* Correction must be motivated by love
It is easy to point out someone else’s faults or sins. Job’s friends accused him of sin to make him feel guilty, not to encourage or correct him. If we feel we must admonish someone, we should be sure we are confronting that person because we love him, not because we are annoyed, inconvenienced, or seeking to blame him. (NLT)
Job 19:3-5 – Ten times now you have meant to insult me. You should be ashamed of dealing with me so harshly. And even if I have sinned, that is my concern, not yours. You are trying to overcome me, using my humiliation as evidence of my sin. . .
* – Paul was calling attention to his special role as the Corinthians’ spiritual father. In an attempt to unify the church, Paul appealed to his relationship with them. By father, he meant he was the church’s founder. Because he started the church, he could be trusted to have its best interests at heart. Paul’s tough words were motivated by love—like the love a good father has for his children. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 4:15 – For even if you had ten thousand others to teach y9u about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you.
* Be affirming in correction
In this letter, Paul wrote some strong words to the Corinthians, but he began on a positive note of thanksgiving. He affirmed their privilege of belonging to the Lord and receiving his generous gifts: the power to speak out for him and understand his truth. When we must correct others, it helps to begin by affirming what God has already accomplished in them. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 1:4-6 – I can never stop thanking God for all the generous gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. He has enriched your church with the gifts of eloquence and every kind of knowledge. This shows that what I told you about Christ is true.
* Caring enough to correct
Paul did not enjoy reprimanding his friends and fellow believers, but he cared enough about the Corinthians to confront them with their wrongdoing. Proverbs 27:6 says: “Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” Sometimes our friends make choices that we know are wrong. If we ignore their behavior and let them continue in it, we won’t be showing love to them. We show love by honestly sharing our concerns in order to help these friends be their very best for God. When we don’t make any move to help, we show that we are more concerned about being well liked than about what will happen to them. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 2:4 – How painful it was to write that letter! Heartbroken, I cried over it. I didn’t want to hurt you, but I wanted you to know how very much I love you.
* Wrong approaches in confronting correction
Paul was dealing with an ongoing problem in the Corinthian church. He could have refused to communicate until they cleared up their situation, but he loved them and reached out to them again with the love of Christ. Love, however, means that sometimes we must confront those we care about. Both authority and personal concern are needed in dealing with people who are running their lives with sin. But there are several wrong approaches in confronting others, and these can further break relationships rather than heal them. We can be legalistic and blast people away with the laws they should be obeying. We can turn away from them because we don’t want to face the situation. We can isolate them by gossiping about their problem and turning others against them as well. Or, like Paul, we can seek to build relationships by taking a better approach—sharing, communicating, and caring. This is a difficult approach that can drain us emotionally, but it is the best way for other people, and it is the only Christ like way to deal with others’ sin. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 13:13 – May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
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