Maybe we rebuke too much and correct too little

 2nd Timothy 3:16-17
 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NKJV)

   I came across this verse as I was doing my morning Quiet time. I'm currently reading one chapter a day, going from one New Testament book to the other. I started with Romans a few months ago and I'm currently on 2nd Timothy. As of now, my plan is to go to the end of the New testament, then go back to the gospels before starting the Old Testament. A bit unorthodox, I know but it works for me. But I digress.

   So I came across this verse this morning and then it struck a thought! I googled the NIV version of the same verse for the sake of comparison and it says this:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[ may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)
According to google, To rebuke is to ''express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behaviour or actions''
While to correct is to "put right (an error or fault)''
Obviously, Rebuking is more aggressive, while correcting sounds like something a mother would do to her 3-year old when they try to eat dirt. Yet both seem to have their time and place when it comes to our interactions with each other.
Rebuking sounds like a last resort, when one's behaviour has gotten completely out of hard. It's like radical surgery to remove a highly malignant tumour.
Correcting sounds like first aid for bad behaviour. It's useful for mild cases that get completely sorted by simple measures.
So I posit that correction is what we're meant to do in the early stages, before sin takes root...and rebuking maybe comes a bit later...when one has ignored all past correction. It's a possible last resort.

But never mind me, what else does the bible say about the subject?

Proverbs 27:5
Better is open rebuke than hidden love. (NIV)
So we are definitely meant to correct and rebuke our brothers and sisters. This whole hullabaloo about protecting your loved-ones feelings doesn't really help when their sin gets them to a place of suffering and heart-ache. And the feeling of betrayal is usually so bad when they eventually realize the faults that you never bothered to tell them about.

Galatians 6:1
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. (NIV)
2nd Thessalonians 3:15
Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer. (NIV)
But we should do it in love. Basically put yourself in their shoes. If you had messed up as badly as they had messed up, how would you want to be corrected? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

   And for the person being corrected or rebuked:
Hebrews 12: 5-6
And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” (NIV)
When God is trying to rebuke us about something, we usually know it. Deep down we know exactly what we've done and when no matter how much they shame we feel keeps us from admitting it. That's conviction.  And sometimes, God sends people to rebuke/correct us. Remember King Ahab and Elijah? But He also speaks to us directly and we'll get the message if we know how to listen. So just keep an open mind ok? I'd like to say that it's not personal, but it is. The creator of the universe stepping in to keep you from a path that leads to eternal damnation? It really doesn't get more personal than that!



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