If you have broccoli in your teeth, TP on your shoe, or a tag sticking up out of your shirt, I’m the kind of girl you want to have nearby. I will not only tell you, I’ll try to help you fix it too. I would want someone to tell me if I had something going on, so as a young teen I vowed to always tell about something embarrassing that could be corrected.
Those are easy scenarios for me to tell someone about. What is hard for me to tell someone is when I think they’ve said or done something wrong. Specifically, I struggle with telling people when there has been a perceived infraction with fellow Christians.
The Lord doesn’t want us pointing out everyone’s flaws; in fact Jude 1:16 condemns us finding fault with others deliberately. Nor does scripture allow us to correct fellow Christians based upon second hand knowledge. However, we are to gently and lovingly correct behavior when it is observed first hand and when the Lord prompts us too.
Recently, I had to have a conversation with someone about her actions and conversations. I witnessed it first hand and it involved a women’s class that I was facilitating. It was sooooooo hard for me! I prayed for several days about the situation before I did anything. I wanted to make sure that a) I had God’s authority to correct the behavior and b) I was doing it with the correct motives.
I literally had to have a pep talk with myself before I called her. Frankly, I would have rather done anything else than had that conversation. And yet, the conversation went well and she stated that she didn’t intend harm. It was a productive chat.
Once the conversation was over, I was relieved that I’d followed God’s lead. I was glad that I had addressed the conversation privately, as is outlined in Matthew 18:15 (NASB) “Now if your brother sins, go and how him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”
Fear of offending or losing a friend/acquaintance often leads us to negate the task of correcting others. In Proverbs 18:19 (NASB) we see that scripture warns us of rebuking leading to loss, “A brother who is offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And quarrels are like the bars of a citadel.”
When we negate corrective behavior with other Christians, we could be found guilty of sin ourselves. While some may argue that salvation questions are the only corrective conversation, I would argue that we also need to correct behavior that brings a dark light on God or other Christians.
What was my deciding factor that lead to a corrective conversation with this gal? Pray & God.
After prayerful consideration, I knew it was my obligation as a fellow Christian and as a leader to address the situation, despite how uncomfortable it made me.
It would have been so much easier for me if she had broccoli in her teeth or toliet paper on her shoe…
Come to the porch this week and tell us about any scenarios where you had to correct someone or you were corrected.