Most Christians are afraid to rebuke other Christians who are in sin. Most Christians hate being rebuked by others if they are in sin, therefore, there’s not much rebuking going on and many Christians who are in sin refuse to listen to rebukes. This is NOT how the Church of the Living God is supposed to operate.
Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee (Proverbs 9:8). A wise person takes rebuke because they know they aren’t perfect and they want to grow into Christ-likeness. Therefore, they welcome it and learn from it.
We are commanded to exhort one another daily because of the deceitfulness of sin. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13). ‘Exhort’ means to advise, warn, and caution. Sin hardens people’s hearts against the Lord so if you see a fellow believer going down the wrong path, it is your duty to go warn them about it. Sin grows in darkness and secrecy. Rebuking sin exposes it to the light of truth.
Women have told me that they don’t want to rebuke. They would rather just “love” others. This sounds warm and fuzzy but it’s not biblical. Speaking the truth in love is biblical and truth isn’t always easy to speak but imperative for the body of believers; for he who turns a brother or sister from his error covers over a multitude of sin. My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19, 20).
Ken wrote a reply to a man who tried rebuking someone and lost the friendship over it. Yes, this often happens, unfortunately, since there aren’t many believers who are in sin who will receive rebuke without getting angry.
“I suggest that if you are prayerful about your questions and seek the help of the Spirit in what you say, you then must leave it to the Spirit to do his mighty work in the lives of those who are transgressing or moving towards sin. If this same person was too close to a cliff and about to fall, would you not try to stop them and move them away from the cliff even at the risk of your friendship? We are not responsible for how people respond to exhortation and we won’t always get it right, but when the body of Christ stops exhorting and rebuking is when we end up with a weak and sinful church.
I can tell you over the years that I have many who I have counseled, Christians and non-Christians, who have told me that they were upset with me when I talked to them about their faults, yet weeks and years later I get a kind thank you. Some have said I helped radically change their lives with my exhortation. So be patient and respond to the Spirit inside of you with care and yet not being shy to do as He prompts you to do. If not, we are not being a brother to the family of God.”
My favorite authors, preachers, bloggers, and teachers are those who convict and challenge me towards godliness since I know that I need it. I don’t care at all for those who make me comfortable and feel good about myself, except for who I am in Christ. The culture pulls us away from godliness and this is why we need godly brothers and sisters in Christ who are willing to rebuke, exhort, and encourage us in our daily living. We easily forget and need to remind each other continually.
Never be afraid to do what the Lord has called you to do. There’s an eternity in front of us and all that matters is where our loved ones spend it.