain, you have the right to rebuke, just rebuke out of love rather than anger and bitterness. Thank you for reading and May God bless you.
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