A Transparent Life (part 3)

What is correction, how should Christians handle it and why is it needed?  I’ve pondered all of these questions through the years.  I’ve flourished because of a gentle and timely correction and as you may have read in my last post…I’ve withered as the result of harsh words spoken in an untimely manner.  So, how on earth do you know how and when to say something?  And if you are on the receiving end…how do you handle it?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of theological advice on this subject…but I do have common sense and a love for people. 🙂   So, in an effort to wrap up this long series here are a few ideas, examples and an article to keep in mind when you are the giver and receiver of correction.

Here are my thoughts and advice:

CLAP before you correct.

1.  Check – Check your own heart first.  What is your motivation for saying something?  Can you deliver the correction gently and with love?  Do you understand what the Biblical principles are for correction?

2. Love – Make an effort to show them you love them.  It’s amazing how our own hearts can change when we give to someone else.  If you think they are doing something sinful…do something Godly for them.  Bake them cookies, give them a gift card…just do a deliberate act of kindness.  It will help to put your heart in the right place.

3. Ask – Ask yourself “Is this really a SIN in their life or does their behavior just bother me?”  For instance it may really grieve you that someone saw a rated R movie.  In your mind… that is sin.  However, that person may not feel the same way.  This is an area in which you must trust that they are serving God and they are able to hear His voice.  If God is grieved by their action, He will point it out to the individual.

4. Pray – Ask God for His perfect timing before speaking to the person.  Pray for their hearts to be open.  Ask God to reveal anything in your heart that may stand in the way of the correction being delivered in love.  This is your final step…be sure to really spend time in prayer over the subject.  Remember…we all have struggles and sin.  Ask God what He hopes to see as a result of you saying something.  Strive for that result if and when you feel led to address the subject.

If you are on the receiving end:

ASK before you agree.

1. Ask – Ask the person for examples.  Ask them to explain how your action is sinful and how you can overcome it.  Most importantly ask God to help you examine your own heart.

2. Seek God – Like I said before, no one is perfect.   We all have sins and issues.  Sometimes our lives will reflect our struggles without us even realizing it.  That’s when we need others to help point us in the right direction.  If something is pointed out to you, don’t just repent based on what the other person says.  Take time to seek God about the subject.  Let Him speak to you and show you where your heart may need some remodeling.

3. Know – Study your Bible and get to know God’s word.  Not only will it help you to identify sin in your life, it will help you to avoid sin.

Here is an article a good friend of mine sent me when she heard I was doing this series.  I found it very helpful and I appreciated the Biblical references. When Should a Christian try to correct Another Christian:

Thanks for hanging in there with me for the last 3 weeks!  Now, let’s move onto some lighter topics for a while.  Does anyone have some suggestions or questions you would like to discuss or read about?

7 thoughts on “A Transparent Life (part 3)

  1. Jana,
    This post was great timing (although I’m just now reading it) for a small group bible study I’m in. Tonight we talked about this very thing…it was a bit of a rabbit trail (thanks to me….ooops!) so we didn’t stay there long but our leader found this article and sent the link to all of us tonight after we got home. I’m just now reading it and am so glad I did. Just wanted you to know how God used it.
    Melody

  2. Jana,

    This is great advice! I’m still trying to get over what happened with that rebuke! (Somehow I’ve missed these posts…I’m getting caught up).

  3. This is such awesome information…you and Barry have dealt with such unfair and untrue rebuke…praying for continued healing. Love you guys.

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