This could possibly be considered a sequel to my blog post about subtweets. That combined with my sight on occasional tweets about ignoring things they don’t like.
In the past I’ve seen rebukes, I’ve been rebuked, and I’ve even rebuked another myself. They’re very humbling and always seem to crash against our ego. However, I’ve seen a gradual response to rebukes from spectators that have been along the lines of tolerance.
“If you don’t like what someone is tweeting/posting, just ignore it or unfollow them. There’s no point in getting bent out of shape.”
This misconception about a rebuke is that it is meant to tear down, but that is in fact the opposite, it is meant to strengthen and build up. Before I go deeper I must outline that I am only discussing rebukes within the body of Christ for reproof, not for a christian to rebuke someone in the world whatsoever. That’s different and would require a completely separate blog post.
The best analogy is the child/traffic one and since I don’t have any kids yet, I’ll use my nephew Asher.
So I’m babysitting my nephew Asher, I decide that we should both go get some ice cream. As we’re walking to the car, Asher lets go of my hand and decides to create a makeshift game of tag. Asher then begins to run to the street where there are cars zooming by at high speed.
What do I do?
Should I just ignore it, because I don’t like it? I mean, there’s no point in getting out of shape because of someone is doing something that could be considered a little harmful right?. I mean, what business is it of mine?
That’s mindset is completely nuts!
I immediately drop everything I have and sprint toward Asher as fast as I can and snatch him up before he even comes close to traffic! Why would I do that? Because I love my nephew Asher and would never want anything to happen to him. After I pick him up what should I say to him? Great job buddy? Or should I be clear in telling him that his actions were wrong? Hey! Don’t Do that! You’ll get hurt! I’ll be stern in order for him to understand the gravity of the situation. My tone might be similar to Paul’s in Galatians, “Oh don’t be so Foolish!”
I do it, because I love him, because I don’t want to see him in error that could be damaging(physically). And if my brother in Christ is either doing or saying something that could be damaging(spiritually) I must go to him as well! This is where I’ve failed. On twitter I’ve publicly tweeted people instead of privately messaging them. I’ll accept that mistake on myself as a knee jerk reaction in a time of passion. Please allow the lesson I’ve learned through my own error help you. Everything that I’ve rebuked to this point has only been something like a negligent or ignorant tweet, but this principle should be taken much much further.
When I was younger and in the youth, there were times I became aware that someone was in sin. However, I never approached that person ever. That’s mean, that’s insensitive, that’s intolerant, that’s judgemental. Oh how wrong I had it. Perhaps I saw that they were in sin, then I felt much better about myself, I wasn’t in that sin, I was better then that person. I was so backwards and delirious.
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. – Matthew 18:15NIV
My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. – James 5:19-20 NIV
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. – James 4:17 NIV
That verse in James 4 jumps out to me, if I know that I should confront and rebuke and don’t, that’s sin for me. Now a big misconception with a rebuke is that rebukes need to be loud.
*Kicks door in like a SWAT team* ” HEY BROTHER! THAT’S SIN AND I REBUKE IT IN JESUS NAME!”
A rebuke is a gentle confrontation in private with the acknowledgement of error/sin for the benefit. Not to incite rebellion, we shouldn’t be headhunters looking for sin, that slippery slope is easily trekked down. A confrontation should only happen between two that have a good friendship and are able to understand the meaning for doing such. Faithful are the wounds of a friend.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. – Galatians 6:1 NIV
This reminds me of another reason why we refuse to confront and rebuke when one of us is in error, the famous log/speck verse.
“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? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. – Matt 7:3-5 NIV
Notice that it never says to NOT remove the speck/sin from our brother’s eye, it says to deal with our own sin first. This passage has scared us to only worry about our own sin and ignore our brother’s that we begin to only focus on ourselves. That’s selfishness, we then become so enveloped with our own image that we don’t even deal with our brother or sister’s sin, even when our eyes are clear because of the faint possibility that we may be a hypocrite. Saving face is then elevated over our brother or sister’s well being spiritually.
When I was younger I missed the chance to help out a brother or sister in Christ. From now on, if given the opportunity, I’ll help the best way I can. It takes a special type of hate to see a person standing on the traintracks of sin and deciding to sit on my hands and not tell them, “Hey! get out of the way!” If anyone sees me in sin, please, if you love me, let me know of my error. Couple more verses for thought.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? – 1 John 3:17 ESV
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. – Provers 3:27 ESV
Grace and Peace,